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Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are spotlighting some of the women at Viatris who are in science and STEM roles.
By: Timothy Goodenow
February 11, 2022
Supplier Manager – Quality
Who is a woman that has inspired you professionally or personally?
There are so many accomplished women in the science field, it is hard to pinpoint one individual. I’m very much into Alice Augusta Ball’s discovery and her treatment for leprosy when this disease was believed to be untreatable. Alice’s story is very tragic on many levels, as she was never given credit for her discovery. She died very young, and a co-worker of Alice published her work under his name. Many years went by until Alice’s work was recognized. Even though this story is upsetting, it also reflects how women can have a different approach to science. Many women are highly emphatic, where recognition or publishing might not be our priority. We simply want to make an impact. Everything else comes second.
What are the current opportunities and challenges for women in science?
I think society has made great progress throughout the last 100 years. We are trending in the right direction with more and more opportunities for women in science. In Central Europe, I’m proud to see women starting to infiltrate the pharmaceutical, medical and chemical industries. However, not everyone is given the same opportunities and there is certainly room for improvement. In many cases, the gender pay gap is still a problem, which needs to be addressed properly. Fortunately, I work for a company that makes great effort to highlight the importance of these issues and find a long-term solution for us women.
What advice would you share with young girls who might be considering a career in science?
My advice for younger girls is very simple – believe in yourself. There will likely be a time when someone questions you and your abilities, and it can be very hard to forget. This person can be your teacher, your friend or even your family member. No one else knows what you are capable of, so do not let them bring you down. If someone does not believe in you, just think about it as a challenge, an opportunity to show your capabilities.
I once had a teacher laugh at me when I was explaining my career aspirations. I was told many times to just give up, and honestly, I’ve never considered this option. Women are tough! So, dust yourself off, take a deep breath and keep going. Believe in yourself … I believe in you!