International Women's Day 2024

IWD blog cover
Published date:
March 8 2024

To mark #IWD24, some of our scientists tell us about their professional journeys and share advice for women embarking on a career in STEM.

Principal Scientist, CRH

Being a scientist is not just a job, it's a way to make a difference, to be heard.

Principal Scientist, Cancer Research Horizons

What drives you as a scientist?

Rachel Grimley IWD

I feel a strong responsibility to ensure that the world is a place where patients thrive, not just survive.

Rachel Grimley, Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery

'I am a scientist and a mum, and it is a huge part of my life. I want to grow in my career and inspire people in science and beyond to always feel powerful and confident.​'

Marica Gaspari, Bioinformatician


'I recently graduated and I can’t wait to see how ideas can become a life-saving products.​'

Hannah Egan, Scientist

Jennyfer quote photo

My brother got diagnosed with cancer, and I hope to witness a future where cancer diagnosis is not as scary as it is today, thanks to all the amazing research currently ongoing.

Jennyfer, Research Associate

Where did it all begin?

'I grew up loving science, watching David Attenborough and Brainiac, making potions in the garden, always annoying adults with my questions!'​

Hannah Egan​, Scientist


'One of the things I love about science is the continuous learning.'​

Suzannah Harnor​, Senior Research Associate

'I have always had an analytical mind and here I am now, striving to make a positive difference to the lives of patients! I am proud to have a leadership role at Cancer Research Horizons.'​

Rachel Grimley, Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery​

'I come from a very traditional family and I was the first one to go to University. It always felt like a distant dream, but I finally made it.'​

Marica Gaspari, Bioinformatician

What has most helped you as a woman in STEM?

Hannah Egan IWD

Seeing women in positions of leadership, running science projects is one of the biggest things that encouraged me. I never felt out of place because women were always around me. If you can see it, you can be it.

Hannah Egan, Scientist

'Discussing with other women how they’ve overcome challenges during their careers has really boosted my confidence.'​

Rebecca England​, Scientist


'A Career Development Fellowship launched my independent career, it built my confidence for creating, leading and delivering large research projects.'​

Gillian Farnie, Group Leader

What advice would you give to women aspiring to a career in STEM?

Suzannah Harnor, Newcastle

Your mentor will be your ultimate cheerleader. Try to find good mentors and spend your energy on interactions that feel good. Cultivating a relationship with a mentor helps developing confidence, focus, and will allow you to push for the best career outcomes. ​

Suzannah Harnor​, Senior Research Associate

'Grow your network and identify someone who has made the journey that you want to make.'​

Stuart Farrow, Vice President of Bioscience


'Obtain a broad range of skills and don’t be afraid to try new things. Even things that are a bit left-field will ultimately increase your visibility. '

Suzannah​ Harnor, Senior Research Associate

'Speak up and don’t be afraid. Every step into building more awareness for women in STEM can make a difference.'​

Marica Gaspari, Bioinformatician


'Any opportunity for self-development, take it! Work experience, summer research projects, training courses, seminars. Find your interest and dive deep.'​

Charlotte Frankling, Senior Scientist

'Pursue areas of study that truly inspire and motivate you.'​

Rajesh Singh, Principal Scientist

'A cancer survivor recently highlighted to me that they want to survive and thrive in a world that is worth living in.​' 

Rachel Grimley, Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery

'I am doing it for my daughters as I wish them to use their energy and creativity in better ways than fighting against inequalities.'

Jennyfer, Research Associate