Women in science share their experiences

Published Friday, 11th February 2022
Laura Villada and Sophie Hiscocks

United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Today (11 February) is the United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science. As a company with a strong focus on scientific integrity and open, collaborative relationships this is a topic we strongly support. Therefore, we asked two of our experts to share their experiences as women in science and for their advice for anyone thinking of following in their footsteps:

Sophie Hiscocks, Research Manager

Sophie has a BSc (Hons) in Animal Science and a PhD in Biological Sciences. She says:

“I first became interested in science when during my childhood I was gifted a beginner’s microscope. It became an obsession, finding different plants and materials to examine. This curiosity sparked my interest in learning about how life works. The best thing about having a science-based career is that every day is a learning day!

“I would recommend a career in science to anyone that wants to learn more about the world around them and have an impact on our future. There are so many different career routes within the sciences, opportunities for development, chances to travel and meet people from different cultures, so take advantage and explore the possibilities.

“I specialise in nutrition and physiology; to me the gut is the most interesting part of the body – it has its own microworld that we still do not fully understand. The highlight of my career so far must be publishing my first peer reviewed paper, which has gone on to be cited by other well recognised and leading researchers in the field.

“For anyone starting out in the sector, my advice is to be passionate about the science, never underestimate yourself, be courageous and don’t be afraid of failure - that’s how we all learn!

“Also you don’t have to be loud to be heard, make your mark and take credit for the work that you do, and those around you will listen.”

Laura Villada, Americas Laboratory Operations Manager

Laura has a BA and MA in Material Science Engineering and a PhD with focus on polymer surfaces/bioadhesion. She says:

“I’ve always liked understanding how things worked and what they were made of. So having a science-based career is great for me as I can look for answers and solve problems. Studying science develops problem-solving skills, which are important for all kinds of jobs. I’ve moved into a managerial position where I have been able to use skills that I’ve obtained throughout my science career.

“I think it is very important to have women represented in all fields but since science is mainly dominated by men, it is crucial that women give their input. Both women and men should have the same opportunities to develop skills that will help all kinds of fields, especially fields that help solve global challenges.

“Everyone should encourage young girls to be curious and be problem solvers. Starting at a young age helps increase the number of women in the science fields, but it is never too late to get into science. My advice is not to get discouraged but instead find support from other women in the field. Always speak up and ask questions. Be kind, respectful, assertive, and objective.”

Amazing scientists across the AB Agri group

There are many more women engaged in exciting, innovative and influential scientific work across AB Vista and the wider AB Agri family. To find out more, see: https://www.abagri.com/turning-curiosity-into-a-career-science-is-at-the-heart-of-what-we-do-at-ab-agri

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