Skye is working towards a PhD in Biophysics at the University of Exeter. Her research looks at the physical properties of cell membrane and how these affect susceptibility to a parasite toxin, amoebapore. In general, she is interested in parasitology and multidisciplinary approaches to science. In addition to practicing research skills, Skye hopes that she can improve her teaching abilities and contribute towards the postgraduate community during her time at Exeter.

For International Women’s Day 2018 the Doctoral College will be holding an event to showcase the valuable women we have in this research-focussed community. This event is not only important for our community but emphasizes that we are engaged in a global celebration of progress towards gender equality. The first International Women’s Day was in 1911 and it is gratifying to see the changes that have been made. It is a day both to reflect on our progress and to motivate us to continue making changes for the better.

The World Economic Forum 2017 global gender gap report indicated that, as it stands, it will take 200 years to reach gender parity. Therefore, the official theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is #PressforProgress. This theme reinforces the need to keep putting the pressure on to achieve equality. The IWD website urges us to choose one action to #PressforProgress, giving five areas to choose from. My favourite two are to forge positive visibility of women, and to celebrate women’s achievements.

These two actions will be showcased in the Doctoral College International Women’s Day event on Thursday 8th March 2018, 10am – 12 midday. This event will celebrate the contributions from our female and non-binary PGRs and ECRs. We have a fantastic group of women who will present either their own research or their experiences as a female within their field of research.

I have personally involved myself in the organisation and think it will be a great and emotive session. I jumped in because I have previously benefitted from professional development groups designed for women at the University (e.g. Sprint). In addition, as a PGR, I appreciate supportive environments to communicate research, and I realise the importance of role models in a job made up of many self-directed tasks.

We have had confirmations of attendance from invited inspirational senior members of staff. These include Debra Myhill and Kim Soin who will attend and speak at the event. This mix of women from both early and established career stages will provide valuable networking opportunities and better visibility of potential role models.

Alongside the event there will be an online gallery of inspirational female and non-binary PGRs and ECRs who have been nominated by the University of Exeter community. If you are interested please do come along; the event is free! and registration can be accessed through Eventbrite.

Written by: Skye Marshall (PhD Researcher in BioPhysics)
Twitter: @SkyeMarshall1
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