If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you have at one time considered the possibility of running your own business. And as we all know, going it alone takes guts and more than a sprinkling of self-belief. That’s why I joined other existing and potential start-up owners to soak up some inspiration and insider knowledge, at the recent AWiSE event, ‘Do you have a business in you?’
“With the right support, you can set up and grow a successful enterprise to the level that fits your needs,” Liz Lyon of Rise Business Circle enthused. “Everyone has something useful to offer.”
Defining your ideas and mapping them to your skills and resources is the first step in turning the hypothetical into the viable. “Whether or not you want to develop your potential is a decision only you can make,” she added.
Mastering the psychological challenges budding business owners face is often the biggest barrier to getting started. Continue reading
This book is a very personal take on balancing work, parenting and the home – for mothers and fathers. I know Wendy from when I was being made redundant in 2009, and knew she and Penny had been working on this in their spare time for a few years, so I bought it with some interest.
It’s written in a large font, dip-in-and-out style, with bullet point lists and personal stories, full of humour and written in an uncomplicated style. It starts at the beginning, working while pregnant, going through issues you might encounter while off on maternity leave, help on decisions you may need to make about going back to work, and then actually being back at work and generally, all sorts of friendly advice and anecdotes.
I like the quotes particularly – both from the authors, their friends and famous people in history. It really is like having a whole support group on your bookshelf, with tips and suggestions from people who’ve “been there, done that” and somehow survived lots of the things that you might come across as a working mother.
For working parent members of Cambridge AWiSE, I’d particularly recommend relevant sections such as the Returning to Work chapter, Being Involved in Your Child’s Education, Managing Yourself and your Home. Continue reading
Today is International Girls in ICT Day! International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year. You can read more about the initiative at http://girlsinict.org/.
To support this initiative, I’ve written a guest blog post for Professional Engineering:
Getting Girls into Physics
A related article also appeared in the E&T magazine this morning:
International day encourages women to enter ICT
My views have been formed through many conversations, thought-provoking articles and inspiring talks, in many cases prompted by my membership (and steering group membership) of Cambridge AWiSE. I’m keen to know your thoughts and comments.
In the late 14th century Michel Menschein, a wealthy Viennese cloth merchant, commissioned local artists to paint a series of frescoes on the walls of his banqueting hall. The paintings depicted a cycle of songs by Neidhart von Reuental, a 13th century minnesinger, who was particularly fond of satirising the erotic relationships between knights and peasant maidens.
While the steamy subject matter doubtless enlivened many of Menschein’s dinner parties, it didn’t go down so well with subsequent occupiers. When the banqueting hall came into the possession of a Catholic priest in the late 16th century, the frescoes were painted over, and remained hidden for 300 years, until their chance re-discovery in 1979.
The frescoes now represent the oldest instance of non-religious wall painting in Vienna, and provide a unique glimpse into medieval humour and society. But the centuries under layers of paint and plaster, as well as the laborious process of exposure, took their toll. All the frescoes were damaged and some were almost completely destroyed. Continue reading
Do come and join us on Tuesday 26th March for some fun Easter networking. For just £5, you can enjoy good company, great conversation and excellent refreshments! CAMAWiSE members may also bring a friend for free. Register here
We’ll also be holding our AGM during the evening, at which the following posts are up for election:
- Deputy Chair
If you are interested in standing for election, nomination forms are available to download here. Completed forms should be returned to email@example.com by Sunday 24th March, or you can bring your form along to the AGM. You can also contact us by email if you would like further information before submitting your nomination.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Little did I know, when I joined Cambridge AWiSE in January 2012, that one year later I would be working as the group’s Coordinator! It was a talk on confidence by Kate Atkin which had caught my eye, and encouraged me to become a member. The evening was a fantastic introduction to the group, both in terms of the quality of the meetings and calibre of the speakers, and the friendliness of the members.
I first moved to Cambridge in 1983 – hard to believe it’s my 30th anniversary this year! – via an Environmental Science degree from UEA and an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College. I found a temporary job through the Job Centre, working within a low-profile research and information team for BT. This was a stepping stone to my first permanent post, as Technical Editor at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, and thus my career in scientific information was launched.
Four years later I moved to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) where I worked for eleven years, running a scientific literature alerting service for a number of clients in the chemical and allied industries. I left the RSC in 1999 and set myself up as a freelance scientific information specialist. Continue reading
On 8th February, the Cambridge Science Centre will be opening at 18 Jesus Lane. It is a space for interactive learning and discovery, as well offering a chance for all to appreciate just how amazing science can be. The main goal of the Science Centre is to bring science to people, whether that’s schoolchildren, parents or adults who have a passing interest but few means of satisfying it.
What we have been especially keen to emphasise is the collaborative nature of the Science Centre. The core team behind it form a menagerie of different backgrounds, experiences and approaches. We have individuals with chemistry or physics degree, years or research experience, who are business savvy and well versed in the art of public engagement.
The Science Centre also works with a broad range of researchers and communicators across the region, and so is able to draw on a diverse wealth of knowledge to design exhibitions for the public.
Our opening exhibition features the wonders of light, electricity and magnetism with an array of wonderful hand-built exhibit tables, where people can play with these natural phenomena.
Last night was the last of the WiSE UP series. It was a two hour workshop on Myers Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI). MBTI is a framework to understand your (and other people’s) preferences in operating (whether work or play). The evening was led by Geraint Wyn Story (even though it was his birthday…). It was really enjoyable and I hope people got a lot out of it. I confess to previous knowledge (and fondness) of MBTI. In fact, a couple of years ago I wrote four blog posts on its use and introducing the four dichotomies that make up the 16 personality types, hope you enjoy them:
To list or not to list?
Where do you get your energy from?
Big picture or eye for detail?
How do you make decisions?
by Tennie Videler
“There’s more to the complexity of life than DNA, because there are multiple examples of situations where the same DNA sequence can generate many different outcomes.”
So says Nessa Carey, who will be presenting her thoughts at a joint Cambridge AWiSE / Lucy Cavendish College event on 28th February (6-7pm). Nessa is a former academic who has worked for over a decade in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. She is the author of the popular science book “The Epigenetics Revolution”, published in 2011.
The new science of epigenetics explains phenomena as diverse as the different cell types in the human body, the colours of tortoiseshell cats, the lifespans of queen bees, the interactions between nature and nurture and exciting new therapies for cancer. More controversially, it may also underlie adult consequences of childhood trauma, and even lead to Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics.
This promises to be a fascinating talk, so do come and join us. Registration details are here…
“Nessa Carey … writes brightly and humanely and is full of optimism for this exciting new dawn – both for the deep understanding of life and the potential for medical applications.” (The Guardian, 19th August 2011)
Many AWiSE members are research bioscientists and how many of you have made New Year’s resolutions involving taking some positive action towards your career?
Now might be the time to invest in Sarah Blackford’s book ‘Career Planning for Research Bioscientists’…. Sarah has been working as a careers advisor for Lancaster University and as the Head of Education and Public Affairs for the Society of Experimental Biology for years. The book covers theories of career planning as well as practical aspects of capitalising on your assets. It covers how to write effective CVs, improve your interview technique and where and how to find jobs and ends with a ‘coaching’ chapter to get you action planning.
Sarah gave an enthusiastically received workshop at the WiSE UP career day in June last year on understanding Myers-Briggs personality types. Her expertise in the area of self-awareness is put to use for you in chapter 3.
There is a dedicated section for issues specific to women in chapter 5. I thought the appendices are really illustrative, they cover career narratives (which a lot of people like, as feedback to our events where women talk about their careers attest), social media, example CVs and a list of (web) resources, including a whole page on women in science.