Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Profiles’ Category

Meet the Steering Committee – Isabel Tingay

isabel

Isabel Tingay

What is your current profession/background?

I hold a PhD in Chemistry and currently work at an International Chemicals company, developing after-treatment solutions for the automotive industry. I apply my knowledge and skills to the creation of next generation catalysts.  I started in research and followed this with a move to development. This involves working with customers to understand their requirements, turning these into development projects.

What point in your life led you to pursue a career in STEM?

I have always had a keen interest in how things work; one of my earliest memories is finding a bird skeleton in the garden and working out how it functioned and fitted together!  I was fortunate to be taught by two very inspirational chemistry teachers at school who sparked off and encouraged my interest in chemistry.

 

What is one of your biggest aspirations?

To use science to improve the environment and human health.  I spent a year in a research lab in France studying marine sediments for pollutants. This was both thoroughly enjoyable and the turning point in my decision of how I was to apply my scientific background in my career.  I have continued this through my work, reducing pollution from trucks and buses.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring female scientists and engineers?

Follow what interests you and what you love doing.  Seek out a mentor and offer mentoring to others.  Actively manage your career at all times.  And most importantly, science and engineering are fascinating and constantly changing subjects, so enjoy!

 

How have you benefited from being a part of CAMAWiSE?

I have been a member of CAMAWiSE for a couple of years and it has been wonderful to meet fellow STEM professionals with similar interests and experiences.  The workshops have been complementary to the training I have received through my job and have given me additional tools to use for personal development.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I have completed the Cambridge half marathon and fit in exercise whenever I can.  I have an allotment and love spending a Sunday afternoon digging, weeding and growing unusual produce.  I even grew award-winning pumpkins this year!

 

Ask me about …

Automotive catalysis, spot the truck and name the catalyst (!), and balancing a career with having children.

My Homeward Bound Journey: The Beginning by Cathy Sorbara.

A little over four months ago, was the annual general meeting CamAWiSE, my first event acting as Chair. I listened to a talk by Dr. Deborah Pardo, a population modeller from the British Antarctic Survey, who was part of Homeward Bound’s maiden voyage to Antarctica last year. I heard her talk with such passion and clarity about Homeward Bound’s mission and how it has changed her life that I knew immediately that I needed to be part of this story.

Homeward Bound, she said, is a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative, and outreach for women, set against the backdrop of Antarctica.

The initiative, turned global movement, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet.

IMG_4597

Deborah Pardo

When it launched in 2016, Homeward Bound gathered the first 76 of a targeted 1,000 women from around the world, all with critical science backgrounds, to undertake a year-long state-of-the-art program to develop their leadership and strategic capabilities, using science to build conviction around the importance of their voices. The inaugural program culminated in the largest-ever female expedition to Antarctica, in December 2016, with a focus on the leadership of women and the state of the world.

Image result for homeward bound antarctica

Where do I sign up? I asked her following her talk. Serendipitously, the applications for the 2018 voyage were due three days later.

I rushed home and cleared my schedule for the weekend. I started to scroll through the online application and with each question my inner critic was pleading for me to quit. The questions ranged from Why are you suitable for Homeward Bound? To Given your science background, how do you think your leadership could influence policy and decision making? I even had to create a 2-minute elevator pitch and upload it to YouTube for their assessment.

I searched through last years’ participant videos and felt completely out of my league. These women were true leaders, leading inspirational lives. They were professors, heads of research organizations and environmental conservationists.

I, on the other hand, was a biochemist by training, I did my Ph.D. in Medical Life Science in Munich Germany and following my graduate studies, I stepped away from research. I never considered myself a leader and found the label very intimating.

Then there was the biggest catch. One of the project’s objectives is to be 100% self-funded, so not ‘not-for-profit’ and not ‘for-profit’. All women must contribute $16 000 USD. This covers the cost of being on the ship for 21 nights, hotel accommodation, faculty meetings, administration and operational contributions. On top of this, I would still need to pay for flights to our departure point at Ushuaia, Argentina.

I scrolled seemingly hundreds of times through the application and last years’ participant list, slowly talking myself out of applying. Then I saw a paragraph at the very of the application in BOLD. It said, We know women tend to only apply to positions where we feel we qualify 100%. We are here to tell you: JUST APPLY. We want women from a variety of STEM backgrounds at a variety of stages in the leadership journey. Sincerely, The Homeward Bound Team.

 

C28MOq2W8AA-OYG

Photo by Deborah Pardo

 

Then I started thinking of my own situation.

I am in a unique position. I am a scientist, chair of CamAWiSE and COO of the Cheeky Scientist Association, a global training platform for STEM academics looking to transition into industry. I have the ability to lead, influence and contribute to the lives of thousands of women and hopefully instill upon them confidence and encouragement to achieve their goals. My colleagues are located across Europe, Australia, India, and America, to name but a few countries. Building relationships, managing time zones and learning remote communication tools to enhance my leadership and strategical capability is not only a bonus but an absolute necessity for me to be successful in my current role and make a difference in the lives of others. I bring with me the voice of early career scientist that I counsel daily and know first hand their struggles, fears and dreams that need be heard in order to create policies to shape the future of our planet.

 

In particular, self-doubt within female PhDs is incredibly strong and inhibiting. I joined Homeward Bound to prove to those graduates that we can all be leaders and that leadership comes in many forms and from many fields.

To me, leadership is about finding out who you are as a person and using your gifts, your own unique attributes, to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves. Leaders do not create a vision on their own but bring together the best team of individuals that together can achieve greatness. When a great leader steps down or moves on, the team not only remains strong but can thrive due to the lasting impression of that leader and confidence she instilled upon.

Homeward Bound is definitely outside my comfort zone, which is why I am even more driven to do it.

Two weeks after submitting my application, I received the congratulatory email that I was selected out of the hundreds of women across the globe that had applied. We will be stronger together!

If you would like to support my journey, please see my crowd funding page here: https://igg.me/at/fb1KLsOodu8

 

 

March 7th -How to get the best from mentoring as a mentor and a mentee

The booking for the 3rd Wise-up workshop is now open. Learn how to get the best from mentoring: as a mentor and mentee. Mentoring is a rewarding experience which allows the sharing of knowledge and skills to help individuals gain confidence, develop ideas, fine tune value propositions, get funding or secure a pilot.

Natacha is a Mentor with the Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, an organization which supports women entrepreneurs around the world. The Foundation provides support in business skills, technology, networks and access to capital so that women can build their capability, confidence, and capital necessary to establish and grow their businesses and create employment opportunities. She was a Mentor for the Accelerator Programme at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

porster2Natacha is a Lecturer and Fellow at the Cambridge Marketing College, Director of a leadership and development programme for CEOs of charities and social enterprises Ella Forums, and until recently, Advisor to Cambridge’s E-Luminate Festival.

The Workshop will be held in the Woodlegh Room at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

The booking for the 4th WiSE UP workshop ‘Confidence: the ultimate career ingredient‘ is also open. Book for both at a reduced price.

Tuesday 7th March. 8-10pm

 Booking is now closed

Profile: Harriet Fear – CEO, One Nucleus

Harriet joined One Nucleus (formerly ERBI) as CEO in February 2009. She previously worked as a Diplomat with the British Foreign Office for 21 years serving in over 17 countries around the globe. Half her career was spent in the commercial field, latterly heading UK Trade & Investments national life sciences trade team for over 5 years.

During her varied Foreign Office career she was Deputy Ambassador three times, Private Secretary to the Minister for Europe, led an evacuation of Brits out of the Congo and worked in Khymer Rouge territory with Scotland Yard on a hostage crisis. She now enjoys a calmer life in the UK!

Read more

%d bloggers like this: