Cambridge AWiSE steering group member – Dr Vivien Hodges
- Dr Vivien Hodges
WiSETI was established in 1999 and aims to redress an under-representation of women in employment and career progression in STEMM disciplines at the University of Cambridge.
WiSETI supports women in STEM at the University in a number of ways including organising activities such as seminars for early career female researchers and PhD and Postdocs, and an Annual Lecture, running a CV Mentoring Scheme for women wishing to apply for promotion and supporting good practice in science through Athena SWAN.
Having spent most of my career in a research environment within Academia and Industry I decided to use my skills to work in the learning and development field.
Book review: Dorothy Hodgkin- A life by Georgina Ferry
Last year Georgina Ferry gave a talk to Cambridge AWiSE. She has written biographies on Dorothy Hodgkin and Max Perutz. I bought a copy of ‘Dorothy Hodgkin- A life’ and really enjoyed it. I lent it to a crystallographer friend rather than writing the review straight away (which is a positive sign in itself). So here is a view of the book that has been mmm, left to mature… As I’ve said before, I quite like to structure blog posts around 9 points:
1. As a book it works really well, avoiding many of the pitfalls of a biography. There is a good balance between Dorothy’s life story and her science. Not too much foreshadowing of the greatness to come, the linear-with-time-format works well, especially as Georgina manages to still bring a twist in the tail.
2. Dorothy’s life is totally fascinating and she comes across as totally likeable but without any saccharine.
3. I did not know she suffered from arthritis. This made me admire her even more as she would have had no recourse to the drugs that us modern -day sufferers have!
So, what can modern day women in science learn?
After the success of last year’s format, we will again feature a workshop on peer mentoring at the Cambridge AWiSE AGM on Tuesday 21st February.
Peer mentoring is the idea of providing mentoring in a group of peers. In such a group everyone mentors each other. It works on the assumption that we all gain different experiences and in a group of committed and intelligent women there will be useful experiences relating to your current situation.
Professor Dame Sandra Dawson is a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, professor of Management Studies at Judge Business School (which she pretty much founded and led for 10 years), and was the first female Master of Sidney Sussex College. She has previously worked in the civil service and as a researcher, lecturer and professor at Imperial College. She is now non-executive director of the UK Financial Services Authority as well as Oxfam.
I like to try and distill a talk I’ve listened to/ report I’ve read into a few ‘learning points’ (for historical reasons this has crystalised into 9, but I find it is just useful to have a number to whittle down to/ group into). So here are my favourite 9 points….