Why are you in this industry/occupation?
I enjoy medical research because I am paid to ask lots of questions about how the human body works. My main area is understanding the immune system in the breast and how breast cancer can develop. Medical research allows people to think independently and develop ideas to understand biological conundrums.
What are the benefits?
My brain is always engaged in my work and I never get bored. We are surrounded by other people who have the passion for science and seeking answers.
What are the drawbacks?
The pay scale is not very good when considering all the years of study to obtain a PhD. Also job security is very poor, researchers receive only 1 year contracts which are dependent on grant success. Current medical grant success rates are only 15%.
Why do you encourage other women and girls to consider the industry/occupation?
Science encourages independent thinking and innovation in people. If you are able to solve problems in the lab and manage multiple students, you develop confidence in your abilities. I feel a lot more confident about tackling vastly different areas in my life knowing how I can problem-solve in my research.