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CERA supports International Women’s Day 2017

Today is International Women’s Day and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) honours our amazingly talented and hard-working researchers, staff, and students. Women make up 65 percent of CERA’s workforce and more than half of all optometrists in Australia are women.

For International Women’s Day 2017 #IWD2017 the theme is #BeBoldForChange. CERA supports change to help forge a better working environment – a more gender inclusive world.

CERA asked some of its female researchers, staff, and students if they had practical advice for women on how to succeed in research, business, and academia. Their advice, from their many different perspectives, holds true for men too.

Here is what they had to say:

“If you are determined to pursue a chosen career path, talk to lots of people to find out the various options, and then make the jump – you don’t have much to lose!” Dr Ann Du, Research Portfolio Manager

“Work in a field that you are passionate about. It makes all the difference if you want to progress your career as a researcher,” Edith Holloway, PhD candidate

“Know what it is you want to achieve in your career and then map out the things you will need to do to get there…look for and ask for opportunities to help grow your skills and knowledge,” Melanie Larizza Senior Research Officer

“Having a great mentor (or 3) has been invaluable, as is having a very understanding and supportive partner,” Associate Professor Lyndell Lim, Head, Clinical Trials Research Centre

“Choosing medical research as a career gives you the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the scientific and wider community. It requires a lot of commitment, perseverance, and hard work…” Dr Isabel Lopez Sanchez, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

“Always look for opportunities to learn, be the first to back yourself for new challenges, and don’t be afraid to stretch yourself in putting yourself forward for higher roles and more responsibility,” Jacinta Mackey, Chief Operating, and Finance Officer

“I think it’s important to decide on one’s own chosen career path and not to be deterred from it. Equally, however, it requires some planning and a realistic understanding of the obstacles/requirements that lie along the path in terms of necessary qualifications, experience, and any life-style trade-offs. Lastly, don’t forget to really enjoy it,” Dr Helen Ormandy Head of Clinical Operations and Manager, Legal and Policy

“It is very rewarding to be your Manager’s right hand, knowing that your job, when done successfully, makes their life so much easier allowing them to get on and do what they do best,” Valma Scaf Executive Assistant to the Managing Director

“The key to being happy and staying motivated is to seek out new challenges and follow what inspires you,” Pyrawy Sivarajah Clinical Trial Coordinator, Orthoptist

“Make sure you do your maths and finance. Go for jobs that are a bit of a stretch for you, rather than what you’re comfortable with. If you don’t ask, you won’t get,” Brigitte Smith Director, CERA, Chair of the Research Advisory Committee

“Definitely go for a career in research- it’s so refreshing to see the bigger goal and the prospect of helping a lot more people,” Jess Tang, Graduate Researcher.


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