Dr Angela Walsh, Business Development,
Science and Technology Facilities Council
“Follow your passion for Science and Technology. There are various ways to get into science and you don’t need to follow the career path of university first.”
My undergraduate degree was in Chemistry. After industrial placements in Sweden and Iceland, I decided to do a PhD in Corrosion Science. I have been working for the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for several years now and have held a variety of roles centring around supercomputers and digitalisation.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I am passionate about Science and Technology and making it accessible to all.
I have been privileged to work with forward-thinking organisations to help them access the most current technology that the UK has to offer. Through democratising AI, data science and other scientific ‘know how’, I have been able to help organisations take that next step towards their digital goals. The opportunity to do so is greatly rewarding.
WOULD YOU SAY THERE ARE MANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WHAT YOUR JOB ENTAILS?
Sadly, people can have very stereotypical ideas about what science roles can and can’t entail. Science and Technology is a huge discipline and that means that there are a huge number of roles and opportunities within it.
I am frequently awestruck by the things that STFC have achieved and are working towards. Science is about improvement and bettering the world we live in. That’s what a science career is about.
DURING YOUR CAREER, HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY BARRIERS AND CHALLENGES?
In any career, we face barriers and challenges. The first thing I would recommend is to choose a job you will love doing. If you are passionate about your career and work in a great team, most challenges can be overcome.
Collaboration, communication and transparency can break down many barriers.
WHAT CHALLENGES AND BARRIERS DO YOU THINK THERE ARE FOR WOMEN IN INDUSTRY?
When some women take career breaks or opt for flexible working, there can be (not always!) negative perceptions from managers and teammates about this. Regardless of gender, we need to challenge these perceptions and support our co-workers to ensure that everyone succeeds
WHAT ELEMENTS DO YOU THINK WOMEN BRING TO INDUSTRY?
On a daily basis, I see the value that diverse employees add to problem-solving and novel solutions. This diversity is critical in fast-paced Science and Technology environments.
History has shown us that women have enjoyed huge successes in science – For example, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin etc. Without women, who knows what we would still be trying to discover and/or invent?
I hope that we can build a greener and sustainable economy together.