Breaking Barriers: Navigating the Exit from Academia

In the realm of academia, women pursuing careers in STEM often encounter a complex array of challenges and opportunities as they strive to chart their paths beyond conventional boundaries. Recently, our event “Breaking Barriers: Women in STEM PhD Edition—Navigating the Exit from Academia” brought together a diverse group of individuals, embarking on a shared journey of empowerment.

The event featured an impressive lineup of speakers (from left to right), including Dr. Adele Lam, leveraging her expertise as an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company; Dr. Helena Dodd, a Policy Advisor at the Cabinet Office and former WIS president; Dr. Carolina Feijao, offering valuable insights as a Senior Policy Advisor in Research and Innovation at the Royal Academy of Engineering; Dr. Chiara Board, the innovative Founder and CEO of P Happi; Dr. Neneh Sallah, exploring the realms of Human Genetics and Genomics at GSK; and Dr. Fenni Kang, pioneering new territories as Head of EMEA/Head of Derivatives at Antalpha.

Each panellist shared their unique experiences, portraying a diverse landscape of possibilities beyond academia. From shaping policies to venturing into entrepreneurship, consultancy, scientific research, and leadership, their varied paths illuminated the multitude of opportunities available to women in STEM. The event was further enriched by sponsorship from Optiver, with Bruna Goncalves encouraging participants to explore unconventional career paths within the STEM domain.

The atmosphere of the event was electric, as participants engaged in lively discussions, posing thoughtful questions, and exchanging personal stories. As the event drew to a close, an inspiring Q&A session provided a fitting conclusion to a day filled with insights and shared experiences.

Attending the event “Breaking Barriers: Woman in STEM – PhD edition” was an incredibly enriching and empowering experience! I was able to hear firsthand the accounts of amazing women about their journeys pursuing PhDs and navigating various and diverse career paths. I was absolutely enlightened by their perspectives and advice. It was inspiring to learn both about how they overcame the challenges they were faced with and about the multitude  of opportunities available within STEM fields. The Q&A session was amazing, and the lunch gathering that followed the event enabled me to network and talk 1:1 with the speakers.”
       – BSc Medical Biosciences Student

Looking back, “Breaking Barriers: Women in STEM PhD Edition” transcended its role as a mere event—it became a narrative of resilience and underscored the importance of collaboration in paving the way for a future where every woman in STEM can thrive.

This event marks just the beginning of a series. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming events and initiatives, as many more stories are waiting to be told and countless barriers are waiting to be broken.

With more to come, yours,

Carolina and
Eleni – Lead web administrator