Here one geneticist turned business development manager talks about how her passion for gliding set her off on a different career path.
Name: Dr Beverley Vaughan
Job title: Business Development and Academic Engagement
Company: Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Age: 30 something!
Home: Lane End, Buckinghamshire
Tell me a little about your background/job and how you entered this field
I originally thought that I wanted to be a Doctor. After finishing my degree in Genetics at Durham University I wanted to do a PhD but I knew it wasn’t the right time. I went on to do a four-year training programme at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge as a Clinical Research Scientist, rotating around different pathology units in haematology, oncology and transplantation science. The cytogenetics team then moved to University College London and I followed to study for my PhD at the Royal Free Hospital and University College Hospital Trust for four and half years, part time, whilst working with the cytogenetics team.
After my PhD I was offered a job as a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University where they gave me a lab and a research group. Then through my gliding, I met an entrepreneur who asked me to come and work for her start-up company, I thought to myself if I don’t do this now I never will. At this company I became the Director of Operations, which was a change because you had to do everything. I gained a huge web of contacts and experience.
Miranda Knaggs, Sales, Marketing and Events Manager at SBC, contacted the company and wanted to talk to someone about working together with events, but by the end of the conversation Miranda explained they were looking for someone to join the team. Three months later I was part of the team at SBC!
My current job role is Business Development and Academic Engagement, which includes doing medical research across the globe, being ahead of the game and knowing where the points of excellence are for our tenants so they know where they need to go and who they need to talk to.
What have been your biggest successes to date?
While at Anglia Ruskin University I was interviewed on the radio for work on legal highs and I have talked at the European Union for the Office of Science and Technology in Brussels.
If you had advice for young women wishing to follow a similar career path what would it be?
Never give up and don’t ever stand still!
Do you think enough young women are being encouraged to consider a career in science and other STEM –related areas?
In the labs you see as many women as you do men, however I feel more needs to be done to get women into Board level and senior management positions. The Government and the sector need to look at different ways of recruiting through to that level.
Have you any suggestions about what more could be done?
It’s a high level thing that needs to be addressed; a shift in how work/life balance would be a good starting point. Maybe looking at other countries (who have a different approach) and the way they support people in the workplace.
What efforts does SBC go to encourage more women into science/technology?
We try and promote the women we know to go forward into new senior roles.