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Women in Vision UK breaking barriers in their field

30 November 2017

Women in Vision UK

A team of scientists and clinicians from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have joined forces with professionals in vision and eye health to host the first ever Women in Vision UK meeting on 15th December 2017 in London.

The programme includes speakers prominent in vision science and ophthalmology, and will be of interest to anyone from any level working in vision. Supported by the NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Equality Challenge, and Fight for Sight, the UK’s leading eye research charity, the meeting marks the creation of the Women in Vision UK network. It is the first ever UK-wide group supporting collaborative working, increasing the profile of women in the field and disseminating information and support tools specifically for female researchers and practitioners.

Historically, ophthalmology and vision research have been male-dominated and women working in eye research and eye health can feel isolated. Women in Vision UK aims to change this by offering support, especially to early career researchers and clinicians. The network aims to entice rising stars to the field as well as to support women who are already established, thereby ensuring equality of access to professional opportunities.

Maryse Bailly, Reader in Cell Biology, who is leading the meeting with Professor Julie Daniels and Dr Mariya Moosajee, says “This meeting is so important to those of us working hard to ensure equal gender representation in ophthalmology and vision research. We want to generate a positive message to young people starting out in the field. This is only the beginning but we’ve already had such great feedback on our plans and women from all over the UK are signing up to join the network. We are really excited about the changes we can make for the future.”

Michele Acton, Fight for Sight’s Chief Executive, says “Fight for Sight is delighted to support this initiative. In supporting the delivery of pioneering eye research to deliver solutions to patients, we want to help ensure that we’re funding the best researchers and help make sure everyone has access to the same opportunities.”

The meeting will include a special video message from Dame Sally Davies and talks from inspiring women from all areas of vision research and eye health on their journey to success.  Other key organisations will be speaking at the one-day meeting and there will be networking opportunities for all.

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