Women in Vision UK launches to unite women in vision and eye research
16 January 2018
Dr Maryse Bailly reports on the successful launch of the Women in Vision UK event in December 2017.
Despite attacks on all sides from dysfunctional trains to various flu and cold bugs, 70 women made it to the 15th December inaugural meeting in London. The meeting was a great success, with a broad range of talks from women at different stage of their careers and showcasing different aspects of working in the field of vision and eye research.
We opened with an inspiring message from Professor Dame Sally Davies, and some hard facts on the inequalities still faced by women in the field of vision presented by Michele Acton, Chief Executive of Fight For Sight. This was followed by talks from women working in the field of vision, from basic scientists to clinicians and journal editors. The talks were insightful and inspiring, highlighting some of the barriers faced by women in their career but also showcasing unbeatable resilience and success, all with good humour.
Networking was great, with a unique opportunity for women from all over the UK, various fields of work and at different levels in their career to meet and discuss over sandwiches and mince pies. In the words of Professor Shahina Pardhan, one of the speakers at the event:
"The networking was really important. I met people and learnt new ideas of how to progress further and also how to help others who are starting out."
We also had a very good interactive session to discuss what we want the network to be and how to get things started.
Overall it was a great day for all and massive success for our network launch, with the next meeting already planned for the 14th December 2018 in Liverpool (organised by Sarah Coupland, Rachel Williams and Sophie Wuerger). Our budding network is already over 170 strong, with women from all over the UK and all aspects of vision.
The inaugural meeting was only the beginning: we now need your input and help to get the network off the ground. Please check our website for a call for volunteers
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Professor Sarah Coupland (University of Liverpool, ARVO Vice President) sharing a joke over coffee during the networking session at the Women in Vision UK Inaugural meeting.