17 December 2018
Source: Fight for Sight
More than sixty leading female researchers came together in Liverpool on Friday 14 December 2018 for the second annual ‘Women in Vision UK’ conference. Women in Vision UK, which launched in London last year, aims to promote connections between women working in all fields related to vision, to support collaboration and mentoring, and increase female profile in the sector. The network includes scientists and eye health professionals.
Speaking at the conference, Michele Acton, Chief Executive of Fight for Sight said:
“We support Women in Vision UK because it’s essential that we harness all the talent possible in the fight against sight loss. Around 40% of our current grant-holders are female, and that’s an increase from 33% last year, but there is further to go and we’re investing in the future too: 60% of recent Fight for Sight PhD students are female. Women in Vision UK is a superb initiative and we are proud to be a part of it. What happens today is so important for the future of eye research.”
The conference also heard from Fight for Sight Patron Fiona Hathorn, who is also Managing Director of Women on Boards UK, a leading network for women seeking leadership roles in the not-for-profit, private, government and public sectors, who said:
“The glass ceiling exists in every sector and industry, and eye health and medical research are no exception. We have to ask why so many women graduate with degrees in optometry and ophthalmology but so few reach senior academic or research positions.”
Urging women to start thinking about joining a board early in their career, Ms Hathorn said: “We all have brilliant skills and abilities to bring to a board, and it doesn’t have to be linked to our profession. Women on Boards helps and supports women in making the transition to the boardroom, from developing a board resumé to interview skills.”
Women in Vision UK is coordinated from University College London with support from Fight for Sight, which leads Women in Vision UK’s efforts to promote women speakers at conferences and events. The next Women in Vision UK conference takes place in Belfast in December 2019.