THIS IS NOW AN ONLINE EVENT: Women Rising in STEM: Past, Present & Future

Thursday, 19 March 2020
17:30 - 19:45
Free to attend

The Rising Network is proud to launch Women Rising in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) – a series of industry-focused discussions and interactive mentoring events, spotlighting on the progression of women in STEM. We are delighted that this event is part of the Cambridge Science Festival.

***This is now an online event due to Coronavirus, please note that the format of the event has been adjusted slightly to turn this event into an online webinar***

The launch of this new series within the Rising Network will take place across the month of March in recognition of International Women’s Day on 8th March. The aim of the series is to provide mentoring support to women, including aspiring students right through to those who have a career in industry, with access to women of influence who have broken barriers and industry professionals who are driving innovation and diversity.

Women Rising in STEM provides the opportunity to network and learn with industry experts who have been successful in navigating their career, gaining insight into how they overcame obstacles. Through this series, the Rising Network aims to work in collaboration with industry to encourage women, to not only choose to enter industry where their talents make a massive difference, but to remain in industry, to address the growing skills gap and to increase the representation of women in STEM.

Women have always played a hugely important role in the advancement of science, yet often their contribution has been hidden from history.

Thankfully, this is now changing against a background of increased awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion and the advent of a younger, more confident generation entering into science and demanding the recognition they deserve. As a result of this, the momentum for change is unstoppable. Yet the research shows that women are leaving the profession, due to a perceived lack of opportunities for career progression, coupled with a limited vision of what career paths might be available outside of traditional laboratory-based roles.

Having a positive role model can make a big difference in helping to stop this leakage.

Within the context of a multi-generational workforce, sharing stories of achievement from successful women at different stages of their career, can provide a compelling reason for women to stay within the scientific profession. Therefore, it supports a much-needed pipeline, celebrating and learning from the experience of the past, building on the opportunities of the present and fulfilling the promise of the future.

This event will see three inspirational female scientists, including one who has been awarded an OBE, tell their stories about their science journey, including overcoming obstacles along the way, and how they have – and are – contributing to the body of scientific knowledge while enjoying rich and rewarding careers.

Talk 1: “STEM Careers in Cool Places” – Dr Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley, Director of Innovation and Impact at British Antarctic Survey

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica. Beatrix will highlight the progress that has been made in women accessing opportunities in this traditionally male-dominated environment, and will provide insights into the breadth of careers that women with STEM backgrounds can now choose in polar science and operations, illustrating this with her own career journey. She will share opportunities we all can seize to both grow and help others to grow, and increase diversity and inclusion in each of our spheres of influence.

Talk 2: “Making the most of opportunities” – Dr Jane K Osbourn OBE, VP Research and Development of MedImmune, Chair of the Board of Directors of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), Director of Babraham Bioscience Technologies & Director of Cambridge Enterprise

My career has been dedicated to the development of medicines that make a real difference to patients’ lives. I was very fortunate to begin working on antibody therapies early at a time when the technologies and approaches had great promise but were still unproven and I learnt a huge amount for being involved in this field at this particular time. It has been a interesting journey with many challenges and opportunities along the way. It is important to focus on the opportunities and always keep your longer term goals in mind to build a rewarding career in science.

Talk 3: “Reflection of my career in STEM” – Dr Julia Wilson, Associate Director, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Julia Wilson will be covering a personal account of herself, her career, the choices that she made, the struggles and successes. This talk will touch on ambition, balancing life and work, changing careers, changing priorities and unexpected challenges.


17:30 – Event start and welcome from the Rising Network Chapter Lead
17:40 – Talks and mentoring
19:45 – Event close

This is an online event – please see below instructions to join the online meeting room.

We hope you can join us online for a night of inspiration and hear from speakers on how they will #PayItForward to create a more inclusive world.

As with all our events, we pride ourselves in creating a relaxed and welcoming environment to enable meaningful relationships and connections to be made. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

Thank you to our Ally Partner Arm and Anglia Ruskin University for supporting the launch of Women Rising in STEM.


SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES – If you would like to sponsor this event or a similar event, get in touch with [email protected]

Join the Rising Network to help you to: 

  • Get outside your comfort zone and expand your network by creating new relationships.
  • Gain ideas and inspiration to drive your professional and personal development forward.
  • Learn and build your leadership and business skills.
  • Raise your profile and business to prospective customers.
  • Work through personal or professional challenges in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Empower yourself by learning tools and techniques to create positive changes in life, at work and at home.
  • Develop your presenting and networking skills in a safe and supportive environment.
At the Rising Network we run events throughout the year and membership offers you member benefits plus free to attend/member rates to attend events. See membership benefits HERE
Check out what’s happening in the network here:

Speaker Biographies

About Dr Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley
Beatrix is Director of Innovation and Impact at British Antarctic Survey. Her passion is to ensure that excellent research has benefit for society beyond academia, and addresses the burning issues of our time. A protein biochemist by background with 20 years experience in conducting and applying research, she has driven the development of the AURORA Innovation Centre at BAS. Through its conference and exhibition facilities and Collaboration Space, AURORA fosters excellent research and entrepreneurial activity in the areas of climate change, environmental stewardship and technologies for challenging environments, addressing issues of global importance and helping society adapt to a changing world.

About Dr Jane K Osbourn OBE: Jane was an early employee of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT), which became MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. At CAT she contributed to the development of phage display technology, for which Sir Greg Winter was awarded the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 2018. An expert in biologics discovery and development, she has authored many key publications and patents, and during her time at MedImmune / AstraZeneca and contributed to the discovery and development of eight marketed drugs.
In 2019 she took on the role of CSO of Alchemab, with a focus on identifying self-protective antibodies for neurodegeneration and oncology, and is also Chair of the Cambridge-based cell therapy company Mogrify. She is passionate about the development of the UK biotechnology sector and served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the BioIndustry Association from 2015-2019. She is also a Director of Babraham Bioscience Technologies and a Director of Cambridge Enterprise.
Jane has a First Class degree in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in plant virology from the John Innes Institute in Norwich. She has presented at a number of parliamentary Select Committees and has previously served as a Member of the UK Medical Research Council Industry Grant Award Assessment Panel, and is a member of the Crick Translational Advisory Group. In 2016 she was recognised in the PharmaVoice 100, and also in Fierce Pharma’s “Fierce Women in Biopharma” – one of 15 women in the global industry noteworthy for their leadership, providing mentorship and helping increase opportunities for women in science. In 2019 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to drug discovery, development and biotechnology.

About Dr Julia Wilson
Julia builds and supports the relationships that are needed to support the strategic vision of the Sanger Institute. These activities range from interactions with the academic scientific community, commercial partners, funders and government and policymakers.
Julia increases awareness of the Sanger Institute’s research, explores new collaborations and areas of research, strengthens and builds on existing links to accelerate and expand the impact and reach of Sanger Institute science. She works to translate the outcomes of research and position the Sanger Institute as a source of translational opportunities. In addition she raises awareness of the importance and impact of genomics research with government and policy makers and facilitates the translation of genomics research into clinical practice.
Previously Julia was Assistant Director of Research at Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Science Programme Manager at the World Cancer Research Fund. As a scientist she was a post-doc at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and then worked as a cancer researcher for a number of years at Cancer Research UK and Queen Mary University of London.

Chair and Mentoring Facilitators Biographies

About Emilie Louvet – Science Industry Chapter Lead

Emilie joined AstraZeneca in 2016, where she first held a position in Precision Medicine, Tissue Diagnostic group. She is now a member of the Translational Medicine group, part of the Oncology Research and Development function. Emilie is a member of the “Network of Women & Me” at AstraZeneca that promotes personal development and empowerment.
With the support of AstraZeneca, Emilie became recently a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) and a SIP (Science Industry Partnership) Ambassador to inspire young people to engage into scientific careers within the science based industries.

Prior to joining the industry, Emilie worked at Gustave Roussy (France), a cancer center in the outskirts of Paris, where she co-lead the “Development in Pathology” group. Emilie has a background as a cell biologist. She obtained her PhD from Paris 5 university and Institut Jacques Monod (France), and continued her research at Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) and Kyoto University (Japan).

Emilie married a French American in Sweden and gave birth to her daughter in Japan. In her free time, Emilie enjoys physical exercise; cheese, wine, whiskey and gin tastings (not all at a time); baking for her daughter; visiting museums with her family. She also enjoys participating in the Rising Network activities.

Emillie comments: “Since I started my career, I have been involved in promoting science and became engaged as a woman in science. Joining the Rising Network’s Leadership Team of the Cambridge Chapter as Science Industry Lead is the perfect opportunity to promote women in science within my community and the network.”

About Sharon Budworth – HR Chapter Lead

Sharon is currently Head of HR UK & EMEA at Domino Printing Sciences in Bar Hill, Cambridge. She has worked in Human Resources for over 25 years, beginning her career in the 1990’s at Napp Pharmaceuticals on the Cambridge Science Park. Sharon has gained significant HR experience across a variety of sectors including Telecoms, Higher Education, Software, Retail and Engineering. She is passionate about HR and is particularly interested in the rising trend in applying ‘disruptive approaches’ in the workplace. An advocate for greater diversity in technology and engineering she is committed to leading change. Domino is now a member of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) and has started reaching out to similar organisations to find new and innovative ways to attract more women into STEM roles.
Leadership Development, Talent, Engagement, Employee Experience and Wellness are a few of the key projects that Sharon and the Domino HR Team are focussing on right now.
Sharon is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and has also taken opportunities to develop elsewhere. She is a trained Doula, Childbirth Educator and Yoga for Pregnancy Teacher, teaching Yogabirth classes in Cambridge for eight years until 2016. She is married, has three children and lives in St Ives Cambridgeshir

About Rosa Dos Santos – Membership Chapter Lead

Rosa, MD of Exact Sourcing started the firm ten years ago where she actively works with her team to identify and recruit staff for growing organisations in Cambridgeshire region.

Rosa has worked in client facing roles for over twenty years and recruitment for just over half of that. Her roles have always focused around client engagement, building trust, relationships and identifying opportunities.

Rosas passion and motivation is to help others through recruitment and she is a mother of twins, Orsen and Health.

Our Partners and Supporters

About ARM: Arm® technology is at the heart of a computing and connectivity revolution that is transforming the way people live and businesses operate. From the unmissable to the invisible, our advanced, energy-efficient processor designs are enabling the intelligence in 86 billion silicon chips and securely powering products from the sensor to the smartphone to the supercomputer. With more than 1,000 technology partners including the world’s most famous business and consumer brands, we are driving Arm innovation into all areas where compute is happening inside the chip, the network and the cloud.
With offices around the world, Arm is a diverse community of dedicated, innovative and highlytalented professionals. By enabling an inclusive and open workplace where all our people can grow and succeed, we encourage them to share their unique contributions to Arm’s success in the global marketplace.
As the foundation of a global ecosystem of technology innovators, we empower the world’s most successful business and consumer brands. Everyday thousands of partners embed more than 45 million Arm-based chips in products that connect people and enhance the human experienceExtensible, scalable and ever evolving, it’s a foundation that confirms how we lead by design — to serve today, anticipate tomorrow. There’s nothing ordinary about Arm. Our collaborative culture, unique partner ecosystem and our innovations that shape the connected world are all as extraordinary as our people. For more information, visit:

About ARU: ARU is a modern and innovative global university, with students from all over the world. First established as the Cambridge School of Art in 1858, ARU has grown and today has campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Peterborough and London, and educational partnerships across the world. Having invested over £100 million in recent years in their facilities, including the first School of Medicine in Essex, and their new Science Centre in Cambridge, ARU has ambitious plans for the future. Rated highly for their teaching excellence and world-class research, they are consistently named as one of the top 350 institutions internationally by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings. ARU prides itself on its inclusivity, welcoming students from a wide range of academic and societal backgrounds. Passionate about transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research, ARU aim to support students to discover their strength and unlock their full potential. For more information, visit:

About the Rising Network

The Rising Network is a vibrant network of professional women empowering women to reach their true potential and to live a balanced life. We take a holistic approach towards life and enrich our members professionally and personally by providing a supportive learning and networking environment, both online and at face-to-face events, where tools, strategies and techniques can be learned and developed. As well as supporting our individual members, we offer events, webinars and courses to the public and tailored programmes and workshops to organisations, universities and other networks.

17:30 – Event start and welcome from the Rising Network Chapter Lead
17:40 – Talks and mentoring
19:45 – Event close