Lack of role-models for women in science remains an issue, and the International Day of Women In Science is a UN-backed global effort to highlight how science and gender equality are vital for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The COVID-19 pandemic has further spotlit a need to inspire girls and women to pursue careers within science.
The University of Brighton recently received the prestigious institutional Athena Swan Silver Award for its impact in addressing gender inequality and improving progression for women across the entire university, part of a five-year action plan to tackle issues such as the gender pay gap and so-called ‘glass ceilings’ which can impact on career progression.
In 2021, University of Brighton virologist Dr Sarah Pitt was recognised as the Biomedical Scientist of the Year by the Institute of Biomedical Science for her work on public safety and patient care during the pandemic. In addition to provide regular media comment and information to the public, Dr Pitt has provided valuable insights into the virology of COVID-19, and helped with guidance to laboratory staff in hospitals, the public and schools involved in lateral flow testing.