Women getting a real kick

Lyn Beazley.
Lyn Beazley.

Professor Beazley believes that events such as International Women’s Day are necessary to remind people of what is important in life and ‘spur us into action’.

‘Women around the world still face many challenges, although these differ from place to place,’ she said.

‘By supporting and educating women, we help make the world a better place for everyone.’

Professor Beazley counts her college principal at university Dame Janet Vaughan as her role model.

Dame Vaughan was a medical researcher who introduced the concept of blood donation to the world and also a voice for medical education for women.

Like her mentor, Professor Beazley’s own research has affected clinical practice ” especially the way infants at risk of pre-term delivery receive treatment.

Professor Beazley would love to see more women enrolling in mathematics, science and engineering-based course at all levels of education.

‘In WA we face a skills shortage and so we need to train more men and women,’ she said.

‘If women are under-represented, it is an issue that warrants attention; it also means that we are not making best use of our talent pool.

‘One area that really stands out where women are still very under-represented is engineering.’

Professor Beazley said the challenges faced by a female scientist are not unique to women, but women tend to face these challenges in a unique way.

‘These would include balancing career and family responsibilities, career development without compromising that of their partner and returning to the work force after career interruptions,’ she said.

‘However, as we know, in some countries, women face even more daunting challenges. Women make great scientists but I can’t claim unique skills in this regard.’

Professor Beazley believes there is equality of opportunity between men and women in the Australian science scene.

‘But for the reasons mentioned above, it may be difficult for women sometimes to take full advantage of these opportunities,’ she said.