Supporters of women in science shine

Winners of the 2018 Sex in Science Awards on the Wellcome Genome Campus

Supporters of women in science shine

7 Mar 2018 - 16:28


  • Gender champions from EMBL-EBI, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Connecting Science celebrated in the fourth edition of the Sex in Science Best Practice Awards on the Wellcome Genome Campus 
  • The EMBL-EBI winner is Elspeth Bruford, Co-ordinator of HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee
  • Winners were selected for excellent mentoring and management skills, as well as supporting their team in many different ways 

On International Women’s Day (8 March) the Wellcome Genome Campus celebrates members of staff who lead the way in supporting women in science with the presentation of the Sex in Science Best Practice Awards. Congratulations to the winners of the fourth annual awards: Elspeth Bruford from EMBL-EBI, Genny Kiff of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Treasa Creavin from Connecting Science’s Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences.

Elspeth Bruford, Co-ordinator of HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee at EMBL-EBI was nominated for a Best Practice Award by multiple team members, who expressed personal stories of how Elspeth had supported women in her team over the years and nurtured their talent at all stages of their careers. Elspeth has had a great, positive influence on her team, from supporting staff through multiple maternity leaves, assisting with part-time working and providing help for women to stay in their role when they might have otherwise left science.

“I was very touched that my team thought of nominating me," said Bruford. "I guess it showed me that I’ve been doing something right. As a team leader, you have to understand that everyone’s family circumstances are different, so you have to be flexible to the needs of your team if you want them to be happy. People work best when they’re happy so you should do whatever you can to accommodate their needs. It may take more time, but it will definitely be worth it.”

Chief Financial Officer at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Genny Kiff was nominated for a Best Practice award for her no-nonsense approach and strong support of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of work. Genny is seen as an inspirational role model for other staff at the Sanger Institute, and has been described as a ‘catalyst for change’.

Treasa Creavin, Scientific Programme Manager at Connecting Science has had an instrumental role in developing and implementing the Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences Gender Balance policy. Her work on increasing the percentage of female speakers at conferences in the 2018 conference programme from 30 per cent to 50 per cent led to her nomination for a Best Practice Award. Treasa was also behind the new Carer Bursaries scheme, which supports delegates with caring responsibilities, enabling them to attend events and further their careers.

In the run up to the Best Practice Awards, all staff working at the Wellcome Genome Campus were invited to nominate a colleague who had made a positive difference to women's careers.

Nominees included: Chris Dooley, Claire O'Donovan, Daniel Suveges, Ele Zeggini, Evangelia Petsalaki, Fran Gale, Helen Savage, Inês Barroso, Julia Wilson, Ludovic Vallier, Mark Green, Martin Hemberg, Maya Ghoussaini, Nicole Soranzo, Paris Litterick, Rob Finn, Sandra Orchard, Sarah Sims, Sarah Teichmann, Simon Clare, Sue Lee and Yali Xue.

“It’s encouraging to see the Best Practice Awards becoming an established initiative on the Wellcome Genome Campus," said Ewan Birney, Director of EMBL-EBI. "This year, we had a wider range of nominees than ever before, many of which go beyond good management practice. We’re hoping this year’s winners will inspire new success stories and further strengthen the collaborative culture on campus.”

Recognition of role models who support women in science is just one activity of the Wellcome Genome Campus Sex in Science programme. Over the last year, members of the Sex in Science team have been busy in broadening their scope of work beyond gender, and have established the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of work.

Contact the news team

Oana Stroe
Communications Officer
+44 (0)1223 494 369

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