Yourgene Health are proud to celebrate the achievements and talent of our female workforce on International Women’s Day 2023. Here at Yourgene we have women working in a variety of roles across all levels and specialities within our organisation. Read our latest Your Comment article featuring a few of our incredible women working with us and hear about their stories working in the Life Sciences sector.
Jennifer Golding – Product Manager
I am Jennifer Golding, a Product Manager at Yourgene Health. Having chosen Biology, Chemistry and Physics for A-Level, I clearly hoped that a career in science would follow! After two years as a trainee Biomedical Scientist in the NHS I returned to postgraduate studies to find that my grasp of new subject matter. As time has passed, I have realised that good scientists are methodical, precise and diligent. The best scientists are also extremely creative, adaptable and engaging, taking delight in being able to share their area of interest or expertise. Originality, imagination and the ability to inspire are just as valuable and encouraged in STEM as in the industries more widely thought of as creative. The Life Sciences industry moves at an incredible pace and it is so exciting to witness the innovations and novel solutions that are always arising. I find it endlessly motivating that there is always more to learn, and that the aim is constant improvement rather than perfection. We are all aware of the stale, trite caricature of what a woman in the workplace is. I have seen that whilst this is not how women are in reality, we are still more critical of behaviours demonstrated by our fellow women than we would be of that same behaviour if it were demonstrated by a man. I consider myself fortunate to have specialised in qualitative disciplines including Cellular Pathology and Infertility Analysis which were dominated by women. Contrary to the belief that these workplaces are hostile, toxic and ineffective, I found them to be vibrant, nurturing, supportive and very much taking the lead within the marketplace with a truly impressive track record of delivering the highest-quality services to their patients and stakeholders. Retention and engagement were also very high in these spaces. There is room for everybody in science. No matter your level of comprehension, your academic credentials or your experience, there are worthwhile roles that can make the best of your particular mix of skills. There are women (and men) already here who want you to succeed and who will appreciate you.
Victoria Hutchinson – Senior Clinical Research Associate
My name is Vicki and I have been working in Science and Research for almost 10 years. I actually got into science and research by accident, as I was struggling to get a psychology job after finishing my degree. I discovered that the research skills you develop during a psychology degree are suited to Clinical Research as a lot of the focus is on human safety, ethics and maintaining data integrity. I started off as a Clinical Trial Assistant testing cosmetic products and dental products before moving into medical trials. I have worked in both industry and NHS, working with large pharmaceutical companies on a range of different types of clinical trials. I moved to Yourgene in 2016 and I am now a Senior Clinical Research Associate. I was responsible for managing two phase IV clinical trials when I joined the company, however my role has now expanded and become a lot more varied. I am responsible for looking for new studies and collaboration opportunities, managing a biobank of samples, looking for ways to get samples into the company as quickly as possible, advising on patient consent and ethics and running studies alongside my R&D colleagues. I’m proud that we have strong female colleagues and leaders in the R&D team, with women taking on a lot of the leadership roles within the team.
Rebecca Underwood – Product Manager
My name is Rebecca and I am one of the Product Managers at Yourgene Health. In my career I have worked in the scientific industry for the last 20 years, starting off as a lab technician; but for the last 14 years I have been a Product Manager. I love being a Product Manager as I get to work with cross functional teams from product conception with R&D, to selling and promoting the finished product with commercial teams. Every day is different with a variety of tasks to complete. My scientific background enables me to work for companies offering technical products and solutions like Yourgene Health. There are many different careers that you can succeed in with a scientific background!
Freya Sessions – Clinical Research Technician
My name’s Freya and I’m a Clinical Research Technician/Associate Project Manager at Yourgene Health. Since starting my education I have always found myself gravitating towards the sciences and decided to study Biomedical Science at the University of Manchester. Since graduating I have worked in a range of positions across the realms of clinical science both within the lab and behind the scenes. I’ve been lucky enough to always have been surrounded by supportive and encouraging peers who have allowed me to grow into a more confident individual. For anyone wanting to gain experience in the scientific industry I’d really recommend reaching out to companies and individuals who are working in roles you aspire to. People are always impressed by initiative and curiosity so stay curious!
Kelly Bull – Scientist 2
Hi, I’m Kelly and I’ve worked in science and industry for 10 years. My first job was in a high throughput microbiology lab where I first learned the how even the most challenging of environments can be made much more bearable when you’re surrounded by great colleagues who look out for each other. I’ve since worked in R&D which is a complete change of pace, with much more of a focus on long term goals and emphasis on proper planning. Outside of the lab, I’ve been able to work with a cross functional team and expand my skillset beyond a technical foundation. The opportunity to do secondments first in Tech Support and currently in Project Management have allowed me to collaborate with some excellent minds across the company and gives different perspectives on why it’s so important to develop quality products. My advice to anyone is to take an approach of lifetime learning, and take advantage of opportunities when they arise…or create your own!
Catherine Morrisey – Validation Team Leader
I’ve always loved science from an early age and could often be found with my head in a book or studying bugs and other beasties that I could find in the back garden, so I decided on a career in science pretty early on. Over the course of my studies I came to appreciate that science isn’t just about remembering facts and logical thinking, there’s also a lot of space for creativity as you need to be able to think outside of the box at times to come up with novel solutions for real world problems. I spent several happy years working in academic labs across the UK and in the US studying the genetics of various diseases such as lung cancer and metabolic syndrome and I really enjoyed that my work was contributing to knowledge of these common diseases and could one day help in the development of treatments. About eight years ago I made the move into industry and I love the fact that the work that I do has a positive effect on patients in the short to medium term via the tests that we develop. No two days are the same in science, with different challenges and goals arising all the time so theres little chance of boredom. It’s given me many opportunities to develop in a range of different areas, not just in the lab, but also in people management, product development and team work and it’s great to work with people with other backgrounds from different departments to reach common goals. Overall, working in science has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience which gives many opportunities to develop yourself and your career in ways in which you may not have considered when you start out, for this reason I would encourage anyone to pursue a career in science.
Emma Kidman – Design Transfer Team Leader
Hi, my name is Emma and I have been working in science for 20 years now. I was a latecomer to science having not enjoyed it at school. After an undergraduate degree in archaeology, I did an MSc with a big lab component and realised that was what I enjoyed. My first job was as a technician in a large research institute in Manchester where I gained a huge variety of experience supporting the academics. After a few years in a patient testing role I joined Yourgene, I was one if its first recruits. Working in IVD was a new field for me and, after 10 years I have learned so much. Today, I am a Team Leader in the R&D team and have responsibility for the oversight of Design Transfer, part of the process of getting something from lab development to a product we can sell. This role gives me lots of insight in how the other areas of the company function. My career to date has shown me there is so much variety and opportunity within science.