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Celebrating Lextox’s women in science

International Women’s Day seeks to raise awareness of gender inequality, discrimination and fighting biases. At Lextox, we actively invest in the women who work for us and are proud to say that half our senior management team is made up of women.

Women in STEM

All week we have been celebrating Lextox’s own women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and their journeys in the scientific field as we know that this is an area where, globally, women often face barriers in their progression.

Almost all the women we spoke to said their interest in science started at a young age. Reporting Scientist, Emily, said she “always enjoyed science at school but [had] fairly narrow ideas about what careers it might open.” This lack of inspiration is a sentiment echoed by Laboratory Analyst, Rosie, who said her science lessons were “interesting, but due to the dull lesson delivery, I felt dissatisfied and wanted to know more.” These comments reflect decades of young women being discouraged to take up STEM subjects but the tide is starting to turn, with more girls than ever taking up GCSE and A Level subjects in the area.

As a business driven by scientific innovation, we are pleased to see an increasing number of young women looking to enter scientific careers as the next breakthrough cannot happen unless a diverse range of minds are at work. As Laboratory Analyst, Bindi, says: “A career in STEM provides me with opportunities for exploration, experimentation and innovation [for] the betterment of humanity.”

The other women in science

While Lextox is a scientific company, there are many more arms to the business to ensure that we deliver industry leading drug and alcohol testing services for our clients. From sales, to quality, to marketing and more, we have plenty of women in science outside of the lab.

One such person is National Sales Manager, Sue, who has a background in sales support and development, predominantly in the waste industry. She never saw herself working in a science-based business but was “drawn to Lextox as [she] wanted to be involved in an organisation that cares and actively contributes to the wellbeing of children,” showing that the effects of science go so much further than simply tests and analysis

Marketing Manager, Ellie, has similar views. “I had never considered working in a scientific business but learning about the real-world effects of Lextox made me want to get involved. It’s incredible what science is capable of and every day I’m amazed by the work we do.”

What next?

Great strides have been made for women in science but there is clearly still work to be done to ensure more access and less prejudice. For Bindi, she would like to see more support for girls interested in a career in science “that includes mentorship programmes and initiatives to address the work-life balance challenges faced by most women.” Reporting Scientist Team Manager, Angharad, also wants to see “continued inclusion for women within the field, especially in areas that may be considered more suited to men.”

Recognition is also very important for many of the women we spoke to, with Donna noting that she wants to see more women winning the Nobel prize and Bindi commenting that recognition can be achieved through “incorporating more diverse perspectives and voices into scientific narratives and textbooks.”

From a leadership point of view, Ellie says she’s grateful to work for a company where so many women are in senior leadership roles “but that’s not true of the global workforce. Like Bindi, I think employers should invest in mentorship and look at how they can fully support their female colleagues to progress in their careers.”

We’re very proud of our team at Lextox and will continue to listen and invest in all our colleagues to achieve workplace equity. We’re driven by scientific innovation and we know those skills lie in all genders.

If you’d like to hear more from our very own women in STEM, visit our LinkedIn page here

Published 08/03/24 – All information correct at time of publication