International Women's Day 2024

International Women's Day 2024

Women of LSTM: Inspiring Global Change

This International Women's Day, we're embarking on a journey to celebrate the incredible women of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). These remarkable individuals are not just shaping the future of global health; they're breaking barriers, forging equitable partnerships, and pioneering change that resonates to communities worldwide.

Our campaign, "Women of LSTM: Inspiring Global Change," aims to shine a light on these inspiring stories through a series of video case studies. These narratives will delve deep into the intersectional fabric of our society, showcasing how women from varied backgrounds, races, abilities, and life experiences are pivotal in driving LSTM's global health mission forward. From research and education to leadership and beyond, women at LSTM are at the forefront of tackling global health challenges. They are nurturing the next generation of leaders and supporting the professional teams that enable this success, making a tangible difference in the world.

Join us in this year-long celebration as we highlight the extraordinary contributions of women across our global network. From today onwards, let's recognise every day as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women who are dedicated to inspiring global change.

Professor Hilary Ranson
Dean of Research Culture & Integrity, Professor of Medical Entomology

Women of LSTM: Breaking barriers and shaping the future of Global Health

In line with the International Women's Day 2024 theme of #InspireInclusion I am privileged to step into the role of Chair of Athena SWAN at LSTM, succeeding Eve Worrall, whose leadership was instrumental in securing a Silver award for our institution. Building on this success, my vision is to further integrate equity and the Athena SWAN Action Plan into our organisational fabric. I am committed to nurturing a culture of open dialogue and collaboration among staff and students, addressing challenges, and gathering feedback to ensure our actions align with the aspirations of LSTM and our partners.

My goal is to cultivate an environment at LSTM that truly embodies the spirit of inclusion and equity, reflecting the International Women's Day theme by ensuring that our practices promote an equitable community, where diversity is not only respected but is seen as a keystone in the edifice of our institutional values.

Nicola Desmond 
Chair of Athena SWAN, Reader in Medical Anthropology & Public Health

Dr Priyanka Sharma: inspriring the next generation of female scientists

Dr Priyanka Sharma is a postdoctoral research associate at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and iiCON: Infection Innovation Consortium, aiming to develop new antibiotics from everyday microbes found in the environment. She works on the innovative citizen science project Swab and Send.

Dr Sharma, is also a passionate advocate for public engagement in science, and keen to use her own journey into research as an inspiration for the next generation.

For Dr Sharma, this is all about giving others the opportunity to experience the wonders of science in the same way that she did when she first looked through her zoologist father’s microscope at the age of 12.

“When I was doing my Masters and PhD in India, I got involved in public engagement programmes. We went to local villages most weekends and I used to teach the children and make them aware about antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

“And then I saw these types of engagement programmes were at LSTM too. It's been great to translate my science knowledge to the public and into society. As a scientist, I work in a lab [that people don’t see]. It's really important for people to know what we do and how we work.”

Dr Sharma has led sessions for children and families at the Museum of Liverpool about LSTM’s research into AMR, and just this week gave sixth-form students a tour of LSTM’s labs to encourage them to pursue a career in research.

“I have worked in so many different institutes in India and in the UK. I have seen that, as compared to men, there are not too many women in science.” She added: “It's really important to have role models.”

Dr Priyanka Sharma
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Tropical Disease Biology

At LSTM, we are committed to ensuring that equity is at the heart of everything we do.

We are pleased to see a significant improvement in narrowing our Gender Pay Gap, having reduced it from 11.1% to 5.6% over the last 12 months, following publication of our Annual Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report 2022 – 2023 published in March 2024.

Our gender equity efforts are based on the hard work and contributions of all our people. We are pleased to have recently appointed an Athena Swan (AS) Chair Nicola Desmond (Reader in Medical Anthropology and Global Health) who will work closely with our AS Programme Manager Lorelei Silvester to implement our Silver AS action plan based on our 2022 submission, available online. Charter marks create a valuable sector benchmark and framework for targeted action, but we endeavour to beyond, embedding gender equity in our process and practice. Institutionally we are working to intersectional targeted interventions centred around our strategic priorities, including recruitment, progression and retention.

While we celebrate the milestones we have collectively achieved, we acknowledge that our journey towards full gender pay equity is ongoing and that we must remain committed to listening, learning, and improving. The journey towards equity is a collective one, and we are dedicated to ensuring sustained progress and accountability in the years to come.

Samia Benbrih
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager