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In 1970, when women were seriously underrepresented in science and if you were a professor at the university, you’d be the only female academic in that department, 8 women gathered together to solve female issues as a group. The group didn’t only give professional but also personal support. After doing group for 25 years, the organiser Daniel decided to put this book together as a guide for female scientists and for everyone who feels like a minority not only in academia but in any workplace. To buy the book follow this “>link.

I’ll reshare here the best pieces of advice I learned from it which were my philosophy well before reading the book.

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SUCCESS

Women find hard to believe they are successful. They think this is the outcome of good luck or it happened by chance. If you keep getting rewarded for your work, this is the outcome of hard work. Acknowledge it. Statistics show that women lack a bit of confidence and they hesitate more before putting themselves forward. This is probably due to the different biology of female’s and male’s brain. In fact, the amygdala is more “active” and we tend to talk more.
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Society is a place where the vast majority of people need to put others down to feel empowered. I like to call these individuals the invalidators. Of course, academia is a niche and a small representation of the society. But it is a very competitive and often hostile environment, none will recognise your success.

Don’t expect people to please you, PLEASE YOURSELF.

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There are few women in stem, so if you do a lot for science, it might happen that people we’ll look up at you as a role model. Don’t reject this idea, embrace it and advise young girls as you would advise yourself.
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Again, invalidators are everywhere and especially women suffer from making their voice heard. Statistics show that 7 out of 10 women felt like their opinion wasn’t taken into account but didn’t say anything about their struggle. The good news is that we can change this because

WE ARE IN CHARGE OF HOW MUCH POWER WE GIVE TO PEOPLE.

If someone covers your voice, don’t get upset, speak louder! .
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Personal life is important. Get one hour a day for yourself. This doesn’t mean that you are selfish or not caring about your job/family, me time is a legal right. There is a toxic mentality in academia and elsewhere whereby people need to sacrifice their personal life to show that they are good enough or care about their job. This is unhealthy as it leads to depression, anxiety, loliness and burns out.
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The book embraces other issues such as expectations at work, lead with mentees, prepering a talk for a conference, dealing with divorces, etc etc and I strongly recommend buying the book as it is a manifesto of women empowerment in academia.

About the author: Ellen Daniell is a writer and consultant. She was assistant professor of molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has held management positions in human resources and patent licensing in the biotechnology industry.

If you agree or disagree with this post, feel free to share your opinion by making a comment below. This will help in increasing my visibility and growing my website. Thanks

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