We have invited our 2017 Womenspire Award Winners to reflect on their success. Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott (OBE) won our “STEM Pioneer” Award, here is her story…

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott (OBE)

What did it feel like to win?

It was an honour and a privilege to receive the Chwarae Teg award, I was thrilled! It was so inspirational for me to get the STEM Pioneer award, reflecting the work being carried out that recognises, encourages and celebrates women in STEM careers. These awards, by way of celebration, encourage women who are often marginalised or isolated in the scientific arena and as women in science we need to inspire young girls and women to challenge the stereotypes around scientists and our lives.

What has happened since the awards?

Since the award, which was only a few months ago, many other challenges and opportunities have presented themselves, but challenge is good and is what spurs us on to fly the ‘women in STEM’ flag! In December 2017 I was appointed as Chair of the REF2021 sub-panel for my academic discipline, a very exciting and challenging role given the huge importance that assessing research excellence plays across the UK. A further significant event for me was to be recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2018 by being awarded an OBE for my services to Microbiology and for the advancement of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. I am going to the Palace with my family in May for the award, such a career highlight for me!

What did you think of the Womenspire Awards event?

Last year I was the very proud winner of the Women in STEM Pioneer award for my work supporting women in STEM. It was actually really nerve wracking to be sitting in the audience waiting for the winner to be announced. When my name was called my colleagues made rather a lot of noise, clapping and cheering! Above all it was amazing to be standing on stage and to look out to see an auditorium full of women supporters and fellow award winners. There was such a buzz a in the air, lots of cheering and very happy, supportive people, all celebrating the achievements of the winners.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of nominating a woman they know?

Let me see…what would I say to someone thinking of nominating a woman they know? I would say, with hand on heart, JUST DO IT! The more women we can recognise for their work and their contributions, the better. In these ever changing times it is becoming more important for women to have a voice and to feel their voice is being heard and their achievements recognised.

See why Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott (OBE) won the 2017 STEM Pioneer Award >>>  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncpCYIjhuic