The 11th February is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, created to encourage girls in to the science as a career and to promote gender equality across the field.

 Even in 2023, the statistics show that the balance is still off.

  • Women are typically given smaller research grants than their male colleagues and, while they represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women.
  • In cutting edge fields such as artificial intelligence, only one in five professionals (22%) is a woman.
  • Despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women still account for only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics.
  • Female researchers tend to have shorter, less well-paid careers. Their work is underrepresented in high-profile journals and they are often passed over for promotion.

 At BusinessLodge, we’re in full support of the day  – and we’re delighted that both our Bury and Stoke centres are home to female-led science-based companies. We grabbed the teams from MSL in Bury and Orbital Scientific Supplies Ltd in Stoke, to see what they had to say.

MSL, BusinessLodge Bury

At MSL, we are passionate about giving women as many opportunities in science as possible. I have worked at MSL for 10 years and last year was delighted to be appointed MD, following the fantastic footsteps of Angela Davies, who was one of the founders. As a female dominant company, we are committed to supporting women in the industry – helping them get into science and build on their passion as their careers develop.

Many of our colleagues have enjoyed career progression with us and we look forward to welcoming more women into our field over the coming years.  Here are some of the stories from our fellow team members:

Naomi: I have had the opportunity to work in different departments including biocides, cosmetics, and projects. Over the last few years, I have finished my apprenticeship, been promoted to team leader for biocides, and have further developed my skills to start working in virology.

Amicia: I first came to MSL for a short placement whilst still at university. After graduating in Biomedical Sciences, I returned as a full-time employee and have enjoyed working in several different departments, including regulatory, quality control, and challenge testing. I’m now enjoying my role as senior technician.

Louise: MSL is an exciting place to work. I have worked my way up the company, starting in the media prep laboratory and am now Cosmetics Lab & Quality Manager. I have a varied role, carrying out hygiene and GMP audits, leading audits from our accreditation bodies, and providing training for new staff – no two days are the same!

Cath Boughey – Orbital Scientific Supplies Ltd, Trent House, BusinessLodge Stoke

My Scientific journey began in 1999 when I started working at Bibby Scientific within the Export Sales Department. During my 8 years, one of my areas was looking after all the UK Trade Houses which were basically companies that were Exporting. After maternity leave my customer SciaChem asked if I fancied helping out with their workload, so I decided to give it a whirl. Within weeks I fell in love with the role which became a bit of an unhealthy obsession but working from home with a new-born was perfect and browsing the internet for goods was so easy, despite the fact that I hate shopping. After 1 year, I became Manager and then in 2010, I became the Director. After 5 years of being promised shares in the company, I decided to set up Orbital Scientific Supplies to run alongside SciaChem with the aim of doing a similar role but selling to other countries as well as Nigeria. SciaChem only sold to Nigeria as it was 100% owned by a Nigerian lady who lived overseas. The only trouble was Orbital had no customers but I was keen and still enjoyed the work.

For 3 years I clung onto SciaChem whilst trying to build a small network with Orbital and in 2018 I decided to wind SciaChem up and take the plunge with Orbital despite only having 2 customers, 1 of which placed a large order and didn’t pay (massive learning curve). I am over the moon with the customers I have and I’m pleased to say I now successfully supply to GHANA, UGANDA, KENYA, BENIN, UK, DUBAI, IRAN and in particular NIGERIA.

My advice for young females interested in this kind of field? I would say go for it! Science is essential whether it be learning, teaching or selling it, it will always have a variety of functions and there will always be ample opportunities down the scientific road. Our ever changing world will always need Science and will always need women.

So if you ever have a requirement for Laboratory products or chemicals please get in touch.