The gendered and intersectional inequalities in academic STEM by Dr Izzy Jayasinghe

2nd December 2021


Free online event: Thursday 2nd December 2021 at 7pm. Book your place here:

Access to research funding and an inclusive workplace culture are among the critical determinants of a diverse research community. With the recent publication of diversity data and funding success rates under the UKRI and associated councils, new light has been shed onto the systemic biases that disadvantage women and people from ethnic minorities, and the barriers they face in growing their research and advancing their careers. Lack of inclusion in academic workplaces and the unequal pressures placed upon women, in particular marginalised women, during the COVID19 pandemic have further exacerbated this problem. In this talk, I will outline the disparities that have been revealed by recent data on research funding, workplace inclusion surveys as well as the blind spots that continue to exist. I will highlight how these disparities translate to the vastly contrasting experiences of researchers in the UK’s STEM sector and discuss the emerging areas of inequality that need urgent attention.

Bio: I am a UKRI Future Leader Fellow in the University of Sheffield and the Deputy Lead for Molecular & Cell Biology Division in the newly formed School of Biosciences. My research primarily focuses on the adaptation of various materials, optical technologies and in-situ molecule counting tools to advance super-resolution microscopy. I also use these technologies to study the molecular underpinnings of the cellular function in the heart, pain-sensing neurons and muscle. I was awarded my PhD in the University of Auckland (New Zealand) before two postdoctoral posts in the University of Queensland and University of Exeter. I founded my research group (the Applied Biophotonics Group) in 2015 at the University of Leeds before joining the University of Sheffield in 2020. Outside of my academic roles, I advise funding bodies such as the UKRI and EPSRC as well as professional societies on ED&I.