Women in Science: GO FOR IT

Last Thursday, February 11, was International Day of Women and Girls in Science. We asked several members of the TRANSNET team to share their advice for girls and young women thinking about a career in science, and the same message resonated across everyone: GO FOR IT

What’s your advice for girls or young women thinking about a career in science?

Anastasiia: In terms of its work and culture, a scientific career is something that you cannot find elsewhere. Carefully consider what is important for you in the workplace – community, variation, flexibility, impact, travelling, management, etc. Identify your priorities, and you will be able to find the best job for you.

Polina: Go for it! It’s a wonderful, multi-faceted, satisfying career, with wide-ranging opportunities to solve and advance people’s lives!

Wenting: YOU GO GIRL!

Sam: Girls, believe in yourselves and your goals and dreams! I truly believe that if we believe in our goals and work hard enough anything is achievable regardless of our gender. Think about the fantastic female scientists throughout history including Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel prize, and Ada Lovelace, one of the first programmers and a pioneer in my field: computer science. Plus, all the millions of female scientists around the world today, including myself.

Wise words from everyone. Discover more about Anastasiia, Polina, Wenting and Sam below.


Dr Anastasiia Vasylchenkova is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow and part of the Optical Networks Group at UCL. She has been a member of TRANSNET since 2018. Anastasiia shares more about her chosen career path in this article: Women in Science Day: Anastasiia Vasylchenkova

Professor Polina Bayvel is the Director of TRANSNET. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering and has been running the Optical Networks Group at UCL for over 25 years.

Wenting Li is a third year PhD student in the Optical Networks Group at UCL, supervised by TRANSNET Co-I Professor Robert Killey. She has been a member of TRANSNET since 2018. Discover what PhD life is like for Wenting in this Q+A especially for Women in Science Day.

Dr Sam Nallaperuma is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence and member of the Electrical Engineering Division within the Dept. of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Sam has been a member of TRANSNET since 2020. She has lots of ideas about how to improve gender equality in science – read more in this article: Women in Science Day: Sam Nallaperuma


The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is implemented by UNESCO and UN Women, and works in collaboration with worldwide governmental, institutional and societal partners, to promote women and girls in science. The purpose of the day is to encourage full and equal access to participation in science for women and girls.

And remember, if you’re thinking about a career in science, we say: GO FOR IT