As part of our focus on Athena SWAN, ‘Thrive' highlights some of the stories of our people via a series of podcasts. Deborah Bowman, Deputy Principal (Institutional Affairs), interviews St George’s people about a variety of topics including work/life balance, career progression and overcoming mistakes, and the importance of being respected and valued for who you are at work.

Dr Rachel Allen, Head of the Graduate School, and Reader in Immunology of Infection

Dr Rachel Allen
Head of the Graduate School/Reader in Immunology of Infection

Rachel talks about those who inspired her to progress her scientific career, why women can sometimes shy away from opportunities and what coxing taught her beyond the boat. Listen now.

Annette Boaz Professor of Healthcare Research

Annette Boaz
Professor of Healthcare Research

Annette talks about the insights that taking up a post at the UK government Department of Health gave her. She also discusses experiencing rejection in her career and the importance of learning from feedback and picking yourself up again. Listen now.


David Clark Postdoctoral Research Assistant

David Clark
Postdoctoral Research Assistant

David ponders the particular challenges of post-doctoral life including job security, and explains the value of the postdoctoral group forum. He also talks about why he got involved with Athena SWAN. Listen now.

Julia Critchley
Professor of Epidemiology

Julia describes the pressures on academics, particularly in an unforgiving and competitive research culture. She shares her thoughts on the Research Excellence Framework and wonders about its impact, particularly on those who are bringing up children as well as striving to be excellent academics. Listen now.

John Hammond, Senior Lecturer

John Hammond
Head of Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

John shares his thoughts on what he has learned from the different roles he’s had at St George's. He explains why he is passionate about both social justice and access to education, and why he hopes that he is a role model for the LGBT community. Listen now.

Professor Jenny Higham

Jenny talks about why switching off from work matters, about the life choices she made when she became a parent and why she thinks Athena SWAN matters for everyone at St George's. Listen now.

Vanessa Ho, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology

Dr Vanessa Ho
Associate Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion/Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology

While art was her first love, in this podcast Vanessa explains how illness led to her interest in science, and in particular pharmacology. She also describes what motivates her to work on Athena SWAN, and how she pushes herself to her limits outside of work with an emphasis on exploring and experiencing the world around her. Listen now.

Imogen Horn, Student

Imogen Horn
Medicine student

President of the Athena SWAN student society, Imogen talks about how her passion for open-water swimming led her unexpectedly to get involved in Athena SWAN. She also talks about her potential career path and about what studying undergraduate medicine at St George's means to her. Listen now.

Judith Ibison, Deputy Dean for Students, and Senior Lecturer in Primary Care

Judith Ibison
Deputy Dean for Students/Reader in Primary Care

Judith reflects on juggling her career in parallel with becoming a parent, comparing her different work experiences with each of her three children. She offers her thoughts on the ways in which being a parent has shaped her choices and experiences, at home and in work. Listen now.

Dr Satdip Kaur, Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Saty Kaur
Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Saty describes the challenges of being a postdoctoral assistant. She talks about the balance that her activities outside of work offer, especially in managing anxiety. She describes what it was like to climb Everest base camp while on a career break and what it did for her resilience and confidence. Listen now.

Paul Leech, Student Experience and Graduation Coordinator

Paul Lau
Student Experience and Graduation Coordinator

Paul gives us an insight into his role hoping to improve the student experience at St George’s. He reflects on being a gay man in the workplace and reveals a hobby that some might find surprising. Listen now.

Jodi Lindsay
Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis

Jodi opens up about times when she feels she has been treated differently as a woman pursuing a career in science, what she’s learned along the way and working with the media as a scientist. Listen now.

Aileen O’Brien, Reader in Psychiatry and Education

Aileen O'Brien
Dean for Students/Reader in Psychiatry and Education

Aileen is an intensive care psychiatrist, as well as a Reader in Psychiatry and Education. Here, she talks about managing a complex workload, when to say “no”, and the reasons why, as a line manager, she supports flexible working. Listen now.

Dr Tariq Sadiq
Reader in Sexual Health & HIV Medicine

As a consultant for the NHS, Tariq talks openly about the impact of cuts to sexual health services, and shares some of the self-doubt that can affect even those who appear successful. He also describes the importance of mentoring and passing on academic wisdom. Listen now.

Dr Nidhi Sofat, Reader in Rheumatology

Dr Nidhi Sofat
Clinical Reader in Rheumatology/Consultant Rheumatologist

Nidhi talks about the role of luck in a successful scientific career and why, for her, diversity matters and how it enriches science, academia and clinical work. Listen now.