Pioneering the Future: Celebrating Queensland’s Female Trailblazers in Biomanufacturing and Medicine

UNESCO 2024 International Day of Women and Girls in Science

In the spirit of the UNESCO 2024 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Southern RNA stands at the forefront, championing the exceptional women shaping the future of biomanufacturing and medical science. This year’s theme, 'Closing the Gender Gap in Science', is not just a call to action—it’s something that resonates deeply with our company’s mission and values.

At Southern RNA, we are not just witnesses to the changing landscape of science—we are active participants and supporters. Among our colleagues is Tara Buse, a Senior Bioprocess Scientist whose work with mRNA and DNA products is propelling clinical advancements both in Australia but also on the world stage.

An alumna of The University of Queensland (UQ), Tara's expertise in process development and aseptic manufacturing exemplifies the calibre of talent fostered within Queensland and Australian institutions. UQ has a proud legacy of empowering women in science. With more than half of UQ’s community being women, they are leading the way and inspiring generations. UQ has been instrumental in producing leaders in various disciplines, a testament to its dedication to inclusivity and excellence. Southern RNA is proud to collaborate closely with UQ, nurturing a relationship that has been instrumental in not just incubating our own organisation’s talent but also in contributing to the broader scientific community.

Recognising Queensland Women in STEM

Despite the critical importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields to our economies, gender equality remains elusive. Globally, women represent only 33.3% of researchers, with a mere 35% of all students in STEM-related fields being female. Additionally, only 30% of countries with available data have reached parity in terms of women researchers as of 2016. These figures aren't just numbers; they reflect untapped potential.

Queensland’s young female scientists are dismantling these statistics, trailblazing through innovation and determination. Take, for instance, the work being done by Associate Professor Sue-Ann Watson at James Cook University, who is improving how we predict the impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity. Or consider Dr Lena Oestreich, group leader at the University of Queensland who delves into how artificial intelligence can be used to prevent mental illness. Both Dr Watson and Dr Oestreich are the recipient of the 2023 Queensland Women in STEM Prize in the Judges’ Award and Breaking Barriers Award categories respectively.

Southern RNA is committed to continuing this legacy of empowerment. We recognise that supporting young female talent is not just about bridging a gap—it's about ensuring the advancement of our industry and the collective benefit of science, innovation, and development. We understand that diverse perspectives fuel creativity and drive pioneering solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.

The role organisations play in closing the gap

Organisations like ours have a pivotal role to play. We must be the incubators for talent, the platforms for progress, and the supporters of dreams. It is our responsibility to lift the barriers that keep brilliant minds from contributing to our shared future. We stand ready to mentor, guide, and support the next generation of women in science, providing them with the tools, opportunities, and environment they need to succeed.

This week, as we commemorate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we don't just celebrate achievements; we commit to action. We invite other organisations to join us in this endeavour—because when we invest in women, we don't just close the gender gap; we open a world of possibilities.

Together, let's nurture the potential of every aspiring scientist, engineer, and researcher. Let's transform our industries and societies for the better. At Southern RNA, we are excited to be part of a community that values this future and propels women to the forefront of scientific discovery.

Closing the Gender Gap: It's not just a goal, it's our future.

#WomenInScience #CloseTheGenderGap #InnovationThroughInclusion

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