Women in Science
Deciding on a career in science
Video clip: Having been to a careers fair at school Catherine considered nursing as a career but her parents told her that her grades were really good and that she should consider medicine.
But I didn’t want to do science, although I liked those subjects, I wanted to, terribly, I wanted to be a policewoman [laughs]. That was my plan because this was at the time when Juliet Bravo was on the tele and I wanted to be like Juliet Bravo. Then I thought about nursing and went to, there was a sort of careers thing at my school. So this would have been pre-A level because it was choosing your…
…no, pre-GCSEs. Choosing your GCSEs, and I went to a sort of careers thing at school and I went first to the nursing. No, first to the doctor stand and I remember it was this awful, it was basically there was this rather miserable man behind the desk, which did make me hesitate in retrospect and there was an A4 piece of paper. It just said, ‘So you want to be a doctor?’ And the first line was, ‘But are you good enough?’ And I remember picking up this piece of paper and thinking, ‘Stuff this for a bunch of soldiers. I’m off.’
The next stand was nursing and midwifery, and there were three beaming, welcoming women and, and just the sort of literature was all kind of fluffy and shiny and things like that. So I came home waving this stuff. But it was my parents who said, ‘Well actually, your grades are really good and perhaps you should consider medicine.’ And I did science, I did science subjects to keep my area broad at GSCE. Then at ‘A’ Level, I did my ‘get in to medicine’ ‘A’ levels. So biology, chemistry, maths. But I couldn’t tell you a particular time when I decided that that was what I was going to do.