Women in Science
Role models, mentors and sponsors
Video clip: Eleanor says she has had negative as well as positive role models. ‘Informal’ mentors have helped her make decisions at key career points.
Do you want to say any more about role models, mentors? Anything in that area?
Yes I’ve had, yes, I think they’re different aren’t they? Role models are people.
Who you, who you look to and they have you know special qualities that you decide you want to emulate. And I’ve got a handful of people from my past and now who, who, who very importantly serve in, in that role for me.
Men and women?
My role models have all been men. And that’s, that’s only because I think the women haven’t, haven’t been there. Not, you know, not that I wouldn’t have liked that very much. They were just never in, in those positions.
And I think you can look at people working around you and decide you very much don’t want to be like that. So there’s positive and negative, you know negative role models. And I think I’ve used role models more than mentors although mentors have a role to play in times of crisis. When you come to these critical steps in your career pathways then you do need to have people to talk to who will support you.
Are your mentors informal or formal mentors?
Informal, all informal. But I’ve never been shy I think to go and ask for help. I think, I think that’s, that’s really important and people are very responsive. I think if you go and knock on the door and say, ‘Look, what do you think?’ You know, ‘What do you think about this?’ And you’re very open, I mean I think people will try to support you, it’s in human nature if you ask for help.