Sarah Roberts-ThomsonYour name and position?
Sarah Roberts-Thomson – a Professor in Pharmacy and the Associate Dean (Academic) for the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences.

What have been your key career achievements?
In my role as ADA one of my key achievements that I am most proud of is ensuring that part-time students are eligible for Dean’s Commendations for Academic Excellence at UQ. Part-time students are often those with caring responsibilities, those that need to work for financial reasons or people with a disability. As a cancer researcher I am most proud of my role in developing the next generation of cancer researchers in terms of my honours and PhD students. As a Professor, I’m most proud of the opportunity I have had to mentor other women in their academic careers.

Have you faced any barriers as a woman?
Yes absolutely – sometimes overtly and sometimes subtly. It can be difficult when people talk about gender equity but their actions don’t mirror their words.

What areas are you particularly passionate about that you would like to see change for women in the future?
I would like society to appreciate that there are different styles of leadership and different ways of evidencing achievement and indeed different measures and ideas of success. Real diversity, not just inclusion of women, but inclusion of different races, ages, sexual orientation, is the pathway to success.

Can you suggest how young women, at any stage of their career or study, can overcome barriers and progress towards gender parity?
I wish I had the answer to this but I don’t. However, I tell my own children (two girls) that they should follow the paths that make them happy and with happiness comes strength to face adversity.

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