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08 March 2019

#WomenOfKings - Sarah Meredith

Celebrating and elevating King’s women for International Women's Day.


It's International Women's Day on Friday 8 March – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year's theme is Balance for Better, which calls for a more gender-balanced society. From the board room to the government, media coverage to employment, gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.

To celebrate International Women's Day, we spoke to women from the Faculty of Life Science & Medicine King's about their careers, inspirations and what drives them.

"I am involved in influencing strategic decisions and I work alongside senior leaders"

Sarah Meredith is the Technical Manager for the School of Basic & Medical Biosciences.

What are you proudest of in your career? 

I always enjoy being involved in moving new scientists to King’s as these are multi-faceted projects that represent the growth of the university. The one I am most proud of is the move of Professor Snezhka Oliferenko’s group from Singapore to the Randall Centre for Cell & Molecular Biophysics. For this I had to do so much more as all equipment had to be purchased in the UK ahead of the move, including specialists microscopy systems. I had to manage laboratory refurbishments and translate the group’s plans for architects and estates personnel work towards. The final part of the move was to receive the entire yeast hybrid library from across the world, without any loss of fidelity. Professor Oliferenko was kind enough to mention me in an article about her lab relocation in the publication ‘Lab Times’. To be credited as instrumental to the success of the move was a great accolade. 

Why did you decide to go into this field of study/research/work? What would you tell women who want to study in your field?

I had worked as a research assistant is a number of research institutes so had a good sense of what worked well and what did not in a laboratory setting.  I realised that working on research projects no longer exited me and the management of a research department would give me an opportunity to contribute in many more ways to research capabilities. In this role I am involved in influencing strategic decisions and I work  alongside senior leaders. I would say to women who are considering this as a career that you can still be involved in contributing to science and there are opportunities to progress into management and leadership positions.

Who or what made you want to work in this field? How has your field changed since you started, and where do you see it going in the future?

I was influenced by the laboratory manger in my last position; I could see that her role was very varied, more so than working on one research project.

The good thing about this field is that there has always been a healthy gender equality balance, so we are ahead of that game in that regard. Over the years I have noticed more people with PhDs are coming into the field, indicating that this is seen as an exciting career path for all. King’s is now a Science Council champion so it’s a great time to be a technician here. We have a growing technical network where interactions help share ideas and provide training opportunities.