Changing the culture in science
Video clip: Years ago when Kay applied for a job she was initially told that since her husband had a lectureship at the University she couldn’t necessarily expect to have a job too.
I’ve been working to try and cure a muscular dystrophy for the last thirty years and I started off at the very beginning with Fellowships from a college here at Oxford and then from the Royal Society and then came back to the UK from Paris under an MRC Senior Fellowship. I then tried to get back to Oxford. There was a little bit of difficulty with that one because my husband already had a lectureship and, in those days, it wasn’t considered necessary to give a partner a job, and actually it was a man that helped me out on that one. And I then gradually progressed through the field, ran my own research group which, actually hasn’t been difficult because I’ve been a woman.
I mean when I applied for lectureships back here in Oxford, I was definitely told that whilst, you know, your husband does have a lectureship, maybe both of you can’t have a job, but that’s a really old fashioned now and nobody would ever dream of saying that, nor would they act on that. I think you’re looked, you’re judged by who you are now.