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Video clip: During Helen’s career she hasn’t seen many senior women juggling family and work role models, but she hasn’t felt that being a female has hindered her career.

Over the years, do you think you’ve had the same sort of opportunities as men might have had?

I think generally, yes. I think the most notable exception was my maths teacher at school who really thought I should be a housewife and didn’t want to teach me maths. There were three other boys in my maths group at school so you know, if I was stuck on something I would ask them and then they would ask and get the explanation and then they would explain it to me. But I think in a way that was the spur that I needed and when I got an A in my A level maths and those boys got Ds, I was very pleased.

Yes.

But I think to be fair other than that I, I haven’t really felt being a female has, has been a hindrance. I mean, I think I wouldn’t ever want to have got somewhere just because I was a woman. I want to get there on my own merit. I think, you know, there are less women around at a certain level, certainly when I was kind of coming up through the ranks there weren’t very many senior women around as, as role models and people one could go and talk to about things. Well at least senior women around that juggled children and clinical careers and science in a way that, you know I am, and my colleagues and friends try and do now.

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