Images of seven women in health data science - Fatemeh Torabi, Chrysie Alexiou, Jaine Blayney, Rowena Bailey, Marta Blangiardo, Watjana Lilaonitkiul, Monica Jones

Despite the progress in gender equality over the past few decades, women remain under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies and careers, both in the UK and globally. A 2020 study looking at gender equality in academic research publishing revealed that the author gender ratio is 73% male and 27% female.

Gender equality matters, especially in health data research. If those analysing and implementing results from health data are not representative of the population, there is a risk of overlooking and not addressing inequalities for half of the world’s population.

Health Data Research UK’s (HDR UK) mission is to unite the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives, and that includes supporting an equal and representative community of health data scientists to make this research possible.

Taking place on 11 February each year, International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebrates the vital role women play in driving progress in science and technology.

Meet seven remarkable women in health data science, read about their career journeys and find out what advice they would give to others wishing to follow in their footsteps:

  • Monica Jones, Chief Data Officer at the University of Leeds, and Associate Director of HDR UK North
  • Marta Blangiardo, Professor of Biostatistics at Imperial College London
  • Fatemeh Torabi, Research Officer & Data Scientist, HDR UK Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Jaine Blayney, Lecturer, Translational Bioinformatics at QUB
  • Watjana Lilaonitkul, UKRI Rutherford Fellow at University College London
  • Rowena Bailey, Senior Research Officer at Swansea University
  • Chrysie Alexiou, Data Analyst Intern at NIHR BioResource through the Black Internship Programme

Who do you think should be celebrated on International Day of Women and Girls in Science? Join the conversation on our Twitter and LinkedIn.