University of Sheffield women soaring to great heights

 November 11, 2014

Women are certainly thriving at award-winning University of Sheffield.
One such woman is Natalie, a Technical Manager for the Neuroscience Unit in the Department of Psychology. She's also a member of the Faculty of Science Professional Services Staff Development committee at the University of Sheffield.
Natlie co-founded TechNet, a networking group that addresses issues faced by technical staff, shares best practice and supports the technical community. Natalie is also a member of the steering group for the Parents@TUOS network and she works with the Institute of Science & Technology as an assessor for professional registration awards, and is a member of the Science Council Registration Assessment Committee. 
Natalie's first visited the University when she was at school and thought it looked like a great place to work. Now she realises more fully how great a place it is to work. "There are so many excellent career development and flexible working options available," says Natalie. "I work with a fabulous set of people with such positive attitudes to learning and sharing. My colleague Vanessa Toulmin, for example, is very inspiring and makes a big difference to the Sheffield community through her work on public engagement and marvellous events like our Festival of the Mind. I really enjoy being part of the University and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. I’m always trying to promote the University to people and I think we’ve definitely got the edge on other universities."
Natalie was born in Sheffield and in fact met her husband through her work at the University of Sheffield. "Sheffield is a fabulous city, the greenest city in England. I love green spaces. I grew up in a country area and love being surrounded by fields. I love the snow and that we’re so close to the Peak District. Sheffield is a very safe city," explains Natalie. 
One of Natalie's greatest achievements was being the first technician at the University to achieve the Chartered Scientist status for developing from a Trainee Technician to Manager and is now seen as an impressive role model for others. She was thrilled to receive a letter from the Vice Chancellor congratulating recognising her achievements, is featured on the University's website and is now regularly invited to speak publicly and participate in various exciting projects.
Natalie has co-developed an Immunohistochemistry course as a collaboration between Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) and Psychology. "The project has been a fantastic learning experience and I’m incredibly proud of it," says Natalie. "Seeing it develop from the first glimmer of an idea to its end point is a brilliant adventure. The course will generate income and, through its partnership with an external copmpany, Vector labs, extends the reputation of the University." 
Natalie is a great supporter for working women with children. "Work can certainly be hectic and stressful as you juggle things, but it can be equally rewarding. Being resilient is important, and an ability to seek and accept feedback is also critical. Determination and confidence can help one succeed." Natalie cites one of Napolean's quotes as her favourite - “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be." The University of Sheffield is working hard in terms of equality and diversity and making a difference changing attitudes. "Women are certainly welcome here," remarks Natalie.
Natalie is clearly ambitious and wants to continue to increase her profile within the University and beyond, seeking a promotion when the timing is right. She also wants to continue promoting technicians and her work on current projects. "I want to keep being curious and get involved with everything I can, without taking on too much. I'm not afraid of a challenge becuase I know I'll learn an immense amount." 
Natalie believes a good line manager is important and makes an enormous difference to staff engagement. "My manager is excellent and enables me the freedom to explore new and innovative ideas and my department funded my work project."  Natalie continues to enjoy her success and thoroughly enjoys supporting her colleagues as one of the University's impressive role models.
Learn more about the impressive career opportunities at the University of Sheffield

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