IN-CJ Newsdesk 2024 – Women in Forensic Science

IN-CJ Newsdesk 2024 – Women in Forensic Science

This discussion examines the role of women in forensic science. Featuring Dr Emma Johnston and Leisa Nichols-Drew, both senior lecturers at De Montfort University, who shared their experiences and insights into this vital field. Emma and Leisa began by recounting their unique career paths. Emma detailed her background in biology and forensic science, including her work with LGC Forensics and her significant research projects in Guatemala and Europe. Leisa shared her journey from studying biomedicine to working with the Forensic Science Service and her focus on training police and conducting research on knife crime.

The discussion highlighted the noteworthy representation of women in forensic science, a field where women are more prevalent compared to other STEM areas. Emma and Leisa explored possible reasons for this trend, such as the profession’s alignment with helping roles and the impact of having strong female role models.

Despite the progress, they acknowledged ongoing challenges, including gender pay gaps and the under-representation of women in leadership roles. They emphasised the importance of supportive environments and role models in encouraging more women to pursue and advance in forensic science careers.

Emma and Leisa also addressed the rewarding aspects of their work, from solving complex cases to contributing positively to the criminal justice system. They shared personal stories illustrating the real-world impact of forensic science, such as Emma’s involvement in identifying missing persons in Guatemala and Leisa’s work on knife crime prevention.

In discussing educational opportunities, they dispelled the myth that forensic science lacks job prospects. They highlighted how the skills developed in this field, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication, are transferable to various career paths.

The conversation concluded with reflections on the supportive ethos within the forensic science community and the ongoing efforts to promote gender equality and professional development in the field.

For those interested in learning more about the experiences of women in forensic science and the broader implications for the criminal justice system, the full podcast is available on the IN-CJ website. Stay updated on future discussions and events by following IN-CJ on Twitter. This discussion is part of the Newsdesk 2024 event series, aimed at fostering dialogue and sharing knowledge on critical issues in international criminal justice.

Rob Watson

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