This is an important date to recognise and celebrate women's contributions to science, but also celebrate them as agents of change in the fight for gender equality, diversity and inclusion. 

We're proud to introduce you to some of Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital's remarkable women in science. 

Meet Natasha Ainsworth 

Natasha Ainsworth is a Health and Wellbeing Physiologist within the Health Assessment Department. Natasha tells us a little about her job role here at the hospital. 

"I conduct health assessments on varying clients (including staff members) to assess any areas to optimise their health and wellbeing, which may help to reduce disease risk." 

Natasha studied at Leeds Becket University, completing an Undergraduate Degree in Sport and Exercise Science. 

"I always enjoyed science at school, particularly science in sport, as I found it to be a subject where there were ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers," Natasha tells us. 

After graduating, Natasha stayed on at Leeds Beckett University, going on to complete a Postgraduate Master's Degree in Sport and Exercise Physiology. 

"I tailored my learning towards clinical physiology such as understanding the underlying physiology of diseases like Diabetes and Heart Failure." 

Alongside this, Natasha conducted volunteer work for the Leeds City Council Funded Cardiac Clinic. 

Now trained to conduct Venepuncture, ECGs, Exercise ECGs, Spirometry Testing and Posture Assessments, Natasha added, "I’m now able to able to use my knowledge to help improve the health and wellbeing of people." 

Meet Faye Jowsey 

Faye is a Cardiac Physiologist and Head of Cardiology here at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital. You'll most likely see her in the Cardiology department, carrying out transthoracic echocardiograms (scans of the heart) or pacemaker checks. 

Faye studied at the University of Leeds, graduating in 2011 with First Class Hons in Clinical Physiology (Cardiology). She then went on to complete a three year Masters Degree in Advanced Clinical Practice. 

Faye tells us, "Growing up, I was never really sure what I wanted to do as a career but I’ve always been interested in science and studied Biology, Chemistry and Physics at AS level. I was delighted when I stumbled across the Clinical Physiology degree, as it offered a perfect balance of biology - and in particular the heart - with physics and physiological measurements." 

Faye enjoys promoting the profession as she tells us, "it isn’t very well known, so it’s great to raise awareness of the work that we do." 

Faye concluded by recommending a career in cardiac physiology, telling us it's for "anyone with a passion for science, who enjoys working in a dynamic and fast-paced environment, obtaining and interpreting diagnostic data to support the evaluation, management and treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease." 

Meet Raheela Khalid 

Raheela is a Deputy Pathology Manager and Blood Transfusion lead for not only our hospital in Leeds, but also Nuffield Health York hospital, too. Raheela isn't patient-facing but her job role, behind the scenes, in the Pathology department is vital to the workings of the hospital. 

She has been interested in science from a young age, telling us she grew up wanting to "work in the laboratory, to do crazy experiments." 

The interest in this field led Raheela to achieve a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Bradford. But Raheela didn't stop there. She tells us, "I'm currently completing my Masters at the University of Greenwich (dissertation pending)." 

Raheela highlights that as women in science, "we are under-represented in our field. It's important to have role models for our future generations." 

Meet Gemma Porter 

Gemma Porter is a Lead Senior Physiologist here at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital and has been working in this industry for almost ten years.

Gemma tells us, "as a Physiologist, I focus on lots of areas of health including emotional wellbeing, diet, exercise and physical health." 

"My main role is to conduct Health Assessments. The Health Assessments are extensive and we meet a lot of different people, all with different health needs, on a daily basis," she added.  

Gemma is particularly interested in learning about how the body works and how it is affected by our day to day life choices.  

"Each day I have conversations with people about how even the smallest change can make a big difference to helping optimise a person’s health and wellbeing." 

Gemma studied Applied Exercise Science at Teesside University in Middlesbrough.  

"I have always been passionate about health and wellbeing," she tells us, "from a young age, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time swimming and running to a competitive standard which definitely inspired me to pursue a career in science and health." 

Gemma concluded with the following thought, "the last two years or so have taught us how important science is. We have seen first-hand how science is helping us come through a pandemic." 

Touching on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Gemma reminded us "everyone, no matter what gender, should have the option to pursue an education in science. If we have passion and inspiration, who knows what is possible for the future of science." 

Thank you to all these inspirational women of science for sharing their stories with us today. Keep up your amazing work in the field, setting the pace for our future women in science. 

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