Spotlight on STEM - An interview with Emma

Emma is General Manager at Biochek, one of our RPO clients. With an impressive background in STEM and operating in a senior position, we thought Emma would be a fantastic interview to provide our network with insight into her journey, tips, and advice.

Short Bio:

“I’m Emma, and I have over 20 years’ experience in R&D and operations for human and veterinary diagnostics. I am currently the General Manager for BioChek, which develops and produces diagnostics for the veterinary market. I have a first class Biological Sciences degree from the University of Greenwich, and am passionate about providing high quality diagnostic tools – be that for a human or a chicken!”


  • What did you study to get to your chosen career? How did it help you get to where you are today?

I studied Biological Sciences.

I started my first scientific job straight from school and was fortunate to be sponsored by the business to complete my further education part-time. This gave my career an acceleration at an early stage; by the time I had completed my degree, I had 5 years’ experience within operations and R&D within a regulated environment.

  • Why did you choose your STEM field? Do you have a mentor or inspired by a particular person?

I was interested in science and medicine at a young age and studied all sciences at A-Level. Learning through my studies about inspirational female scientists, such as Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin supported my decision to focus on the sciences. However, rather than go straight to university, I was keen to get some work experience first. On seeing an advert in the local newspaper for school leaver roles at Abbott Murex (as it was known at the time) for laboratory technicians, I applied and was fortunate enough to secure a position. I spent the first nine years of my career there, manufacturing and developing human diagnostics at increasingly senior positions.

  • What is your favourite thing about your current job and what do you find the most challenging?

The diversity of my current role makes it both favourite, and challenging. As General Manager my role extends far beyond the science, and I enjoy being involved in all areas of the business to support its success. I sometimes miss being at the lab bench, however I am immensely proud of the teams of scientists and technicians we have, and I take great pleasure in seeing them succeed with personal and business goals. I still like to keep up with scientific trends to keep myself current!

  • What message would you give to younger females considering a career in STEM?

Take the plunge, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone on occasion. There are many different STEM industries, so there will be something for everyone. Take opportunities and challenge yourself; the skills you learn will be for life!

  • In your opinion, which changes, if any, are needed in the scientific system to be more attractive to women in science and possible future scientists?

More promotion of women in science at all levels, in the media and through education. I think this has improved during my career, but I still perceive a lack of female scientists in senior and leadership positions.

  • What’s next for you?

In the short-term, continued development within my current role. Long-term, who knows?! The sky's the limit!