Today (8th March) marks an important day in the global calendar, as people around the world celebrate the achievements of women on International Women’s Day.

This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias, designed to raise awareness of gender equality, encourage diversity, and promote a world free of discrimination.

We’re proud to say that this is an ethos shared by AlphaBiolabs, where our team is made up of women (and men) from a diverse range of backgrounds, and women account for 60 per cent of our senior management team!

This International Women’s Day, we spoke to three women on our senior team about what the day means to them, and what advice they have for young women looking to take their first step on the career ladder.

Rachel Davenport, Co-founder and Commercial Director at AlphaBiolabs

Rachel Davenport

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

It’s a significant day as it gets people thinking about gender diversity – something that’s important to us at AlphaBiolabs.

We’ve built a great team of people from a diverse range of backgrounds, all bringing their unique perspectives to the table, which is crucial when you’re working in a sector that’s as fast paced as biotech.

We couldn’t have achieved all that we have without so many brilliant women (and men) working together. 

Senior management roles are more accessible to women now than they have ever been. Why do you think that is?

I think there’s more recognition of how important it is to give women a seat at the table, not just within senior management but in a range of leadership roles. It gives businesses an opportunity to tap into the female perspective.

Throughout history, women have made significant contributions to scientific advancements, and we’ve seen this first-hand at AlphaBiolabs. Everyone in our business, no matter what their gender, is committed to innovation, enabling us to bring exciting new products and solutions to market.

What do you enjoy most about your role at AlphaBiolabs?

I’m especially proud of the fact that, as a business, we’re continuously looking at how we can improve and push the boundaries of what we’re able to achieve. Working in biotech has allowed me to be at the forefront of so much innovation. 

During what has been a challenging couple of years for so many people, it’s also been great to see our team grow, with each person making a valuable contribution to the success of the business.

What advice would you give to young women looking to work in biotech?

With the right amount of focus, effort and self-belief, anything is possible.

Always be open to listening to others’ ideas – the best ideas come from collaboration. 

When you’re working in biotech, you need to be open to new ideas and ways of working, so if you’re excited by change it’s definitely the right career for you.

Rachel Flanagan, Operations Director at AlphaBiolabs

Rachel Flanagan

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

It’s a great time to reflect on the inspirational women that have shaped our world from the Suffragettes to Amelia Earhart and Marie Curie. Plus, those who have made an impact in recent times, like Greta Thunberg and Michelle Obama.

Whatever your views on these women, there’s no denying that they have made a mark on society.

I also have two teenage daughters, and it’s great being able to show them that if you work hard, you can achieve anything.

Senior management roles are more accessible to women now than they have ever been. Why do you think that is?

The shift towards more family-friendly policies has given women and men choices they didn’t have before, such as shared parental leave, and a more flexible working environment.

This fundamental shift has enabled women to apply for more senior positions that might not have been available to them years ago.

The benefits can be seen from all sides as a more diverse workforce means a richer and more varied range of perspectives. 

What do you enjoy most about your role at AlphaBiolabs?

We have a truly dynamic culture at AlphaBiolabs, where ideas are welcomed from everyone, and development opportunities are available to anyone who’s looking to progress.

It’s really fulfilling to see people enjoying job satisfaction and developing themselves personally and professionally.

What advice would you give to young women looking to work in operations?

Be yourself! You spend most of your time at work so it’s important that you’re true to who you are.

Don’t worry about what you want to be ‘when you grow up’ as that will work itself out in time. Just make sure you choose subjects you’re passionate about at school, college, and university, so that you can enjoy your studies.  

You’ll have opportunities to develop yourself throughout your career and gain new skills, so be sure to take them, and don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. All these things go a long way when it comes to applying for a new role or a promotion.

It might also lead you into a role you had never considered before!

Finally, be tenacious and proactive. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make suggestions. Any worthwhile employer will welcome new ideas, even if they’re not feasible for one reason or another. 

Rachael Rooney, Head of Customer Services at AlphaBiolabs

Rachael Rooney

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

International Women’s Day brings everyone together to celebrate women’s achievements. It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come and the importance of gender equality.

It also invites people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds to think about what they can do to make the world a more equal place for everyone. I have young children, and I want them to know that gender equality is a human right.

Senior management roles are more accessible to women now than they have ever been. Why do you think that is?

Throughout my career I’ve always been fortunate enough to work for gender diverse businesses, and I’ve certainly seen an increasing number of women moving into senior roles in recent years.

However, there’s still a lot of work to be done across business and industry if we’re to achieve true equality for women in the workplace. That’s why days like this are so important.

What do you enjoy most about your role at AlphaBiolabs?

I love how committed we are to innovation at AlphaBiolabs. New methods are always being considered, and we’re always thinking about how we can further improve our service for customers.

It’s important that we provide the best possible service, so that our customers feel supported throughout the testing process.   

What advice would you give to young women looking to work in a customer services role?

My advice would be that you should know your products, understand the customer’s needs, act with empathy and, most importantly, listen to feedback. This is key to delivering outstanding service for customers.

Ultimately though, if you’re passionate about the customer experience and want to make a difference, just go for it! 

Laboratory testing you can trust

Established in 2004, AlphaBiolabs provides a wide range of laboratory testing products and services for members of the public, the workplace, and the legal sector.

Our portfolio includes DNA, drug, alcohol, and Covid-19 testing, direct from our accredited laboratory.  

If you’d like to know more about our services, call our friendly and knowledgeable Customer Services team on 01 402 9466 or email info@alphabiolabs.ie.