by Antonella Macerollo
The 8th edition of Challenges for women in neurology took place in Vienna during the EAN 2022 Annual Congress. Prof. Elena Moro from France and Dr. Antonella Macerollo from the UK finally welcomed in-person participants to this networking event, which has been a regular feature of EAN Congress since the first meeting in 2015.
Prof. Maria Judit Molnar, director of the Institute of Genomic Medicine and Rare Disorders at Semmelweis University in Budapest, discussed her journey between neurology and neurogenetics, focusing her attention on the importance of make ourselves available to changes to reach our goals. She spoke about her experiences that lead her not to give up even in difficult times.
Prof. Barbara Tettenborn, Head of the Department of Neurology at Kantonspital St. Gallen, Switzerland, was the second speaker of the event. She highlighted the essential role of believing and loving what we do as a fundamental part of the process of reaching our achievements. As Head of Department, she spoke about the importance of making the work environment a comfortable place where people are happy to come and work. Tettenborn spoke about her passion for sporting activities and competitions as an example of extra-professional activities, which are important to recharge your batteries and find the energy to work better.
The networking event was closed by the lecture of Baroness Susan Greenfield, Founder and CEO of Neuro-Bio Ltd, a privately-owned biotech based at Oxford University with a therapeutic focus on neurodegenerative disease. She discussed with the audience her journey within neuroscience as a woman in times when there was a huge gender discrepancy in the field. She talked about the importance of building our confidence from childhood, to educate males in making improvements in the gender gap, to be ourselves without being afraid of what the others think about us, but being afraid of what we think about the others. She concluded by saying “Just be yourself, not what the others want you to be!’
We thank the wonderful speakers and the participants of our event; see you in Budapest at the next edition!