Black Women Minorities in the Workplace Interview: Maggie C

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Hi, for those reading give us a brief description of who you are and
what it is you do?
My name is Maggie and I'm a biomedical scientist in medical microbiology 

Describe a typical day in your life at work 
We have weekly rotations on different benches in our lab. If I'm on the blood culture (BC) bench for example my day is as follows: i'll arrive to work at 8am with probably 3-4 positive bc's already waiting to be cultured.  I'll get media and any consumables required for the day. Ill culture them first thing in the morning in order to have gram stain results reported to the microbiology consultant asap. I then begin to read 2nd day plates starting with CSF's and then bc. If not a busy day i'll have a 15min break at 10:45. Then carry on with any follow up work from my culture readings. Lunch is taken at 1 for an hour. The afternoon mainly consists of putting up swabs and samples that arrive that afternoon. Any positive bc's that flag up during the day are processed as soon as possible.
My work day will then end at half 4. 

In your department how many other minorites are there? How many other black females?
I am the only black female in my department but we also have a zimbabwean guy, a lebanese and a portugese 

Working in biomedical science do you feel that minorities, especially black people and black females are represented fairly?
I haven't worked with many others but that may be due to the areas I live or have worked in in which there are very few ethnic minorities in general. I do wish there were more black females in this profession 

Do you ever feel that being a black female has ever stopped you from speaking out at work?
I haven't had any major issues in my professional career so far personally but I don't believe that was I to speak out, my being black should stop me. All organisations like to pride themselves on providing equal opportunities in one way or another so I would hope this would stand.

Do you feel that you get overlooked for career progression or opportunities at work due to being a black female?
I personally think that when I'm determined I usually go for it, the only thing that would hold me back from progressing is myself. In my current position I do not feel overlooked, probably more encouraged than anything to do my best. 

Does lack of representation in your field motivate you to succeed?
Yes

Who is your inspiration? 
My hardworking non-stop mother. Shes been through it all and still standing.

Do you have any words of encouragement for girls who are looking to join your field but may be discouraged by the lack of representation?
If you wanna do it go for it, dont be held back. There might be times you might wanna give up but you'll only have yourself to blame. But when you succeed you'll thank yourself for it too. It will feel good when you know you've done it.


In this day and age lack of representation not only happens in our workplaces but in our day to day lives, e.g. tv shows beauty industry, politics. What are your thoughts on this?
It's just important to be proud of who we are and what we stand for and what we've been through and where we are today and where we are going. Some people may still be for lack of representation but let's keep on doing what we have to do.

What can be done towards change?
Be the best you can. Keep on striving. Encourage the generation younger than you.


Be sure to check out previous interviews:
 - Vicky 
 - Tani 

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