International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Break The Bias. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. IWD22 aims to raise awareness and encourage action to challenge gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping when it is encountered.
Today in support of IWD22 #BreakTheBias, we are celebrating the many amazing women working & collaborating within and in partnership on iCAIRD. We are proud to have women contributing their expertise & experience across a broad scope of roles in every area of the programmes’ delivery. Click the profiles below to read more about the inspiring ladies on our teams & contributing to iCAIRD!
I sit on the iCAIRD Governance Board. I should add that the other reasons to stay involved is to keep supporting the other brilliant women involved!
Professor Lesley Anderson has over 19 years experience in research utilising healthcare data from the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Europe. She has established international partnerships within the USA, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia to facilitate research in the fields of health data science and public health with a focus on cancer research. Global Health Research Partnerships with researchers in Angola, Mongolia and Vietnam are seeking to identify ways to improve public knowledge and reduce the burden of cancer. Professor Anderson is working to improve health care through Health Data Science research.
It is inspiring to have so many women involved in iCAIRD, all of us bringing a wide variety of specialties and playing a part in the success of a cutting-edge innovation programme. iCAIRD is an example to young women and girls that you can be a Programmer or Data Scientist but also that you don’t have to be. All of us can bring the skillset we have and play a valuable role in technology and innovation. Despite spending most of my career working in Information Technology, primarily in the Energy sector, my background is in arts and I am not technical. Typically, my role has been as a “translator” between technical experts and real-world deployment.
What you need is a passion for technology and its application. Mine started with an Amiga and Sid Meier’s “Civilization” when I realised I could conquer the world from my keyboard. I still like nothing better than a game of Minecraft Realms with my 11-year-old. I guess I have always had more than a passing interest in artificial intelligence. My undergraduate thesis was a feminist analysis of “Blade Runner” and “The Terminator”. It’s great to now be working on a less dystopian application of artificial intelligence which allows my humanities background and love of technology to converge into the art of AI. But would I pass a Voight-Kampff test…..?
As with all programmes of work it is key that the different work packages coalesce at the correct time. An early challenge was to support the smaller companies (SME) to develop new processes to de-identify text at scale and to provide different text sources for natural language processing (GP referral, discharge, radiology reports). We had a good relationship with these SME to develop new governance processes to support this work prior to the SHAIP platform being developed. Claire MacDonald (Safe Haven Project Manager) manually checked thousands of output files to QC check when de-identification worked/failed to develop a de-identification algorithm. Providing all these different text files in the correct format was a further challenge for the Safe Haven.
Fortunately, with the appointment of James Blackwood as iCAIRD Programme Manager and Charlie Mayor as GGC Safe Haven Manager iCAIRD is in safer hands.
In 2016, I was successful in a promotion to become an Advanced Practitioner specialising in Stereotactic Breast biopsy and localisation, this again was a Masters module offered by Queen Margaret University. The course was extremely tough, especially working full-time, with a husband and two small children but looking back now, it was the most rewarding thing I have done to date in my career. Pictured here with the new biopsy machine within our department, it is this part of my job, being integral in the diagnosis of Breast Cancer that has given me the most job satisfaction.
In May last year, I took up post as Superintendent Radiographer of the North East Breast Screening programme and our symptomatic service within Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. I now split my full-time post between clinical and management. It has been a tough start to the job, entering the role at the same time as the pandemic but I only have my fantastic team to thank who have adapted, remained resilient throughout and been hugely supportive to me.
Mammography is a brilliant career, it has allowed me to progress academically and the technology is always changing, the advancements in AI with iCAIRD are extremely exciting and as a team we are looking forward to what the future holds for Mammography and the diagnosis of breast cancer.
I was diagnosed after my first ever routine mammogram in March 2017. I had a call back after presenting at the mobile unit in Banff, Aberdeenshire for a mammogram. I had the result by post approx. 3 weeks afterwards saying the mammogram was unclear. It was a bit of a shock, as I felt so well and I'd no idea anything was wrong. I tried not to worry though, and decided they were just being extra cautious and it was unlikely to be cancer. I was given an appointment at the Breast Screening clinic in Aberdeen with Dr Gerald Lip.
Dr Lip went over my mammogram with me and showed me the area of concern. I then had an ultrasound where he detected two lumps in my armpits & I had biopsies done that same afternoon. (I remember Michelle Cumming did one). I must say that all the staff were extra special - the whole team were fantastic! They answered all questions without giving false hope (I kept asking if it was cancer before they even had a chance to biopsy), a very honest and compassionate caring team .I'll never forget their kindness .
I had my diagnosis two weeks later. Breast cancer.
I went on to have a lumpectomy, with all lymph nodes removed at armpit. 1225 contained cancer.
I had surgery, chemotherapy then radiotherapy and now continue on oral meds (Tamoxifen)
I'm still here four years on, just celebrated my 56th birthday. Enjoying life and feeling fit and well!
Professor Corri Black is a Co-Director of the Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science, Deputy Director of Farr Institute@Scotland, Associate Director of HDRUK@Scotland and has 18 years experience of harnessing electronic health record data for research. As a Consultant in Public Health, she works for NHS Grampian supporting the use of data to drive quality improvement and in population health surveillance. She is the Clinical Lead for the Grampian Data Safe Haven. Working with colleagues, her research has included real world data pharmaceutical research and now focuses on understanding complexity in health in long term conditions and across the life course.
For iCAIRD specifically, this includes work on the popular bioformats2raw, isyntax2raw, and raw2ometiff command line tools which are used to translate whole slide images into common open formats.
I am also a long-time contributor to the Open Microscopy Environment's Bio-Formats project, which standardizes access to microscopy data and underpins many of the image analysis and data management applications being used by iCAIRD today.