International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The immense contribution made by women experts in science and technology to the work of Great Britain’s workplace regulator is being recognised.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is highlighting the impact of its female staff on International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

The event, which was started by the United Nations, is in its eighth year and is aimed at recognising the work of women in science and to encourage young girls to see science as an industry they could enter.

HSE employs women in a range of scientific disciplines who make a vital contribution to keeping people safe at work.

Zoe Gould

They include work psychologist Zoe Gould who joined HSE in 2017 as an apprentice. She now has a degree in Criminology and Psychological Studies and is working towards an MSc in Psychology.

Zoe works out of HSE’s base in Science and Research Centre in Buxton and is part of the Human Factors Team. She is involved in a variety of projects including workplace safety culture and behaviour change.

Zoe, who lives in Buxton with her husband and three cats, said: “Being a woman in science, and in a position of positive influence in the world of human factors and psychology, is incredibly important.

“There are still areas of industry that have a long way to go in creating equal working environments and I am proud to have the opportunity to contribute towards these changes through my work.”

Susy Brescia

Susy Brescia, who was born in Italy, has a PhD in Occupational Toxicology and Epidemiology and is an expert on the effects of chemicals on hormone systems. She has been at HSE for 24 years and lives in West Lancashire.

She is the head of HSE’s Toxicology Team. She works with academia, industry and other government departments to develop guidance and standards for risk assessments.

Susy, a mother-of-two, said: “I have always been fascinated by our understanding of the world and the blocks of life. I feel privileged to work in an area where I can continue to ask some very fundamental questions.

“I am proud of working for HSE and to apply my scientific skills for the benefits of society overall.”

Sam Hall

Samantha Hall is a physicist working in HSE’s Exposure Assessment and Control Team and was recently awarded Chartered Physicist status by the Institute of Physics.

Sam lives in Stoke-on-Trent with her three-year-old rescue dog Holly and was a physics teacher before joining HSE in 2014.

Also based in Buxton at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, she has recently worked on HSE’s response to COVID-19 exposures relating to the suitability of personal protective equipment (PPE).  She also plays an active role in encouraging young people into science as a career through the STEM Ambassadors network.

In celebrating the day Sam added: “I love being a scientist because finding answers to important new questions is a great challenge and extremely rewarding. Every day is different, I’m always learning, and I get to have a lot of fun doing it.

“Society has finally realised that diverse teams are stronger so it’s important to have female representation in science. We should continue to highlight the great work that women in science do to inspire the brilliant female scientists of the future.”

If you want to read more about the work of the women we’ve featured here as well as our other women scientists, and understand how our science and evidence is having a positive impact on protecting people and places, see our latest Annual Science Review 2022.

If you are interested in working for HSE, visit out latest vacancies pages.

 Notes to editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.