The Science Ambassador of the Year Awards celebrates the brilliant work being done across the industry to inspire young people in their studies and future career aspirations.
Gemma, who is Director of UK Process Chemistry for Pfizer in Sandwich in Kent, impressed the judges with her passion for STEM and the wide range of activities she has been involved in as an ambassador.
They felt her commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion – as well as her recognition of alternative learning styles – had helped a range of programmes in which she was involved reach a wider pool of future talent.
The judges particularly appreciated her understanding of how to overcome the barriers to reaching young people and encouraging them into the industry, including the impact of neurodiversity.
Gemma was a leading figure in restarting an initiative called Community Lab – a collaboration between Pfizer and a number of partners which lets school pupils experience an industrial laboratory – after the Covid pandemic (alongside fellow finalist Don Clark).
She also helped reinvigorate her employer’s work experience programme post-Covid by designing a hands-on initiative allowing a greater number of students to create a medicine and follow it through the development process. She has also mentored a first-year biochemistry student to support them with interview skills and career progression through the Black Pharma scheme.
The four finalists all exemplify the passion and commitment to science through their voluntary work in supporting students, teachers and employers.
Gemma was in the running for the award alongside Annabelle Nicholson (Victrex), Holly Rimmer (AstraZeneca) and Don Clark (Pfizer). Gemma said:
I love being part of a team and as an Ambassador you get to connect with so many different young people
“I had a brilliant Chemistry teacher and he really believed in me so I wanted to pass this on so others can have the same experience and inspiration I had. “Winning this award is so humbling and it feels amazing to be recognised. It’s a true appreciation of my passion and I hope it inspires others to get involved.”
Chair of the Science Industry Partnership and Director Academic Liaison at GSK, Malcolm Skingle, said:
Huge congratulations to Gemma on winning this award. Attracting the next generation of scientific talent is crucial for our economy.
“Gemma and her fellow finalists are a credit to our industry and I hope their efforts will inspire people to pursue a career in this exciting and rewarding sector – as well as becoming ambassadors to further our important outreach work – for years to come.”