Watch back: Fighting Blindness International Woman’s Day 2022 Webinar #BreakTheBias

Aligned with our strategic goals, Fighting Blindness wish to support, nurture and promote the next generation of female researchers. With this in mind, we celebrated International Woman’s Day by hosting an online event on Tuesday, March 8 together with its4women, with the theme ‘Break the Bias’.

Our event was inspired by a 2020 Irish times article that detailed how academic research is impacted by gender bias and also how Covid-19 has impacted female researchers’ careers through the disruption of childcare and increased domestic responsibilities. Our goal for the event was to discuss the challenges female researchers face as a result of gender bias – and how to overcome these biases – while developing a fulfilling career. We felt this was a positive way to celebrate the day, especially as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and lots of women may be looking to refocus their career plans.

Our first speaker was Dr Annalisa Montesanti, who is a Programme Manager at the Health Research Board (HRB), where she has been involved in managing several funding schemes. Annalisa gave us an overview from a research funders perspective on the challenges female researchers face because of gender bias and what funders such as the HRB are doing to overcome this.

Annalisa Montesanti speaking at the Fighting Blindness #BreakTheBias webinar

Our second speaker was Tara Hughes, the Research Careers Manager in UCD working with Postdoctoral Researchers.  Tara’s background is in HR, Learning & Development & Organisation Development. Tara spoke about developing our career and how to overcome gender bias challenges.

Tara Hughes, Research Careers Manager at UCD, speaking to Fighting Blindness Research Manager, Ellen Moran

After both talks the Young Female Researcher Bursary winner was announced. The Bursary is a €1000 career award for an early-stage female researcher working in vision research in Ireland and is generously sponsored by our corporate partner its4women.

We set researchers the task of explaining how their research is driving the cure in a max 1-minute video and sharing it with us on Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn using the hashtag #DrivingTheCure.  We got some absolutely brilliant entries and therefore, we would like to thank everyone who took the time to apply for the bursary. The judges chose Iris Post, PhD student in the Farrar lab at Trinity College Dublin as the winner.

Thank you so much to everyone who took part!

We would like to extend a warm thank you to our panelists, attendees and its4women for their support. Happy International Women’s Day 2022 from all in Fighting Blindness!


Find out more:

Annalisa Montesanti’s LinkedIn and Twitter:


Tara Hughes’ LinkedIn:


Iris Post’s LinkedIn: