Izza Ismail

Meet one of our members from ABI and their experiences of Equity and Diversity.

At the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, diversity is one of our strengths - it is something we celebrate and constantly strive to improve. A more diverse team is more creative, because it includes many different perspectives from a range of different cultures.

Izza Ismail began her PhD at ABI in February 2015. Previous to that, she obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours, as well as a Masters of Science in Biotechnology, at the Universiti Sains in Malaysia.

Izza’s field of research is mathematical modelling. She is currently working on a project to develop computational models that describe key signalling pathways that regulate the interaction between cells of the uterus and placenta.

She says that as a female, and a Muslim, she has faced challenges in her career. But Izza feels she has been well supported at ABI.

I don't think people in ABI discriminate against women, and I am proud that women have the same opportunities as men here - we’re given the same chances to contribute to science, especially in engineering and bioengineering. In term of religion, although I am the only Muslim with hijab, I am treated the same like everyone else.

Izza Ismail Auckland Bioengineering Institute

The addition of a new quiet room at ABI is welcomed by Izza – spaces for young parents is something she wanted to see more of.

“I gave birth during my studies, and it is great that the institute can provide these facilities for parents, which they can use like a nursing room or parent’s room,” Izza says.

“As a graduate student, I do come to work at night and over the weekend, so it is great to have these facilities.”
Izza has some good advice for young scientists from any background.

“Make yourself ready to learn new things, not only about study but also life,” she says.

“Mix with people, talk to them – do not isolate yourself. And respect others.”