Mitigating the Impacts of COVID-19

Panel discussion from the Finding Ada Conference 2020.


How are women’s jobs and careers being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? In academia, fewer women are submitting grant proposals and scientific papers, and in industry women’s jobs have been hit hard and mother especially are having to do more domestic work, so what is the long-term damage that’s being done? And how do we mitigate it?


  • Tara Scott, professional head of track at Network Rail
  • Joeli Brearley, founder of Pregnant Then Screwed
  • Dr Nisreen Alwan, associate professor in public health at the University of Southampton
  • Mariam Crichton, Managing Director at 4 Earth Intelligence

About our speakers

Tara Scott

Tara ScottTara Scott is currently the Route Infrastructure Engineer for the East Midlands Route. During her 15 years with Network Rail she has worked through frontline roles including Track Section Manager (Milton Keynes) and Track Maintenance Engineer (Euston) as well as central engineering roles. Recently she successfully led a project with Network Rail Consulting in Toronto working with the Toronto Transit Commission. As well as being Chartered Engineer with IET, Tara is a fellow of the Permanent Way Institution and sits on their Academic Panel.



Joeli Brearley

Joeli BrearleyJoeli is the founder of Pregnant Then Screwed, an organisation which protects and supports women who encounter pregnancy and maternity discrimination and lobbies the Government for legislative change. 54,000 women a year are pushed out of their jobs for getting pregnant or taking maternity leave and 77% of working mums encounter some form of discrimination in the workplace. This type of discrimination is a major contributor to the gender pay gap, and via her training organisation, ‘Gendering Change’, Joeli is on a mission to make the labour market work for parents.

She is a regular contributor on Radio 5 Live, she writes for the Telegraph and the Independant and has won various awards and accolades for her pioneering work to end the motherhood penalty. Described by Elle Magazine as ‘Fearsome and Funny’ She has been awarded the 2019 Northern Power Women ‘’Agent of Change’’ award, she is an Observer 2018 New Radical and an Amnesty International Women Human Rights Defender. She is currently advising the Government on what they should do about the use of Non Disclosure Agreements in cases of pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

Joeli’s first book – ”Pregnant Then Screwed, a call to arms for women’’ will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2021.

Dr Nisreen Alwan

Dr Nisreen Alwan

Dr Nisreen Alwan is Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Southampton. She trained in clinical medicine and public health. She obtained a PhD in nutritional epidemiology in the area of maternal and child health. She has a particular interest in the wider social, economic, environmental and cultural determinants of health in women and children. During the pandemic, Nisreen has focused on the inequalities angle of the pandemic response, and the emergence of ‘long COVID’ and why it is so important.

Twitter: @Dr2NisreenAlwan


Mariam Crichton

Mariam Crichton

Mariam has been the entrepreneurial driving force in the growth of many startups over the last 16 years. Her innovative technology management expertise lies in GIS, SAAS, Software, Mobile Design, and Development. She was formerly co-founder and CEO of professional mapping tool FIND. Mariam is the current Managing Director of 4 Earth Intelligence,a Geospatial company in the Downstream Space sector. 4EI uses Space Data s Mariam is also an Advisor to the Board and a Non-Executive Director at Wired Sussex supporting the digital, media and technology cluster across Sussex. She has also been working with Safe & the City – a revolutionary app that uses GPS, crowdsourced information and police risk data to reduce the risk of opportunistic crime and sexual harassment.

LinkedIn: /mariamcrichton
Instagram: @mariamcrichton
Twitter: @crichtonmariam

Posted in Advocacy & Policy.