For Marcelina, society should accept that men take care of children as much as women.
Marcelina Cardoso Dos Santos is the only one in her family working in science and with a PhD. Biophysicist at the CEA (The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) at Paris-Saclay University, Institute of Integrative Biology of the Cell since 2018, she is interested in biomimetic systems and biosensing.
I have always been fascinated by cell biology and the complex processes that govern cells. For the mystery of life. And thanks to microscopy, we can observe these processes so closely. Since my first internships at the university I have loved being immersed in the lab world.
I have a passion for my job. I like the creativity it requires when it comes to imagining new projects. I like the eagerness to make things work and the great excitement when it starts to give results.
My family has always supported my career choices and is very proud of me.
My success has been to get a permanent position in the academic field, and in France this is a great challenge. My biggest failure was to see my friends leave the labs without having had this chance and the lab lose precious knowledge and experience.
My best colleagues with their words of comfort and the will to focus on the essential: science.
I think every woman has to find her work-life balance. You can be a good mother but to develop your career in parallel, you need a lot of support. So don’t hesitate to ask your family for help if possible.
I think there is still a lot to do regarding gender equality in the workplace. Society should accept that men take care of children as much as women. Maternity and paternity leave should be mandatory and of equal length so that women can devote themselves to their careers and become PIs* at the same level as men.
* in many countries, the term PI or Principal Investigator refers to a researcher holding a research grant and being the lead researcher of the grant project.