Lily Song: International Women's Day 2019 Profile

Lily Song has been working as a neurologist for over 18 years. She joined The George Institute for Global Health three years ago and specialises in clinical trials.

Lily was first attracted to working on clinical trials after realising the long-term impact they have on improving evidence-based clinical practice and therefore global health in general.

“I love work that needs a high degree of organisation and pays close attention to detail. Engaging in academic research and project management that has real impact is very attractive to me.”

Lily is currently engaged in three large long-term clinical trials at The George Institute and considers their completion an important new stage of her career, along with the evidence they will provide to clinicians around the world.

“Our work is committed to conducting clinical trials and translating research outcomes into policy and practice, providing policy makers with effective, high-impact and low-cost evidence to improve the health of people.”

Her advice to other women thinking about getting into medical research is to focus on the big picture.

“Medical research can provide bigger benefits not just for an individual but for whole populations. It’s a noble and meaningful career that I recommend to other women without hesitation.”

Towards more gender balance in research, Lily sees the increasing contributions made by women as positive indicators of greater progress to come.

“The world is created and moulded by both men and women, and women are providing greater and greater contributions in many areas. As excellence in the research sector is based on intelligence, with gender bearing no influence on clinical outcomes, I believe it is only a matter of time before we achieve a more gender-balanced field.”

Reflecting on this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #Balanceforbetter, Lily believes women in particular face greater challenges in achieving balance.

“Balance for me means not only gender balance in the work place, but also in terms of balance between work and life. Women in particular need better balance between our careers and our personal lives because we tend to have more responsibilities relating to family.”