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Sarah Harden

We asked women at Warwick to submit an image of themselves for inclusion in the Warwick Women's Montage and a short description of the challenges they've faced/continue to face and how they're dealing with them.

See Sarah's submission below:

"As a student with a hidden disability, generalized anxiety disorder, I face challenges every day. It's harder for me to be in crowds, which can make networking complicated. I also tend to have a lot of thoughts whirling around my head. I think for me the issue is that I have always been told "there are people in worse situations". And I agree. But this sentence belittles the struggle or journey being faced. There are two things that I have learnt from this. Its okay to accept help and support, and offer support to others. For me, I have found a network of friends, colleagues, supervisors that are supportive and approachable.

I am also coming to accept that unfortunately we can't help everyone, and that by putting yourself last, and not getting the support you need, you prevent yourself from supporting the people you wanted to help.

I also struggle with imposter syndrome, like I think most PhD students do. The PhD is a serious undertaking, and has its ups and downs. It can be a challenge on my mental health, especially when experiments continually have bad results, when I keep try and trying, yet do not see any observable progress. With this, I have found that having checklists helps me to see that I have accomplished something. Also, its great having people around to say "You know, I feel that too! There are droughts from good results but there will be good results too".

Currently, everything is more challenging given the pandemic but I refuse to let it stop me. I keep fundraising, I host virtual scavenger hunts so my friends can participate and have some chill time."

Read more personal stories on the Warwick Women's Montage page.

You may also be interested in:

ED&I Newsletter

Charters - including Athena Swan (gender equality Charter)

Gender Initiatives

Data and Reports - including Gender Pay Gap Report

Policies

Taskforces and SIC - including Gender Task Force

* If you’re struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic find sources of support on the Staff Wellbeing Hub and access confidential online or phone support from the Employee Assistance Programme.