Professor Frances SeparovicProfessor Frances Separovic
Deputy Director Bio21 Institute
School of Chemistry
University of Melbourne

Abstract: Much has been written about women in science, the ‘glass ceiling’ and the ‘leaking pipeline’. We know that women in science face persistent challenges and increasingly institutions and professional societies are taking steps to promote the visibility of women. Gender equity continues to make headlines. Unconscious bias and a culture of exclusion have led many women to become disillusioned and ultimately leave science and academia. Professor Separovic will give a personal account of how she navigated a career in a male dominated field, the set backs and the rewards, and why the culture of science needs to be less challenging and more inclusive.

Bio: Frances is a biophysical chemist who studies antibiotics and toxins in membranes. After the birth of her son, Frances did a BA and PhD while working full-time. Following a fellowship at NIH, she joined the University of Melbourne and became the first woman professor of chemistry and Head of School. Frances holds senior roles in several professional societies and has organized over 40 scientific conferences where she actively promotes the visibility of women. In 2012 she became the first female chemist elected to the Australian Academy of Science and in 2018 was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.


Queensland Bioscience Precinct
Building 80
The University of Queensland
St Lucia