A budding young Tasmanian researcher has urged other women entering science professions to seek out a female mentor to help navigate the challenges women face in the field.
"For women to be more represented in STEM we do need women in higher-up places to be our role models," said University of Tasmania PhD student Olivia Holloway.
"We have a leaky pipe model. We have lots of young females in STEM but there are very few women in the upper rankings of science," she said.
"If you are doing science no matter what stage of career you are in, get yourself a female mentor in science. It is the best experience and you will learn so much."
Ms Holloway, 23, is one of four scientists in Australia selected for this year's L'Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Mentoring Program.
Through the mentor program, over the past few weeks Ms Holloway has been meeting with University of Melbourne engineering researcher Dr Airlie Chapman via Skype.
"It's been an eyeopener to academic life," Ms Holloway said.
"We've been talking about what I can do next and how to be a better scientist, with all the hardships that face women in science.
"We've also been talking about the pressures PhD students face. One of the things a lot of us go through is impostor-syndrome."
Now in the second year of her PhD based at the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre in Hobart, Ms Holloway's research is investigating if concussions increase the risk of a person developing dementia.
"Its been in sports, about how many AFL players are now experiencing cognitive loss, memory loss and behavioral changes," she said.
"I don't ever want to leave neuroscience, continuing on in the brain's immune system in research."
Ms Holloway said it was not good enough to just do a PhD: "it's what you do on top of your PhD that makes you stand out among everyone else".
"I am continuously trying to write as many papers as I can, furiously," she said.
Ms Holloway also produces a radio show, That's What I Call Science!, with other women completing their PhDs which recently won a community radio award for best new show in 2019 and will soon be syndicated across Australia.
"I don't have any spare time. It's either radio, PhD or writing," she said.
Ms Holloway said the University of Tasmania actually has a great balance of female researchers.
"I know in other countries if I go study anywhere else or a post-doctorate what I am going to be facing will be more heavily male dominated," she said.