Professor Regev recognizes that she has been fortunate in her career, with superb mentors, talented collaborators and sufficient funding for her ideas. However, she also recognizes the hard fight led by her predecessors to pave the way for her own path in science. This includes scientist Nancy Hopkins, whose report on the status of women at MIT in 1999 made waves at the university and at the national level. Professor Regev is determined to give back by supporting future women scientists, including by acting as a role model and mentor.
“I am optimistic [about the glass ceiling] but also realize that a lot remains to be done and we cannot take anything for granted, not even our current gains,” she says, adding that women scientists have made some of the greatest discoveries of the past century, changing our world, developing fields, training new generations of scientists, leading institutions, curing patients and more.
To future generations of women scientists, she says: “It’s important to feel empowered to what you think is best, even if it seems unorthodox – you can be your own role model. And don’t feel obliged to constrain yourself to one discipline – combining all the areas that inspire you is incredibly fun and rewarding.”