Covid-19 scientist Carika Weldon is Woman of the Year
The scientist who spearheaded the island’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic was yesterday named Woman of the Year.
Carika Weldon was given the award at a ceremony on the steps of City Hall this afternoon.
Dr Weldon said at the ceremony that women risked burnout if they did not take care of themselves.
She added: “I’m very honoured and it’s amazing to be able to advocate for self care.
“It’s something I know that for the last two years for sure, women have been the glue in our community and we have to make sure we’re taking good care of ourselves.
“I’m happy to be a symbol of that and I’m hoping that everybody enjoys not just today, but every day and support our women as we go forward.”
Dr Weldon was given the award by the organisers of International Women’s Day Bermuda organisation.
She ran the Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, which carries out thousands of Covid-19 tests every day.
She stepped down from the post in January.
Dr Weldon said gender should not make a difference when women pursued careers.
She added: “The cool thing about being ‘Dr Weldon’ is that nobody knows what gender you are until you show up.
“And that’s how it should be regardless. Whatever ambitions we have, we shouldn’t have limits or have to break through any barriers or windows – the world should be our oyster.
“A lot of the time we’re in the background. Obviously my role was in the forefront, but women in general – we just keep going and going and it’s not really recognised so I think it’s important to take time and reflect and give honour where honour’s due.
“It should be every day but we mark this particular day just to make sure we are cognisant of the fact that women are a key part of society.”
Dr Weldon added: “It’s been something of a last two years but we’ve made it through.”
She highlighted that there was only one chromosomal difference between men and women.
Dr Weldon said: “There’s no basis for any bias, any discrimination, any difference in pay, and difference in expectation – there’s no difference.
“I know we want to say that we want to pull up our women and inspire them to do better – we are better, we have done it already.”