International Women’s Day: Siân Vincent Venables, Catchment Project Officer

8th March 2023

On International Women’s Day, Catchment Project Officer Siân Vincent Venables reflects on what drives her in her conservation career.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Being amongst wildlife and out in nature is so often my favourite part of the role. And secondly, it’s feeling like I’m making a difference – even though a very small one. Knowing that I’m helping to increase biodiversity and conserve wildlife is quite a fulfilling feeling.

What inspired you to pursue your current career?

I grew up in rural Wales and developed such an appreciation for nature – it feels like such a safe, peaceful and important place to me. After studying Biology at university, that appreciation grew so much more. As soon as I started that course, I knew it was what I wanted to dedicate my career to.

Woman standing in icy field

The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘Embrace Equity’. Why is this important in conservation?

I think equity is very important. If the conservation sector is not reaching and appealing to a wide range of people, there will not be enough drive for change. We need to all work together for anything to actually move forwards.

What advice would you give to a woman who is just starting out in a similar role to yours?

Believe in yourself and your abilities to progress and learn – just because you have less experience and knowledge at the moment does not make your work any less important. Basically, stop comparing yourself to others – you can’t be perfect, and you can only do what you can do!

SIan VIncent Venables in front of a snow-capped mountain (black and white image).

Who or what inspires and drives you in your role?

Issues such as climate change and declining biodiversity sadden me so much, and it’s what drives me to do well in this role. In terms of individuals, climate activists definitely inspire me the most – for example, people such as Chris Packham and George Monbiot.

Siân is a catchment project officer from Mid Wales, with a background in biological research. After completing her Masters degree, she went onto research assistant roles. This included collecting data on the impact of light pollution on the activity and navigation of nocturnal arthropods in the French Pyrenees and investigating the relationship between seabirds and fisheries in the south of Spain. She joined Freshwater Habitats Trust in November 2022 and works on a number of our catchment partnership projects in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.