Anna Harper

Anna Harper

Anna Harper is a strong believer in the integral role that a strong and supportive family can play in nurturing your professional career. As well as citing her mother as her most inspirational role model, the Mathematics Research Fellow also insists that the support and encouragement offered by her own family as crucial to her own career development.

She said: “I think that when I consider who has inspired me, I naturally turn to my mom. She raised my brother and me as a single mom and did a great job. She's always encouraged me to pursue my dreams, even when that means taking a job away from home in Atlanta and on another continent.
“My proudest moment was finishing my PhD. After working on my dissertation research for four years, it was amazing to see it all come together into a piece of work that I could be proud of., I was also proud to finish it five months after giving birth to my daughter, and that would not have been possible without the support of my husband.”

Anna believes that the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, which is “inspiring change”, means helping promote and expand the opportunities that are available to others around the world. She said: “To me, inspiring change means increasing opportunities for women, so that they can create positive change in their own lives and the lives of others. I think we are making progress toward more women having individual freedom and fulfilment in their lives.”

Anna said that her advice to others would be to “seize the day”, and make the most of the opportunities that come their way. “I recently read some advice from Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse in Australia, who said the most common regret of the dying was that they didn't have the courage to live a life true to themselves. We all have a choice and understanding that can make all the difference.”

Away from her career, Anna finds joy in spending time outdoors and getting away from the “hustle and routines” of everyday life. She said: “Being with my daughter and husband brings me joy, we spend a lot of time laughing, and watching my daughter grow and develop is an amazing experience. Also my faith brings me joy and helps me maintain perspective.”