‘I felt like I had to be able to hack it… it wasn’t right to walk away.’ Dame Athene Donald is Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge. Over her career, Athene has worked tirelessly to help encourage more women into STEM careers. She is the University of Cambridge’s Gender Equality Champion and the Director of Cambridge’s WiSETI initiative to encourage more women to pursue and succeed in STEM fields. She also chaired the Athena Forum until 2013. Athene received a 2009 L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science and, in 2011, won the UKRC’s Women of Outstanding Achievement’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge; she will become Master of Churchill College in 2014. Athene is a Trustee of the Science Museum Group and a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.