Bondi Vet Dr Kate Adams on the Big Issues Facing Women in Science
Bondi Vet Dr Kate Adams has been practicing as a veterinarian for 10 years, a full-time role she pursues while also modeling and working on her startup, Thankly, a platform simplifying the process of sending personalized thank you notes and gifts.
We chatted with Adams about the big issues facing women in science and to find out what life's like when work involves saving Bondi's most adorable pets (job goals, right!?).
What do you think the biggest issues are facing women in your industry?
There are more female vets out there than male in many cases, yet I would estimate only 3/10 practices have a female founder or owner. I’m planning on changing that! I feel our role models are few and far between. We learn and are pulled up by our networks, and when there aren’t others around us (or before us) showing us how it’s done, it’s hard and unknown. As women, we aren’t all taught how to make money. We know how to work really hard, we know how to be good at school and good employees but we don’t ever really get taught the skills we need to really make it big by ourselves.
As a vet, I still have clients ask me when I graduated or where I did my degree (despite being a vet for 10 years). I have also had clients call me darling, ask me if I’m old enough to have a degree or ask to see the male vet. It’s something I’ve become used to—and know I have to work hard, be better than the average and be 100 percent on my game to win people’s confidence.
What does an average day look like for a vet?
I consult at the clinic many mornings including weekends. I have a special love for cats, so I see a lot of them and I often still thing that I have the best job in the world. But it’s not all snuggling cute cats (sometimes it is!)—I have to do the hard stuff too—animals that have been hit by cars is never fun. I need to be able to make quick decisions, have faith in my abilities, problem solve, calculate numbers in my head and know a lot about how the body works. Being a vet can be very stressful and hard; you rarely get to sit down, you have to juggle multiple cases at once (and sometimes multiple emergencies at once) and have to be able to deal with angry and upset people, communicate well, and have an enormous amount of empathy for pets as well as their people. My afternoons are varied—sometimes I stay in the clinic if I’ve got a complex case, or I work on the business, or I might have a modeling gig.
What is your schedule during the week? Do you work weekends and after hours?
Insane. I work every night and every weekend, but that doesn’t always mean I'm my desk! I don’t really mind working—I love what I do and honestly, if I was a billionaire I’d still do what I do for free. I think that’s the key; find something that doesn’t feel like work and find a way to get paid for it.
How do you balance your work as a vet with your modeling and startup?
I find balancing everything sometimes difficult. I try not to think about my never ending to-do list and I just focus on completing one priority task at one time and I always keep my vision and goals at the back of my head. I have a very tight diary and I make every day count and I take risks and look for opportunity. Sometimes I fail, but I think if you’re winning 100 percent of the time, you’re not learning or challenging yourself.