Diversity is a creative force that broadens views and enhances ideas; it increases productivity as well as the impact of our science, making our respective organisations more agile and timely. Equality of opportunity is a key to success for any research organisation. Here we argue that every research organisation, whether in academia or in industry, needs to have better inclusion policies to harness the benefits of diversity in research. Drawing from our personal experiences and perspectives as women in science, we share our suggestions on how to promote inclusion in academia and create a better research culture for all. Our shared experiences highlight the many hurdles women in science face on a daily basis. We stress that rules and regulations, as well as education for awareness, will play critical role in this much needed shift from a male-dominated scientific culture that dates from Victorian times to a modern focus on gender equality in science. The key ingredients of this new culture will be flexibility, transparency, fairness and thoughtfulness.