This exploratory study examined the impact of an international award on women scientists’ careers. Participants were a group of elite young women scientists at the start of their careers in a diverse range of disciplines, who had received a L’OrÃ©al Australia: For Women in Science International Fellowship. Open-ended interview questions explored participants’ perceptions of their careers following the Fellowship and of their identity as women scientists. Results indicate that the award was vital to the self-confidence and identity of women scientists establishing and consolidating their careers. Other factors, such as having children and workplace culture, had a negative impact on their career progression and confidence in pursuing a science career. Policy implications relating to institutional culture and the need for flexibility regarding child-rearing are discussed, as well as the importance of women-only awards to career progression.