Dr Lawton (Ngāti Porou) trained at Otago medical school. She worked as a general practitioner in Newtown, Wellington for and co-founded the Wellington menopause clinic. These experiences lead to an interest in research to answer the many questions relevant to women’s health.
She joined the Department of General Practice and Primary Healthcare in 1998 which was followed by the establishment of the Women’s Health Research Centre. Bev was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004, for services to women’s health.