- What is something you have learned in the workplace and have applied at home with your family?
For me, it all comes down to team work! If you have a vision for what you want to do – whether that’s a work project or a family vacation – you need to make sure the people around you share your vision in some way and as though they feel part of the decision making process so they can support you on achieving your goals. Another key thing I’ve learnt during my career is the importance of communication. You might think everybody loves a beach vacation but different people might be looking for different things – so communicate. Once someone actively participates in the planning process, they will be much more likely to be passionate about the end result.
- When did you start working in the beauty industry and what was the process?
I started working for Procter & Gamble (P&G) right after finishing my PhD in Chemistry. My Professor at University thought a role in the beauty industry would be a good fit as it aligned with my interests and skills. My first assignment at P&G was actually in Healthcare not Beauty, but one of the reasons I wanted to work for a large international Consumer Goods company like P&G was the huge variety of potential products and brands I’d get the opportunity to work on in the future. I moved to Beauty in 2006 and never looked back. I think it’s important not to limit your thinking solely to your first role when you join a company, but also consider what the possibilities are over time.
- Being the principal scientist for one of the world’s largest multinational Consumer Goods corporations is an enormous accomplishment. How did you get to where you are today?
I am one of several principal scientists working on Olay – we have such a great team of super smart people with different backgrounds, experiences, parts of the world I think that this is actually one of P&G’s biggest strengths as a brand. Getting a good education and degree is obviously the first step for any successful scientist, but if you want to work in an industry vs say research it’s also important to understand the broader business context of what you work on. It’s helpful to ask yourself: who uses the product you help develop, and why? What are they looking and hoping for from these products? Where do they shop? What are the other options and choices they are faced with? You don’t have to become an expert in all these areas but having some level of understanding will make you a better scientist.
- Additionally, has this responsibility seen you run into any obstacles you’ve had to overcome?
I think we all run into some obstacles in our jobs and life no matter what we do. It’s important to have a network of people who you know and trust, so you don’t feel like you have to overcome every challenge on your own. Sharing problems, asking for help, and accepting help are all important steps that don’t come naturally to some people, however are so critical.
- What are 3 tips you would give to any young woman aspiring to enter the science/tech industry?
1. Do something you really love and feel passionate about. Don’t be guided by which sector pays the most or which degree has the highest chances of being hired by a top company.
2. Have mentors inside and outside your field – people love to help and share their experiences, you just have to ask. Find people who you feel a connection with.
3. Don’t forget about having fun. Work is just one aspect of your life and while it’s great if work can be fun sometimes, it can also be really tough and grating at times, and it’s important to create balance with something else.
- What do you love most about working in such a woman-driven industry?
P&G gave me an incredible opportunity to build a career as a female scientist in an industry that I’m so passionate about. I have had the opportunity to meet so many other amazing women since I started working in Beauty and they are often so passionate about what they do, and the role they playing in supporting the global female community. It feels great working in an industry that can instill that kind of passion.