International Women's Day 2017: #WorkLikeaWoman

by Sarah Kamshoshy March 08, 2017

International Women's Day 2017: #WorkLikeaWoman

It’s International Women’s Day—a day to celebrate all of the history-changing social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women; a day to be bold and, in the words of Maya Angelou, proudly declare, “I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that’s me.”

Among the most notable women worth honoring today, are those who are fearlessly and passionately trailblazing the world of science. From inside our Berkeley labs, our scientists developed a patented technology that allows us to create an accessible cure for malaria. After that, our scientists were inspired to continue making a positive impact on the world, and turned to sustainable plant-derived skincare to make a difference for your health and the health of the planet. So for International Women’s Day, here is a Q&A with some of the brilliant women who run our world (i.e our labs.)

Meet Judith

Q: Was there a woman, personally or professionally, who inspired or mentored you in your career?

A: I wouldn’t say it was a single woman, but a group of women, who in college had a workshop talking about women in science, and asked the question of how many women science teachers I had had growing up…and I realized the answer was zero. And that question alone, asked by those women, inspired me to continue to pursue my interest in science and to be that role model. To work to foster excitement and curiosity around scientific discovery and help to illuminate the path of a career in science for another generation of women.

Meet Aditi

Q: Was there a woman, personally or professionally, who inspired or mentored you in your career?

A: It’s really dramatic to say, but my mom. My mom is a doctor, so she has been working in science for a very long time, and her advice to me was never to give up, which is so important – not only as a scientist, but also as a professional woman. That’s my inspiration right there.

Q: What about your job are you most passionate about?

A: The most passionate thing about this job is to rise as a Phoenix. So things normally don’t go as we want them to go, but then figuring out stuff that did not work, and working towards making a better strains towards your product...it’s always very exciting to see something that has not worked, working again.

Meet Erica

Q: Was there a woman, personally or professionally, who inspired or mentored you in your career?

A: I went to school on the East Coast and I went to a HBCU and it was full of inspirational, colored women and I definitely got a little bit of of everything from all of them. My biology department was pretty much predominantly women, which is a good thing, [laughs] we’re the smart ones. But every single woman in that major, my coaches…as far as my sorority in school, a lot of them were doctors and scientists, so they pushed me to do my best and stand out as a woman, and a woman of color, for sure. I couldn’t point out one, but definitely everyone at my school at Shaw University, all the women there, were strong women that pushed me there – besides for my mom.

Q: What’s the best part of your day?

A: The best part of my day – which is weird – is the end of my day. Because I can look back, and [think] “Wow, I did a lot of stuff today and I got a lot of work done in the lab,” and feeling reassured that I put my all into my day. Feeling tired is like a reassuring thing that, man, I put some work in.

Meet Julie

Q: Was there a particular woman, personally or professionally, that mentored or inspired you?

A: At Amyris, there are many women. A lot of my science teachers growing up were male, so not when I was younger. The project that I’m on—the program head—is a female and she has a great understanding of the overall, larger problems and she’s able to break that down into more solvable goals and communicate that to us…so that’s really amazing. I work with another scientist, Penny, and she just has so many ideas; she’s not afraid to just say them all and try them. I think something that a lot of people do – myself included – is we’re afraid to express our ideas in case they are bad ideas, but working with Penny, has made me not afraid to express what my ideas are.

Q: What advice do you have for young girls about achieving their dreams, especially if they want to pursue a career in science?

A: I hate to say it like this, but develop a thicker skin, and also find people who are supportivebecause the people who are supportive are going to be who you can rely on, and trust in. And on top of that, you’re going to hear things like, “You can’t do that because you’re a woman.” Or even subtle in terms of questions people ask you like, “What are you doing here?” So that’s going to happen, people will say that, so not to let that stop you from doing what you want to do.

Thank you to our incredible scientists who strive to make a true impact on the world every single day, and set an example of what it truly means to #WorkLikeaWoman.
Sarah Kamshoshy


Sarah Kamshoshy
Sarah Kamshoshy

Author

If you've found Biossance through a blog post on Wendy's Lookbook, Instagram, or just really liked that staff picks email--well, those are just a few things that came from me! I'm Sarah and I'm the Digital Marketing Manager here at Biossance. I wear a lot of (fashionable, I hope) hats around here, and I am so pleased to meet you. I take my dreams for reality because I believe in the reality of my dreams. On the side I'm a fashion photographer and wearer of red lipstick. My favorite words are "pristine" and "otherworldly." Previously of the United Nations, Chictopia, and Crossroads Trading Co.


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