Director, Global Culinology
Women Worth Watching® in STEM INTERNATIONAL
My credentials: Diploma of Culinary Arts, pastry & baking, Institute of Culinary Education NYC (formerly Peter Kump’s NY Cooking School); Medical Technologist, United States Army Academy of Health Sciences My work location: Bridgewater, New Jersey Words I live by: “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt My personal philosophy: Lead by example and with empathy. What I’m reading now: A Promised Land by Barack Obama My first Job: U.S. Army Reserves medical technologist My favorite charity: World Central Kitchen & Feeding America My interests: Travel, reading, and cooking My family: Married with a tween daughter, 2 cats & 1 dog Company: Ingredion Inc. Industry: Food Development & Manufacturing Company Headquarters: Westchester, Illinois Number of employees: approximately 11,000 employees globally CEO: James P. Zallie
Increasing Diversity in STEM During this pandemic, we learned the importance of science in helping to save lives. I am hopeful that this will bring about greater engagement in academic and corporate settings to create a path for women from diverse backgrounds in the scientific community. Corporations and academia must work to diversify board representation, leverage external panels, and offer internship programs that excite and inspire tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. STEM pioneer Katalin Karikó, believed that her decades of mRNA research could be used for something truly groundbreaking. That work has been critical to the development of successful COVID-19 vaccines. Corporations need to partner with and support educators, researchers, and sociopolitical organizations to support initiatives designed to diversify STEM representation.
2021 Second Quarter
Barriers to Closing the STEM Gender Gap
Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road
The largest barrier is the underrepresentation of women. I currently serve on a nonprofit industry board for a food incubator whose mission is to add diverse board members and engage with industry leaders from different cultures and backgrounds. I am inspired to serve in this role and share my experiences with others. Taking the time to seek out and encourage talented women, and create an environment that allows for individuals to stretch themselves needs to be paramount. Many times, I see the industry take the path of least resistance, and use the same experts repeatedly for speaking engagements. We are also seeing more vocal advocacy from female leaders who are taking a stand by not participating in industry events that do not highlight diverse backgrounds, cultures, and genders.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused many women to leave the workforce. I see this as setting us back in the short term. The good news is that, also because of the pandemic, new ways of working that many corporations have adopted will allow women greater flexibility so that, when they return to work, they will not have to choose work/life balance over their aspirations and career development. Women have found their voice as essential to their professional and personal growth. Academia and corporations are responding as personal and group advocacy increases. I see women as a driving force in all aspects of STEM and STEAM in five years. We all need to fearlessly advocate, mentor, and support movements that help us succeed in this industry.