International Women’s Day - celebrating women in STEM at Science Group

Today, Science Group celebrates our female colleagues working towards diversifying the STEM field across the Group’s companies. Through innovation and hard work, these women in science are making a difference across fields as diverse as applied science, engineering, and regulatory consulting.

We asked some of our team about their chosen career in science, the most fulfilling part of their jobs, and advice for the younger female generation pursuing careers in STEM.

Ankita Singal Sareen
Senior Consultant, Oakland Innovation

It is, at times, easy to forget that women, like men, are making significant contributions to science and technology because we wear multiple ‘hats’! Women have worked very hard to break the glass ceiling and emerge as key contributors to many fields. Our world is changing fast and we need this day to remind us of that change - because in time we should be aiming to celebrate equality in science.

Concy Aciro
Senior Human Health Toxicology Consultant, TSG Consulting - EU

The biggest challenge for women in STEM is gender bias driven by cultural and societal norms based on the perception that women are weak. Science is not about physical fitness, it’s about mental capability. It is important to create a culture of inclusivity for younger women to ensure that they are aware of opportunities available to them and to pursue their interests and strengths.

Joanna Starkie
Scientific Consultant, Sagentia

I always enjoyed science subjects at school and was lucky to have very good teachers. I studied chemistry at university including an industrial placement. My placement supervisors were incredibly supportive and the application of chemistry to solve real world problems really motivated me. So, I progressed to an industry funded PhD in colloid chemistry and then joined Sagentia, where I get to work on scientifically challenging real world problems every day.

Jolanta Skotnicka-Pitak
Innovation & Strategy Consultant, Oakland Innovation

To me, the most satisfying part of being an Innovation Consultant at Oakland is that this job is never the same. I don’t get bored here. I deliver a variety of technology and business innovation projects to multinational clients. I can see what they do, how they think, and what concerns they have. It is rewarding to help them thrive. For women looking to get into STEM - you're not supposed to have it all figured out. Be yourself and work with people who nourish you.

Leanne Yip Heung Win
Product Design Engineer, Sagentia

When I was younger, I continuously wanted to build things and my parents encouraged me to do so. Becoming a product design engineer seemed like a great fit as it incorporated my love of design, engineering and making things. You get to explore new technology, design trends, and engineer new ideas, which can evoke a unique user experience or device function. It is really satisfying seeing your ideas transform from a sketch into a product people use every day.       

Lesley Last
Senior Plant Protection Consultant, TSG Consulting – EU

I always enjoyed finding out how the world works and have been fascinated by biology since I was small. It was a progression from this personal fascination that led me to my degree in biology and my career developed from there. I thoroughly enjoy blending the world of science with the world of people. When I translate science and data into meaningful outcomes, my colleagues and clients can develop practical solutions which is so rewarding.

Leslie Patton
Senior Scientific Consultant, TSG Consulting - US

Dr Elizabeth Patton, my mom, was a scientist and my biggest influence. She was a research chemist at Kodak. She loved her job and talked about the joy of working through issues, along with a team of scientists, to develop technologies that eventually made their way into consumer products. The science interested me, but more than that was her enthusiasm and curiosity for learning and discovery.

Luminita Velea
Senior Scientific Consultant, TSG Consulting - US

Since I can remember I loved numbers and puzzles. So when chemistry was introduced to me in 7th grade, it felt like solving puzzles. My teachers had a way of explaining scientific concepts that seemed easy and logical. I wasn’t specifically encouraged to get into STEM; I just followed my passion. If you are passionate about science, just follow your calling.

Melina Henne
Senior Regulatory Consultant, TSG Consulting - EU

My curiosity led me to a career in science. I’ve always wanted to know how things work, and scientific subjects at school fascinated me. Science is so multifaceted with so many different career options. Although women are still underrepresented in STEM, it is important to show the different options available. The combination of communicating with clients and authorities while trying to solve issues has been so fulfilling.

Sara Boubakri
Senior Scientific Regulatory Affairs Analyst, Leatherhead Food Research

I love my job because of the combination of languages and food science that I use daily. Working with people from different cultures and backgrounds to my own has kept me so interested and engaged. I’ve always had a deep passion for high-quality food, which inevitably led me to study a bachelor’s and master’s degree in food science. Understanding the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food ignited that passion and led me to choose a career with Leatherhead Food Research.

Séverine Macke
Senior Biocides Consultant, TSG Consulting – EU

My father is an engineer and I was always attracted to science, so I naturally chose this career path. I have a good memory so knowing the different regulations, guidances, and specific examples has been helpful when presenting to clients or answering their specific questions. I would say to all young women interested in pursuing a career in science, listen only to yourself, believe in yourself and in what you can achieve. Never let anyone decide on your future but yourself.

Tina Mistry
Cooking Instruction Senior Supervisor, Leatherhead Food Research

I would like to say to all women - whether they are young, returning after having children or a career break - have faith in yourself. Go for an opportunity that you may not have thought would be possible because you never know until you try. When an opportunity arose at Leatherhead, I applied and here I am 5 years later as a Senior Cooking Instruction Supervisor.

Wai Chan
Systems Design Engineer, Sagentia

Women being actively visible in STEM jobs helps challenge preconceived perceptions of our role within and beyond the industry. Having a mix of expertise, interests, social backgrounds, and character traits brings a wonderful range of perspectives to solving problems, which is needed in the work we do. My advice to any graduate is: be confident in your potential by staying true to yourself; challenge the stereotypical view, don't be subservient.

About Science Group

Science Group plc is an international science & technology consultancy and systems organisation. The Group’s operating businesses are supported by a scalable corporate and shared services infrastructure and underpinned by a robust balance sheet including significant cash resources and freehold property assets.

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