International Women's Day - Celebrating our female colleagues at Science Group

Here at Science Group we’re proud to celebrate our female colleagues working across the Group’s companies, delivering innovation and success in roles as diverse as applied science, regulatory advice, advisory, consultancy, mechanical engineering and more. 

We asked some of our team a variety of questions including how they started their careers, which woman has inspired you the most, and what advice they would give to women starting out in their industry. Read what they had to say.

Charlotte Gisbourne - Scientist

I came to Sagentia straight from university, where I studied Physics. I’ve always loved seeing how you can take theory and cutting-edge research, then apply it to solve real-world problems. In my role, I get to do that every day as well as learning about new and exciting breakthroughs. At the Science Group, there’s always an opportunity to learn and be challenged, both by the work and the people I work alongside.

Cindy Beeren - Operations Director
Leatherhead Food Research

I have always had an interest in food, from shopping to baking and cooking and understanding food structures. I studied Food & Business at university, and joined Leatherhead 13 years ago as a Senior Scientist and am now heading up operations for Leatherhead and sister company TSG.

I love working with people and my current job allows me to work with and support many of our colleagues across the group.

Eileen Buttimer - Managing Director
Oakland Innovation

I got a PhD in Biochemistry and started life in Pharma running an analytical chemistry lab before moving to managing a food applications group in R&D. This love for science grew from my aunties sending me books about science.

I love the diversity within my role at Science Group. I try to encourage other females to just go for it and encourage them to succeed.

Erica Kantor - Senior Manager, Medical

I’ve always loved problem solving and figuring out how things work. I studied Mechanical Engineering at university and have since been surprised and delighted by the breadth of opportunities in the industry. I now work in Sagentia’s Medical Sales team and get to engage with clients to shape and develop life-changing medical devices. Engineering can be such an exciting career – I would encourage the next generation of female engineers to be curious and dream big.

Erin Tesch - Managing Director, US
TSG Consulting

I started my career as an environmental paralegal before moving to TSG as a Regulatory Consultant. Over the course of my career, it has been exciting to see drastic change in the landscape associated with women in leadership in the environmental field and professional services. At Science Group, it is empowering to witness qualified and smart women given the opportunity to take on senior positions and serve as role models.

Emma Gubisch - Head of Consumer Science
Leatherhead Food Research

I was always interested in finding out what makes people tick, so consumer insight was a natural career path for me. Amongst many amazing women, I’d say my mum has had the biggest impact on me. She has been my greatest cheerleader and taught me that women can be anything they want to be. Day to day I consciously try to hand on to others the great advice that both she and other people have given me.

Hong Qian - Principal Consultant
Oakland Innovation

I joined Oakland as an analyst in 2006, after working in academia and industry R&D. This was a career change that truly opened up my world. For me, turning new technology into something that will have a real-world impact is even more exciting than the technology itself. My advice to women is trust yourself, build up your network and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Janaji Rangaraju – Test Automation Engineer
Frontier Smart Technologies

Before starting my career as Test Automation Engineer, I worked in a private university. Progressing from a Junior Exams Officer to Assistant Registrar, I was involved in testing the new exams database, which triggered the “techie” inside me. I left the company to try my skills at software testing; changing career direction wasn’t easy but it is one of the best decisions of my life and I have never looked back.

Jenny Brown – Senior VP, Food & Beverage
Oakland Innovation

I received a Masters in Food Science and spent 15 years working in corporate R&D within the food industry. I love the diversity within my role at the Science Group and I try to encourage other female colleagues to fulfil their potential and to stretch themselves as much as they can. I am inspired by women like Judi Dench and Mary Berry who remain active and at the top of their game, whilst aging graciously!

Jo Morgan – Operations Director
Oakland Innovation

I’ve been in the Consulting environment since leaving university and I’m now Director of Operations for the Advisory business, which allows me to utilise all the skills I’ve learnt along the way. The variety of projects, opportunity to travel the world and getting involved in a breadth of different industries encouraged me into the industry. Opportunities aren’t always handed to you on a plate, so don’t be afraid to seek them out and put yourself forward.

Kelly Rahn - Vice President, State Affairs & Head of TSG California

I have always been attracted to the orderliness of the scientific disciplines. My first job was as a technical services chemist functioning as the bridge between the scientists and the salesperson.

Science Group is the first opportunity I’ve been given to contribute to a company in a capacity other than regulatory. I learn about the ‘business’ behind the business every single day.

Laurie Tyo – Senior Consultant, Regulatory Bio Pesticides
TSG Consulting

I started my career in an administrative role within consultancy and subsequently learned regulatory consulting from the ground up. Growing up, my mother inspired me by being a strong independent woman, who didn’t allow the traditional roles of her day to dictate her path. My advice to women who are just starting their careers is to seek out someone within your organization or industry that you respect, then listen, learn, and never be afraid to ask for help.

Mariko Kubo - Head of Regulatory
Leatherhead Food Research

I joined Leatherhead 11 years ago straight out of Oxford Brookes University where I studied a BSc in Public Health Nutrition. I am now Head of Food and Beverage Regulatory, a job I was given whilst pregnant with my second child, so I feel very lucky to work for such a great company. I have been here for 11 years but I still feel that there is so much to learn and so many people I can learn from.

Melissa Shone – Corporate Communications & Marketing Director
Science Group

I have undertaken a variety of roles in companies – in sales, marketing and operations and I am proud to be working for Science Group. A recent boss, Tamara Kahn, is someone I admire greatly. She is one of those superwomen: young children, amazing career, and always knows the hottest new restaurant in London. I try to be like her: tenacious, inspirational, not scared of saying it like it is, caring. And so my advice to women starting out would be: speak up and be heard!

Stefanie Wolff – Regulatory Team Lead
TSG Consulting

Whilst studying horticultural science at university I became very interested in plant protection. At TSG, I’ve had the opportunity to combine my scientific interests with my social skills in my role as a consultant; and I am now Team Leader for the German team. At the Science Group, if you have the expertise, then there are opportunities for progression, regardless of your gender.

Pretima Titoria – Principle Consultant, Scientific Regulatory Affairs
Leatherhead Food Research

I have always been interested in food and how it can be used to build up positive health. This interest led me to study food technology to a doctoral level, and later join Leatherhead Food Research over 18 years ago. A strong woman who has always inspired me is Indira Gandhi, who was India’s first female prime minister. She did it all – leading a country and facing daily political challenges as well as being a wife and mother.

Rachel Smith – Research Chemist, Science and Technology Leatherhead
Food Research

I have always loved the logic and practical applications of science. For me, the best part of science is hypothesising a solution, then researching it and discovering you were right! In school my science teacher inspired me to pursue a scientific career and this resulted in me studying to a doctoral level. My advice to women starting a STEM career is to keep learning; there is always more to learn and exciting possibilities in research to explore.

Valentina Capuano – Principle Analyst, Scientific Regulatory Affairs
Leatherhead Food Research

I started working for Leatherhead Food Research as a Regulatory Analyst more than five years ago. Since then my territory has expanded from Italy to several other markets – both in and outside of the EU – providing an opportunity for me to grow and develop my personal and technical skills. Being a woman in the Science Group means you have an equal opportunity to develop your career alongside other brilliant women (and men) in the scientific industry.

About Science Group

Science Group is a science & technology business providing consultancy and systems to an international client base. The Group comprises five operating divisions, supported by a strong balance sheet including significant cash resources and freehold property assets.