The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which takes place on the 11th of February each year, aims to promote the full and equal access and participation of females in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This year will focus on the role of Women and Girls and Science as relates to the UN's Sustainable and Equitable Development Goals.
We are proud to celebrate this day by inviting some of our female representatives in Science to share their thoughts and experiences of being female in the field of Science.
Céline Lovato, Global Sector Director Life Sciences
Based in France
What’s your current role?
I am the Global Sector Director Life Sciences which covers the pharmaceutical & cosmetic manufacturing industries. I have the chance to manage internal projects and also deal directly with our customers.
What did you study?
I have a BSc in Chemistry from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.
What was your favourite subject at school?
I really enjoyed mathematics and chemistry. I love understanding things, and these two are definitely important pillars. Studying science helped me create a path in my way of solving any situation. Even if I do not work in the lab, being a scientist is definitively an advantage in being able to understand my customers' specific needs.
I also enjoy being surrounded by people (students & teachers) from whom I have learned a lot.
What makes you most excited about working at Diversey?
My role allows me to quench my thirst for science and social connection. I know that I can make my customers' day easier by doing my job. I can create something that people enjoy, and that will help the company connect with its clients.
But there are many things that I enjoy working for Diversey. When I started here 15 years ago, I was covering France, then was promoted to Europe, and now globally. Diversey has many opportunities for personal growth and advancement. I’m grateful that I could pursue my career while enjoying our strong company culture. We work together as a supportive team, and I really enjoy this aspect.
Share a turning point or defining moment in your work as a scientist.
I can not be precise about a specific turning point as I have always felt like a chemist. When I was a child, I liked to play the magician with chemistry experiments (like adding a drop of soap to a plate of water on which pepper is floating). I could see chemistry everywhere, even while cooking cakes. I discovered molecular cuisine later on, and this aligned two of my favourite passions!
Do you think that women in science still have disadvantages nowadays?
Yes, women in science still face disadvantages in the present day, like in many fields. Although there have been improvements in recent years, gender biases and a lack of representation in leadership positions continue to be significant challenges for women. Addressing these challenges and promoting gender equality in science is important for creating a more inclusive and diverse scientific community.
What advice would you give to less experienced female colleagues?
Being a scientist doesn’t force you to stay around a bench or in the lab. There are many other ways to practice your science skills, such as manufacturing, quality, purchasing, marketing … The only limit is one that we create for ourselves. Being scientific is a great advantage as you could join this with your soft skills (such as communication, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving etc.).
Aligning both will drive you to personal satisfaction, which is key nowadays.
Below you will find links to more interviews.