AllCells Celebrates Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is celebrated every year in March to recognize and honor the contributions and achievements of women throughout history. The 2023 National Women’s History theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories” in recognition of the accomplished and influential women who told – and continue to tell – impactful stories. The theme honors women who have dedicated their talents to producing art and pursuing the truth, not only to inform and entertain but to give a voice to the underrepresented and unheard.
At AllCells, we are committed to creating a workplace culture that values diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity, where all our talented professionals can thrive and be heard. We are proud to say that as of this year, 74% of AllCells’ workforce identify as women. These women play critical roles in advancing the company’s mission and contribute significantly to our collective success. Without these leaders, AllCells would not be the innovative and forward-thinking company it is today.
To celebrate Women’s History Month, we took the opportunity to sit down with some of the amazing women across the organization and asked who inspired them to be the women they are today.
Who inspired you to be the woman you are today?
- Valerie: Professionally from afar, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was known for her advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality. Ruth served as a role model for me and many women in terms of equality.
Personally, my grandmother and mother were both professional full-time educators at a time when many women worked in the home, not outside the home. They advocated for education at the highest level, no matter your gender. I saw them both as courageous leaders and fighters, both whom had a significant impact on my early childhood.
- Yuki: My parents made sure I was exposed to different cultures and ways of thinking growing up. I think that definitely helped me become adaptable to various circumstances and to be empathetic in my decision making.
- Lauren: My two little girls. I know what example I want to set for them and I work to ensure what I build professionally, and at home, will be the right example for them.
- Stephanie: My family. Both of my parents showed me from a young age what it means to work hard and how to balance work life and family life in the right way. My two boys have been my life’s most precious gift, and they inspire me to be a mom they can look up to and be proud of.
What piece of advice would you share with women interested in going into the science industry?
- Stephanie: I have been fortunate in my career to have wonderful mentors. It’s so important to have accessible people in the biotech/science industry who can provide guidance, and share honest, candid and constructive feedback. The guidance I have received has helped my confidence level, and motivated me to grow and branch out in my career, so my advice would be to find mentors and cultivate strong relationships with them
- Alicia: Prior to Biotech, I worked in several industries (technology/SaaS, retail, and consulting services). Throughout my career, I’ve always been passionate about my work in Marketing, but the missing piece until now was “purpose.” The Biotech and science industry provides both “passion & purpose” in my career. This industry is constantly growing, changing, and evolving – but the best part is we contribute to providing cures and helping to change someone’s life. My advice is to find your “passion” within the Biotech industry, and the “purpose” will soon follow.
- Yuki: Do it! Just remember there is no right or wrong career path. Don’t be afraid to try new fields and embrace challenges. Find good mentors and stay in touch. Remember to pause and celebrate achievements too.
What obstacles have you faced/overcome to get where you are today?
- Alicia: As an independent woman, I’ve learned the art of resilience. I’ve taken many risks; some were very successful, some were not. There is not one risk I’d reverse because both successes and “lessons” have helped shape who I am today. I’m a true believer in what the mind can believe and conceive; it will achieve. I’ve also learned that each time you hear “no,” that’s okay because it means you’re one step closer to a “yes.” I’ll leave with my favorite quote, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- Valerie: I have faced many obstacles which I was fortunate enough to overcome, but it didn’t happen overnight. Some examples I have in my younger career developing years:
Gender bias and discrimination: I often faced gender bias and discrimination, which I felt manifested in various ways, such as being paid less than my male counterparts or not being taken seriously in meetings.
Lack of representation: Women are often underrepresented in leadership positions, however, I frequently found myself the only female in a leadership position, fortunate, yes, but risk taking is what got me there. I earned a seat at the table and was able to use my influence and advocacy to shed light on other talented women to join me at the ‘table’.
Work-life balance: Always a challenge as a female leader, I struggled to balance my professional and personal responsibilities with three young children. To solve that challenge I was able to balance those responsibilities with family members – Thankfully!
Mentorship: I actually have/had a male mentor and co-founder of Bain and Company 18 years who has been a cheerleader, guide, and professional advocate for whom I’m very grateful to have on my side. What I have learned is to seek learning opportunities from my leadership team, or boss who have much to share as leaders – CEO’s, President’s CCO’s etc., have been great examples and teachers of mine.
- Yuki: When I decided to apply to graduate schools in the U.S. while I was finishing my undergraduate degree in Japan, there weren’t many resources or role models around me who were attempting the same. After I got accepted, it felt like building the airplane as I was flying, and there were many times I felt like I didn’t belong. To be honest I still grapple with imposter syndrome, but I’ve built up confidence through the support of my mentors and peers. Now I strive to pay it forward by lifting other women up.
- Lauren: I started managing people professionally pretty young, around 21. It was a mix of old and new staff, young and old, and at different places in their careers. My own self-doubt then was likely my biggest obstacle. I had to work to prove myself in an environment that was not really receptive to a new, young manager. In the end, I learned more from those hard experiences early in my career than anything else that came easily.