It’s the start of Women’s History Month and a week from International Women’s Day, and Olay Body is making history of its own with a new program for young girls.
This International Women’s Day, the brand is investing in the next generation of young women in STEM with its #SkinInTheGame Women in STEM education program to raise awareness about career paths for women in this field.
“Olay Body has been leading the charge in skin care science for women, by women for over 60 years, and as a brand that serves millions of girls and women every day, we owe it to them to build a future that serves her not only in the shower, but also where she works,” Dr. Maiysha Jones, Senior Scientist and Scientific Communications Manager for Olay Body. “Given the disparate representation of women in STEM compared to men, Olay Body is answering the call to bring career paths for women in STEM to the forefront, and show young girls what their futures can look like when they put Skin In The Game.”
Unlike many of us, Dr. Jones grew up in a home where she was encouraged to explore career options in many fields, including science and technology. Once her parents saw her love for science, they enrolled her in summer programs and camps that nurtured her growth in the field. By the time she got to college, she knew that it was a career path for her despite not seeing many women who looked like her in the industry.
“[In graduate school] I was the one black person in the group or in the room or in the class,” Dr. Jones continued. “But when I got to P&G, that wasn’t the case. And that was very surprising, because when I interviewed, the audience that came to hear my talk was very diverse and I totally did not expect that. And that has continued to be my experience in my nine years now with the company.”
And they continue to encompass diversity and representation as a tenet, specifically with Olay Body whose R&D positions are 48 percent women, and whose product innovation team is 100 percent women. For the launch of this new program they’ve partnered with Aiken High School in the Greater Cincinnati area, where they’ve chosen ten female students who have shown a deep interest in a career in STEM-related fields.
The girls spent a day at Olay Body’s Mason Innovation Laboratories for panel discussions with women scientists and interacted with a variety of women scientists who innovate. They got an exclusive look at what research and development looks like at a Fortune 500 company, and students even got a hands on experience of what it’s like to formulate products in the lab. In addition, each girl was awarded a scholarship of $10,000 to support their college education in STEM and STEM-related fields.
For Olay Body, the program is just one small step towards closing the gap prevalent in STEM today. By seeing more women, and Black women specifically, in research and development, innovation, and other roles in the field, our girls can see themselves in those careers. It goes back to the conversation we’re consistently having about representation, diversity, and inclusion in all industries, especially beauty.
“I just think diversity is most important in innovation,” said Kathy Fish, P&G Chief Research, Development and Innovation Officer. “To create those game-changing things, you do have to get out of the box that you’re in today. At the end of the day diversity is a measurement on the way to what we hope is an inclusive world where everybody can bring their full self and be fully who they are. It helps us measure if we’re making progress, but that ultimately is our goal.”