Senior Scientist – Research & Discovery, Young Living GHQ
Boundless curiosity is what helped Jolene stumble into a career in formulation chemistry. Not content with simply testing products in a lab, Jolene wanted to create her own formulas. She started learning on her own and shadowing the formulation lab until one day a position opened and she was hired thanks to her self-taught knowledge and experience. “The thing is that books, labs, and equations do not know what gender is,” she noted when asked about the false stigma that women aren’t as inclined as men for scientific careers.
She does believe, however, that gender representation matters when it comes to the output of her work, noting that men don’t bring the same perspective to the table that women do. “How do they know what really matters to the female consumer or what types of products would make a woman’s life easier? While they can ask another woman, there is something to be said about first-hand experience and the insights that can come because of that,” she says. Being a woman in a male-dominated field has only helped Jolene excel because of her unique and thoughtful insights.
Jolene’s natural curiosity and hands-on attitude got her into the field of her dreams, while learning more about empowerment through soft skills helped her get to her position today. One of her hardest lessons learned was that, in the workforce and in life, you are ultimately treated how you allow yourself to be treated by others—a lesson she still contends with. “I have been learning to speak up for myself and say ‘no’—to be bold, negotiate my salary, and understand my worth. This is not always easy and I fight feeling intimidated,” she says. Even though Jolene broke through the bias to achieve her goals, she still actively fights to get what she wants.