While roughly one-third of girls say they have considered a STEM career, only one-quarter actually pursue that path. DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is looking to change that statistic by creating equal opportunities across the scientific industry. Part of these efforts includes empowering its employees to drive the mission forward, and Paula Garcia Todd will do just that as a recently selected IF/THEN ambassador of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS).
Garcia Todd, global strategic marketing manager, drug delivery technologies, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, will bring her passion for science and mentoring to the next generation of STEM women through her year-long ambassadorship. As a first step, the ambassadors will connect with middle-schoolers both in person and through online platforms to serve as their personal mentor. Using the $5,000 ambassador stipend, Paula will work with teachers to create solutions to identify and access STEM corporate outreach programs like those offered through DuPont.
“Growing up in a family of engineers, I was constantly surrounded by examples of how those who worked in STEM improved the lives of others,” Garcia Todd said. “That inspiration led me to the pharmaceutical space, and as an IF/THEN ambassador, I hope to introduce young women to the magic that happens when the impossible is met with innovative solutions.”
The IF/THEN initiative was created by AAAS and Lyda Hill Philanthropies to empower innovators to use their firsthand experiences in the field to inspire and motivate middle-school girls to seek STEM careers. More than 100 women were selected for the initiative to serve as the first group of ambassadors based on their contributions to advance the industry; experience in communication and public engagement via media, classroom, and public programs; and their desire to impact youth.
“Paula’s efforts will support and impact the lives of these young girls and their communities and help create equal opportunities for women across STEM industries,” said Angela Strzelecki, global business director, pharma solutions, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. “It’s a true example of how our teams advance DuPont’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and I’m thrilled to see how Paula will help contribute.”
Throughout her 16 years with DuPont, and previously Dow, Garcia Todd has been an asset to driving pharmaceutical product innovation and a champion for diversity and inclusion efforts. She has contributed expertise through roles in engineering, research and development, technical support and various marketing and product management positions. In addition to her role at DuPont where she directs new product strategy and identifies pharmaceutical needs to accelerate customer growth and innovation, Garcia Todd volunteers in college environments and local communities and serves on several Boards focused on increasing STEM opportunities.
Garcia Todd and her fellow ambassadors will be celebrated for their achievements and initiated into the program at the IF/THEN Summit in Dallas next week, where they’ll collaborate on ways to encourage, coach and influence their mentees during their yearlong commitment. In addition to these honorees, AAAS collaborates with dozens of organizations including Girl Scouts of the USA, National Geographic, Teach for America, U.S. Soccer and the World Wildlife Fund to further promote women in STEM among young girls.
DuPont also will sponsor the CPhI Worldwide ‘Women in Leadership Forum’ in early November where Strzelecki will join other industry leaders to discuss how to build a workforce where women are supported, emboldened and empowered to excel around the globe. To learn more about DuPont’s diversity and inclusion efforts, please visit: www.dupont.com/careers/diversity-and-inclusion.html.