In honor of International Women’s Day, our ITIAH Angels for Learning founder Marie Thadal participated in the Rutgers University’s (RU) Global Trends in the Workforce-Opportunities for Women panel session on March 5, an online event sponsored by RU’s BOLD Center at Douglass Residential College.
Thadal, an RU alumna, Somi Kim, senior director, Health Care Solutions at Johnson & Johnson; and Elisa Mazen, managing director/portfolio manager at ClearBridge Investments, reflected on the global outlook of their industries, opportunities for women in multinational companies, and how young women can prepare for a career in an increasingly globalized world. She also shared her experiences as a chair of the New York Chapter of the National Society of Cosmetic Chemists, which provides forums for idea exchange, exciting new developments in cosmetic research, and seeks to improve the qualifications and caliber of cosmetic scientists through education.
Thadal admitted the challenges of being a first-generation college graduate and being an immigrant woman of color. “The journey was not an easy street for me,” says Thadal. “One major challenge was the lack of connections I had in the beginning of my career. The cosmetic industry is driven by women who want to discover ways to express their creativity and inner confidence. Finding this industry and establishing a network of friends was ideal for me. I’ve learned that career paths are full of ups and downs and discoveries. To succeed, you must keep an open mind, have perseverance, and with time you will find your passion.”
As with many fields, there is much work to do in the cosmetics industry to increase the representation of women at the C-suite level, Thadal admitted, noting that she is passionate about working with the BOLD Center to encourage young women to pursue executive leadership roles in the cosmetics industry and all industries.
“As women, we have unique challenges that cannot be overcome with simple solutions,” says
Thadal. “What propels me forward is a strong will to make a difference in the world, combined with a desire to leave a legacy. I want all young women to know that they are citizens of our world and their hard work and determination to succeed will help pave the way for other women to do the same.”
By Julia Katz, RU fellow