Celebrating February 11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Here are just five of the thousands of women working in science within PerkinElmer. In their own words…
Annamaria Cavalleri, FAS Leader, Italy and Spain
“I joined PerkinElmer almost 20 years ago as soon as I finished my master’s degree in chemistry.
During my thesis I wished to join PerkinElmer once I had finished. I was running a lot of IR and NIR spectra on Etruscan ceramics and I was wondering if I’d ever be a part of the company that started a history of success, from the first commercially manufactured spectrophotometer and the first gas chromatograph.
I was really in love with the company and so I used to send my cv by post every two months.
When I finally joined PerkinElmer, I started as a product specialist for Molecular Spectroscopy. I had great opportunities to work with lots of different applications and to help many customers. As my skills developed and with the support of my manager, I was appointed as account manager. I have to say that closing orders gave me the highest peaks of adrenaline ever experienced in my job. In the meantime, I never lost my contact with the product line and after a while I moved to a Regional Business Line Leader position for Material Characterization. The team was diverse, and I had the great pleasure to work with our colleagues from Spain, Portugal, French, Turkey, Benelux. This experience taught me a lot in learning how to relate with different behaviours and cultures.
But the best was yet to come. As PerkinElmer evolved, I had the privilege to be appointed as the FAS Leader for Italy & Spain. This was a complete change in mindset that gives me the opportunity to be part of this incredible and passionate team of Field Application Specialist across all the different businesses of PerkinElmer. My greatest ambition is to bring out their uniqueness and own skills, and to make them shine. I strongly believe this will take new energy, strength and focus in reaching our goals, both in private and professional life.”
Holly French, Service Delivery Leader for the EMEA
“At PerkinElmer I am the Service Delivery Leader for the EMEA region focusing on one of our largest Pharmaceutical clients. In the role I have a fantastic team of ~ 190 specialists located in the UK, Spain and Italy with more locations to come in the near future. Within the team there is a vast range of roles, expertise, people and backgrounds. It’s one of the most diverse teams I have had the pleasure to be a part of.
I started my career with PerkinElmer as a Customer Service Engineer site manager just over 5 years ago. I had wanted to work for PerkinElmer specifically since completing my PhD in Analytical Chemistry using their Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AA800) to analyse trace metals in street drugs. I could see the passion PerkinElmer brought to their industry and that they were pioneers in the commercialisation of spectroscopic techniques. I made the move from Academia to Industry in 2015. You could say that my dream had come true- to work for a company I already admired.
PerkinElmer have supported me to develop my career from Customer Service engineer to UK regional leadership and now EMEA Regional Service Leadership. I work in a typically male dominated arena however I am proud to say that the number of female leaders within our company are growing.
When I left the Higher Education sector, I had uncertainties on how to continue to engage in some of the Diversity and Inclusivity work I was also passionate about. Would a global company in the private sector allow for time to support these activities where there is no clear financial benefit? As a lesbian woman I have strived to support outreach, diversity networks and inclusivity programs at each of my employments. I am truly passionate about raising awareness, continued learning and creating opportunities to all, particularly advocating access to STEM subjects. PerkinElmer have Employee Engagement networks and Diversity and Inclusivity Champions who work with the business to ensure we are giving back to our local communities and to give a helping hand to those who want to enter the scientific arena.”
Dr. Krystelle Mafina, Associate UVS & TEA Product Manager
“It begins with my PhD research in Biomedical Biomaterials Science and the awesome support from my supervisors, both leading women (Dr. K. Hing & Dr. A. Sullivan) in science. The project was so intriguing, as a chemist, I wanted to learn a new side of science yet still use what I had learned during my masters and working with hydroxyapatite (HA) synthetic bone materials was fun.
Materials characterisation was essential to the research and thus I had to be trained to use various techniques photoacoustic Infrared (PAS-IR), UV-Vis (UVS), BET porosimeter, XRF, XRD, Thermal analysis but also many more techniques for the bone biological side. I have had to travel for the various instrument trainings, made great contacts, learned to converse with a varied audience during this, attended many conferences and supervised my own team.
This fortunately led to being recognised by a member of PerkinElmer during a lab visit where I worked as an experimental officer. I was headhunted, which was exciting. I therefore made my move from academia to industry as a field application specialist (FAS) for the export region, and PerkinElmer was very supportive. My training was well planned, I travelled with my senior to customer site around the globe as a FAS solving sample preparation issues, instrument/software errors or help with data interpretation.
PerkinElmer has a great employee support for career development, both manager and employee have to set yearly goals, these can include external professional courses, which I found very useful and helped me build up my skills further. Hard work is also important, good communication, organisation skills, but also attending and participating in social events, outreach activities has led to my current role as an associate product manager. In this role, I coordinate projects between manufacturing, sales, operations, technical support, R&D, marketing and customers in order to drive revenue for the UVS & TEA business. I oversee our product portfolio, accessories sales, stock, engineering improvement software & hardware through reviewing quality and assessing performance according to PerkinElmer’s values. This is still a new role for me, there’s a lot to learn but I do not feel alone, PerkinElmer has provided me with a great team, it has been challenging, yet fun and continues to be.”
Ulrike Trinkl, Account Manager – After Sales Consumables Chromatography / ASLS
“To be honest, as a teenager I never dreamt about being a chemist!
After visiting a special boarding school and having an examination in foreign languages, I decided to study Chemistry. It was a real challenge, but I did it, I successfully completed the course that focused on analytical and environmental chemistry. I got the chance to get into a trainee program at Dow Chemical and worked 8 months in Texas, US. A great experience!
I came back from US because I received a scholarship for my PhD. After 6 months it was cancelled!
Then I started at PerkinElmer as an application and product specialist for chromatography in 2000, taking care of the DACH region as well as the Nordic area. I was the only woman in the Chrom Team and was happy to get help from support, sales, and my direct team! After 4 years I moved to Restek GmbH (Germany) to live with my husband (also a family member of PerkinElmer)! At Restek I developed my understanding of consumables related to applications and about the impact of consumables on the instruments, techniques, and applications. I was travelling a lot and was developing new products for the German/European market. I communicated with the business units in the US every day and visited them once or twice a year which was a great experience!
Meanwhile I gave birth to our daughter Lilly (in 2008). What a blessing! In 2012 I started working again with PerkinElmer as consumables and after-market specialist. Today I am an account manager selling various products from all three different product lines – chromatography, element spectroscopy and molecular spectroscopy.
But the main story is, I sold a special instrumentation solution to the Centre for Heritage Conservation Studies and Technologies (KDWT) at the University of Bamberg! I built up a special relationship with the professors and we cooperated as best as we could. As a result, PerkinElmer could implement an official reference lab at the KDWT! I made a joke to the professors that I would come and work on my Ph.D. beside my PerkinElmer job to make sure the reference lab could be run as often as necessary. And what do you think?
In 2018 (42 years old) I finally got to work on my PhD thesis which I am so grateful for since I am personally interested in archaeological and historical sciences. I never thought that I would have such a great opportunity and be able to study my passion for historical science. PerkinElmer has continuously supported me and allowed me to reduce my worktime to 80% so I have one day free to work for my PhD!
The best thing in life is my husband, my daughter and my whole family supports me at every single step of the way. I enjoy every day at the university and love learning! Thanks to my family and to PerkinElmer for making this happen!
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LIVE YOUR DREAMS!”
Susana Rodriguez Vilariño, Account Manager, Diagnostics
“Passion for genetics and rare diseases has always been a driver in my life since I started my education, first in the Biochemistry BSC and throughout my PhD degree. Additionally, I was very lucky to work on basic research on immune diseases.
During my postdoc fellow I had the chance to jump into the biotechnology industry as Genetics Sales Specialist and this change allowed me to be next to innovations and technology in genetics, although I lost contact with basic research on diseases.
But not everything was lost, PerkinElmer gave me the opportunity to join the Diagnostics division where I found again my inspiration working helping to save babies lives, improving maternal-fetal healthcare, and providing early diagnoses and more effective treatments.
Innovation and healthcare walk together at PerkinElmer and I’m proud to be part of it. I feel that very day science is closer to us, driving change in our world and shaping our common future. Working together as a team we can create better outcomes in the communities where we live and work on helping to make the world a better place.”