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How Women and Girls Inspire Superior Innovation by Our Brands

How Women and Girls Inspire Superior Innovation by Our Brands

Published 02-12-24

Submitted by P&G

A black and white photo of the first analytical lab

Did you know that science is behind the making of your favorite P&G brand products? Nothing excites our award-winning scientists more than creating superior products that solve the real problems that consumers face everyday. As the maker of brands loved by women and girls around the world — like Always, Olay, Pantene and Venus — we understand the importance of inclusive teams in developing the innovations and products that meaningfully impact all the consumers we see and serve.

Women currently make up 34% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and while women have made career advances in these fields, there is room for growth. We celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 and honor the contributions of women to P&G’s innovation — as well as to the sciences globally — as we aspire to full inclusion of girls and women in science.

An old photograph of Else Schulze

Inspiring Inclusion throughout Our Herstory

For more than 185 years, P&G has served consumers with our innovative branded products to meet their needs. In doing so, we have aspired to create an inclusive culture for generations. In 1890, we opened our first analytical lab in Ivorydale, Ohio, with one of the first women in a technical role — and haven’t looked back.

P&G hired its first female Ph.D. scientist in 1926, Else Schulze, who would later head her own department and hire 37 women with science degrees. She set the path for a diverse and highly skilled STEM workforce including engineers, scientists and IT experts to provide consumers with products they need and love.

OLAY Vogue Magazine spread
In September 2022, Dr. Rolanda Wilkerson and several P&G colleagues were featured in an OLAY Vogue Magazine spread for the Faces of STEM initiative.

The Women Behind P&G’s Superior Innovation

Today, many women innovators at P&G continue to build on the legacy of trailblazers like Else, working on diverse, inclusive teams who are delighting consumers with products so good that they are loved and trusted by millions of households around the world.

Our ability to uniquely see and uniquely serve every consumer — over half of whom are women and girls — is strengthened by a workforce and a culture that respects and reflects all the consumers we serve.

Dr. Rolanda Wilkerson, Senior Director, Fellow of P&G Beauty Care, recently shared her career journey and P&G Beauty breakthroughs in OLAY’s Super Serum with a group of future innovators from Girl Up. She explained the breakthrough moment when the team uncovered activated niacinamide — a low-pH activated ingredient that unlocks the “supercharged” power of niacinamide. Activated niacinamide provides faster results and longer-lasting benefits for the skin, including boosting surface cell turnover, evening skin tone and tackling visible discoloration.

Learn more about OLAY Super Serum and meet more of the “super” women behind OLAY’s Super Serum technology.

A person sat at a desk with a laptop

In our haircare business, women innovators are helping revolutionize the way consumers experience healthy hair with the new Pantene Miracle collection. Dr. Jeni Thomas, Global Science Communications Director, P&G Hair, is part of the team behind Pantene’s Miracle Rescue Deep Repair Conditioner, which includes the superior innovation of melting Pro-V pearls to help bring damaged hair back to life. Backed by science and infused with skincare-inspired ingredients, this new Pantene hair repair product offers an extraordinary solution for damaged hair, resulting in strong and healthy strands.

Learn how Pantene’s Miracle collection is bringing luxury hair care to more people.

Through the years, our commitment to gender equality, inclusive leadership and innovation has shaped our workplace culture, inspired our people, grown our business and impacted our communities.

A group of STEM students in P&G headquarters and Research & Development Center

Inspiring the Innovators of the Future

As we celebrate the women in STEM of our past, and those of today, we also look forward to the scientific leaders of the future. Together with our gender equality partners, we are making connections for women of all generations to lead, innovate and create impact.

We collaborate with action takers and impact makers like Girl Up to support education opportunities and develop more leaders who not only strengthen P&G, but also the communities in which we live and work.

Girl Up is bridging the gender gap in the STEM fields by inspiring girl leaders to use STEM skills to create solutions to issues in their communities for social good. The program includes a STEM Bootcamp and financial grants to implement community projects.

Four girls who have a passion for STEM from Girl Up’s Cincinnati region recently spent a STEM Immersion Day at P&G headquarters and our Research & Development Center in Mason, Ohio – our largest in the world. They toured labs, heard from archivists and scientists about the career journeys of P&G’s women innovators, and learned about exciting technology breakthroughs from several of our phenomenal women scientists working on our Beauty and Home Care brands. From our time with these innovators of tomorrow, it was clear that by creating more opportunities for young leaders today, we can unlock more solutions to help us serve all consumers in a more equal future.

Learn about more P&G women scientists, their passion for STEM and how we’re supporting women and girls in science.

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P&G defines our commitment to sustainable development as "ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come." We have a long heritage as a sustainability leader and we remain committed to improving consumers' lives through P&G brands and by contributing to the sustainability of our planet and the communities in which we live and work.

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