Skip to main content

Informed Choice News

International Women & Girls in Science Day - Informed Choice

INFORMED Celebrates International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022

February 11th marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in order to promote full and equal access and participation for women and girls in science. It is an opportunity to celebrate the essential role that women play in the field.

The field of science has historically seen men as the majority of the workforce with less than a third of those employed in scientific research and development worldwide being women. In the US, women make up only 28% of the science and engineering workforce. However, in recent years, the number of women entering the field of science has steadily increased. In 2019, women made up more than a third (40.9%) of scientists and engineers in the EU.

LGC, the global life science company behind INFORMED, has a mission statement of ‘Science for a Safer World’ that is supported by the numerous women who make up the various parts of the business. As of 2019, women make up 53% of LGC’s workforce. INFORMED would like to honour the women that play a key role in ensuring the success of our certification programmes. We spoke with several women in our Fordham (UK) and Lexington (US) offices about their roles, what sparked their interest in the field and any advice to provide to girls who are also interested in a career in science.

Lorie Bishop - Informed

Lorie Bishop has been a cornerstone of LGC and our INFORMED programmes, including overseeing the opening of our Lexington laboratory in 2011.

What is your role at LGC?

I am the Laboratory Director at the Lexington facility.

How did you decide on this career/What drew you to a career in science?

I started my career in forensic science, being drawn to it by watching reruns of an old television show (“Quincy, M.E.”) when I was a kid. Each episode featured the title character solving a murder via investigation and science. It was enough to spark my interest and so I began to read more about the real science behind forensic investigations. I was hooked.

What is your favourite thing about working with the INFORMED certifications?

I enjoy working with my colleagues to identify ways to continuously improve our programmes: from expanding the testing capabilities within the programmes to identifying new services that can assure quality products to more people.

What is one thing you want to tell young girls considering a career in science or in your respective field?

To the very young I’d say: Science is a challenge but it can cure diseases, take you to the moon, and keep pandas from going extinct so the hard work is worth it. To an older girl with a bit more perspective, I’d tell them: With hard work, you can expect to have a seat at the table. If you’ve put in the work and you don’t have the seat, demand what you deserve.

Sam Kay - INFORMED

Samantha Kay is the Senior Programme Manager for our INFORMED brands. Under her guidance are the UK and US programme management teams, which assist new and current brands on our programmes.

What is your role at LGC?

I’m the Senior Programme Manager for the INFORMED Certification Programmes. My teams are responsible for managing the certifications right from when customers first sign up through to completing certification and beyond! We ensure that all of the relevant testing and manufacturer auditing meets criteria and we are also there to help and guide our customers if there are any questions. We also help to shape the programmes to ensure they are fit for purpose and deliver what our customers need.

How did you decide on this career/What drew you to a career in science?

I always enjoyed science at school, especially biology! Once I started working in science after graduating, I realized what a huge range of career possibilities it offered. My passion now has evolved into management and leadership and I am fortunate to have the most amazing team!

What is your favourite thing about working with the INFORMED certifications?

There are so many things I love about the INFORMED certifications! But number one for me is the PEOPLE – and I see this as both our internal science, commercial, programme and marketing teams, as well as our customers! It is so exciting to be a part of each customer’s journey and through our customers, we learn and find new ways to evolve and grow as a business.

What is one thing you want to tell young girls considering a career in science or in your respective field?

I would say go for it! Aim high, work hard and have confidence in your abilities! Gain lots of experience and explore new areas – in science there are so many different and rewarding ways to develop a successful career and find your passion.

Emma - INFORMED

Emma Midforth plays a key role in the scientific developments for testing samples for our various quality assurance programmes in our Fordham lab.

What is your role at LGC?

Senior Scientist – I am involved in the routine testing of samples as well as the development of new or improved processes.

How did you decide on this career/What drew you to a career in science?

My favourite subjects at school were math and science and it followed from there. I undertook a student placement at LGC as part of my master's degree and enjoyed the work and environment so applied for a job here when I completed the degree.

What is your favourite thing about working with the INFORMED certifications?

I always have an interesting answer to the ‘what job do you do?’ question at parties! Anti-doping in sports is often in the news and I like that we play a part in reducing the risks for athletes and manufacturers.

What is one thing you want to tell young girls considering a career in science or in your respective field?

The best science happens when there are contributions from a diverse range of voices.

Mary Lou - INFORMED

Mary Lou Pittman has worked with LGC for two years as an Assistant Scientist. Recently, Mary Lou transformed her role into the Lexington Quality Assurance Department as the QSHE Coordinator.

What is your role at LGC?

I am the QSHE Coordinator in the Quality Assurance Department.

How did you decide on this career/What drew you to a career in science?

I started considering a career in science as a high schooler. I first became interested in the human metabolic system as an athlete and wanted to learn more about how our bodies convert food to energy. From there it grew to an appreciation of chemistry and biology that carried me through college. Now, in QA at LGC I’m able to help my peers ensure the procedures we do daily are thorough, proper, and safe for everyone involved.

What is your favourite thing about working with the INFORMED certifications?

From an athletic perspective, I wish I had known more about the INFORMED programmes while I was in college. I would have felt more inclined to use supplements as an athlete with the promise that they are clean and safer for use. I enjoy working with our INFORMED certified products because I know it is helping other athletes in their endeavours and daily grind.

What is one thing you want to tell young girls considering a career in science or in your respective field?

To the young women of STEM, remember that you are capable, incredible, and intelligent. There are thousands of women across decades of time that have been trailblazers to ensure that women today and in the future are included and involved in the development of science and technology. What an honor it is to be part of their legacy!

Cristy - INFORMED

Cristy Gonzalez has been a part of LGC for nearly three years. As a scientist and workflow coordinator of our Lexington lab, Cristy plays an integral role in the testing of all samples for INFORMED certified products, ingredients and manufacturing sites.

What is your role at LGC?

I am the Workflow Coordinator and a Scientist. As the Workflow Coordinator, I am in charge of making sure that everything in the lab is running smoothly in order to ensure quality results for our customers. I am also very involved with multiple tasks that need to be completed in order to successfully produce results, such as; accessioning, extractions, data review and instrument maintenance.

How did you decide on this career/What drew you to a career in science?

I always loved my science classes! Once I was in college I took the regular biology and chemistry classes and decided to seek more science opportunities. Many professors offered me more lab time working with them on various research projects, this encouraged me to pursue a career in science.

What is your favourite thing about working with the INFORMED certifications?

My favourite part about working with the INFORMED certification programme is watching products go through the lab; from start to finish. From logging in the sample in accessioning, extracting and data review, there are truly so many different steps that need to be accomplished in order for a sample to receive certification. It always amazes me how much work is put into every single sample.

What is one thing you want to tell young girls considering a career in science or in your respective field?

Do it and do not be intimidated! I strongly encourage you to get involved in research work that is offered in college to see if you are truly interested! I am so thankful for the time I have spent in the lab, not only because of the work I have produced but because of how much I have challenged myself and learned about myself.

As the number of women in the field of science increases worldwide, it is wonderful to celebrate those who play an essential role behind the INFORMED certification and quality assurance programmes. Join us in the celebration with #WomenInScienceDay