Shoutout to function’s STEM women this Intl. Women’s Day

BY Laura Casciola
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Every day is women’s day when you’re supporting women’s uniqueness, self care and self love (what we do on the reg). But today is the actual International Women’s Day, so we figured we’d do a little extra. Recently, we’ve been hyper-focused on supporting women of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math fields), especially since our partnership with GirlStart. We’re spending today highlighting and celebrating some of our own women of STEM here at function, and getting to know them a little better. 

Meet HeeSeon 

Senior Chemist (science)

What’s your role at Function? Tell us a little about it!

“I am a Senior Chemist at Function. My job is to research and develop personal care products that can help deliver positive change, through customized solutions for skin and hair care issues our customers may have. I am tasked with providing technical support and analyzing our products stability from lab scale to production. It’s my responsibility to ensure our products are delivered to our customers as intended, in the best condition possible.”

What’s the part of your job that makes you most excited/fulfilled?

“Working as a cosmetic chemist is exciting and offers a dynamic work experience, as everyday offers new challenges. I work with an interesting group of people, where we can come together and collaborate on the development process and innovate new ideas. I get to experiment with ingredients, creatively think of new applications and approaches, and work with a wide range of products. I am motivated to deliver excellent results, and it makes me happy to see when a product I helped to develop has a positive impact.”

Do you have a message for girls interested in exploring STEM careers?

“Don’t be afraid to explore the many opportunities this career may present. There are many detours that can help shape your career, and can help offer new perspectives in the field that you may never have considered before. The fun is in the journey, not the destination.”

Meet Kari

SVP of Growth (technology)

What’s your role at Function? Tell us a little about it!

“Our team is responsible for driving growth of the business — by acquiring new customers, and getting our existing customers to stick with us longer (which is not so hard when the product we are selling literally changes with you 🙃). We do all of this through smart, consumer-minded, and data-driven marketing initiatives — anything from working with influencers and placing ads on national TV, to thinking through subscriber programs. The best part is, we are able to see the immediate revenue impact of the dollars we put into every initiative through meticulous measurement. Our area of marketing is also referred to as “performance marketing” for this reason – everything we implement is evaluated on performance and its impact on revenue and overall business objectives.”

What’s the part of your job that makes you most excited/fulfilled?

“I sometimes compare our jobs to day trading or gambling, as we have to continually measure risk and potential outcomes, all in the context of current market fluctuations (ok, that sounds a little scary – it’s not that intense, but it’s kinda fun, right?). Performance marketing is not for the faint of heart and often feels like a wild roller coaster ride. It requires an obsession with both numbers and the customer. It keeps every day interesting, challenging, and exciting.”

What’s something empowering about being a woman (specifically) in the STEM field?

“My STEM experience straddles technology and math – I think for me, what’s most empowering is that numbers themselves are powerful. They don’t lie – and they can be used to tell a story that can lead to compelling and effective marketing. If you can master data and learn to pull learnings and insights from numbers, you can do anything.”

What’s your favorite thing about being a woman?

“There are so many things I love about being a woman. But in the spirit of performance, I’ll share this. In a weird way, I like the challenges that come with being a woman and working hard to overcome them, both professionally and personally. I’m a spirited + goal-oriented person so I try to see opportunity in disadvantage and harness that ethic in the passion I bring to work every day. “

Tell us about a woman or women who inspire you.

“The first that always come to mind when asked this question are the amazing women that I’m closest to in my life, including my Mom, and grandmothers (aka baba and GMA) who are some of the strongest, hardest working, and generous people I know. They continually remind me that family + morals always come first, which helps provide clarity during times when I’m overwhelmed with work or the general state of the world. I am also hugely inspired by Whitney Wolfe-Herd, the CEO and Founder of Bumble who just recently became the youngest woman to take a company (her company) public at a huge valuation. She defied all odds of age and gender to accomplish something truly remarkable, and with a beautiful baby by her side, at that. I admire her tenacity and braveness that muscled her through the difficult times and doubters.”

What’s something completely unrelated to your career that we should know about you?

“I’m a natural dark-brunette and always dreamed of going full-on platinum blonde. I took the plunge in Sept 2019 – I’ve felt empowered and bold ever since. I think there’s a lot of power in taking control of our appearance, and making changes (big or small) that can make us feel more like us!”

Meet Joelle

Senior Supply Chain Analyst (engineering) 

What’s your role at Function? Tell us a little about it!

“I am a Senior Supply Chain Analyst and currently support the retail side of Function!”

Do you have a message for girls interested in exploring STEM careers?

“One of my favorite quotes from Mae Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut in space – ‘Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.'”

What brought you to your line of work?

“My high school physics teacher inspired me to pursue a career in engineering in college… and then a passion for data and problem solving led me to supply chain post grad!”

Meet Michelle

VP of Accounting (mathematics)

What’s your role at Function? Tell us a little about it!

“VP of Accounting – I oversee all financial activity across the organization.”

What’s something empowering about being a woman (specifically) in the STEM field?

“Being an example for others who aspire to climb the STEM field.”

On the other hand, what is the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome in your field?

“Being deemed as bossy or aggressive instead of confident and assertive.”

Do you have a message for girls interested in exploring STEM careers?

“Own it and bring your friends, too.”

What’s the best thing about being a woman?

“The prerogative to have a little fun…”

Tell us about a woman or women who inspire you.

“Jameela Jamil for being an advocate for body positivity and taking the focus off of physical appearance and highlighting what really defines them.”

What’s something completely unrelated to your career that we should know about you?

“I take naming my animals very seriously. I have two cats whose names are Benjamin Franklin and Philip Thomas.”

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