History of Women Cosmetic Scientists

History of Women Cosmetic Scientists and Chemical Industry

For both men and women, cosmetics are part of our everyday lives. While cosmetics are synonymous with makeup, there are several products that fall under this category that people of all genders use—lotions, colognes and perfumes, makeup, and hair dye are only a few examples of the cosmetic products you’re undoubtedly familiar with. But have you ever stopped to think about what goes into making these products? Cosmetic scientists are responsible for the creation of our favorite cosmetic products through careful chemical formulation and design processes. The chemical industry and cosmetic industry are two intertwined and ever-evolving industries that female scientists have continuously helped shape throughout history.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what cosmetic science is, and women’s influence on the chemical industry and cosmetic science.

Cosmetic Science & Formulation Design Explained

The term “cosmetics” encompasses a wide range of products, and refers to any item that is applied to the body in some way to alter it, whether in appearance, texture, scent, etc.

Still not entirely sure which of your products are classified as “cosmetics?”

Go into your bathroom, open your medicine cabinet (or look on the shelves), and locate any toiletry product. Chances are, it’s a cosmetic.

Here are some examples of common cosmetic products you probably have:

  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Mascara, eyeshadow, and other makeup
  • Body creams
  • Face lotions
  • Hair gel
  • Nail polish
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair spray

While you may not think twice about what went into making some of your most essential hygienic and beauty products, you may be surprised to find that their origins can be traced back to a lab. Before distributors get their hands on your preferred brand of toothpaste, deodorant, or other cosmetics, the product had to be created with the help of science.

Chemists and chemical engineers are responsible for experimenting and creating specific formulas that are required to manufacture each cosmetic product. While formulas will vary from product to product, each formula will contain unique amounts and types of raw chemicals, known as ingredients, to create the product.

In cosmetic science, these ingredients can be categorized into three general groups:

  1. Functional Ingredients

In cosmetics, a functional ingredient is an ingredient that actually provides the desired benefit to the user of the product.

In perfumes, fragrances are the functional ingredients since they are chemical ingredients responsible for the scent of the perfume when it’s sprayed. In face cleansers and other soaps, chemicals known as surfactants are considered the functional ingredients, since they are emulsifiers and foaming agents that make cleansing possible.

Here are some of the subcategories that raw chemicals used in cosmetics can fall under:

        • Colorants -> give pigment to eyeshadow, lipstick, etc.
        • Conditioning agents -> hair straightening and softening products like conditioner and hair oil.
        • Moisturizing agents -> Found in face and body lotions to help moisturize the skin.
        • Cleansers -> consist of surfactants and emulsifiers, these ingredients are responsible for creating the foaming effect of cosmetic products and properly cleansing the skin.
  1. Claims Ingredients

Claims ingredients are the ingredients in cosmetics that are added in small amounts for marketing purposes. They generally have little to no effect on the functionality or appearance of the cosmetic, yet are marketed as a key ingredient in the cosmetic product to encourage consumers to buy the product.

For example, buzzwords and phrases that you see in large lettering on the front of cosmetic product packaging such as “all-natural extracts,” “vitamins and proteins,” “made with essential oils,” and more fall under this category. In the chemical industry, these ingredients are referred to as fairy dust—and not because they’re actually made with magic.

  1. Aesthetic Ingredients

Aesthetic ingredients are the ingredients that affect the look, feel, and overall appearance of a cosmetic product. Think about it, are you more likely to buy a lotion that is a nice, clean white or crème colored, or one that’s a swamp-colored green?

While aesthetic ingredients aren’t as important as functional ingredients, they still remain more important than claimed ingredients and fall somewhere in the middle of these two ingredients in regard to importance. Here are some of the most popular aesthetic ingredients found in various types of cosmetics:

        • Thickeners
        • Anti-irritants
        • Solvents
        • pH adjusters

Women’s Influence in the Chemical Industry: History of Women Cosmetic Scientists

Before there were state-of-the-art laboratories for cosmetic scientists to work in, some of the first cosmetics ever created were made in homes, spare rooms, and even the great outdoors. The science of cosmetics can be traced back to the ancient world, extending to Egypt and beyond.

Back then, creams, lotions, and makeup products were passed down from generation to generation and mainly consisted of naturally occurring ingredients such as animal fats, materials from nearby mines and quarries, and other natural resources.

While the formulation and manufacturing of cosmetic products look different today than they did thousands of years ago, we could not have created the cosmetics of today without centuries of trial and error, and certain key historical figures—mainly women.

While both men and women use cosmetics on a daily basis, women use about 12 different cosmetics consisting of about 168 different chemicals each day, compared to men who use significantly fewer cosmetics and roughly 85 chemicals each day. Unfortunately, many of these products consist of harmful ingredients that with prolonged use, have been connected to:

      • Various types of cancer
      • Skin irritation
      • Infertility

So, it only makes sense that cosmetic science is one of the few facets of the chemical industry consisting of more women than in other chemical-related fields. As of 2022, nearly half of the cometic scientists are female. While the statistics didn’t always use to be this way, women’s influence in the chemical industry over the years is undeniable, especially when it comes to cosmetic formulation and design.

Historical Women Cosmetic Scientists

In order to better understand women’s influence in the chemical industry, let’s take a closer at some historical female figures that have had a tremendous impact on the industry, and who have not only paved the way for more women to be hired for STEM-related jobs, but also are responsible for the creation of some of your favorite products.

Tapputi Belatekallim

        • Tapputi Belatekallim was one of the first chemists ever recorded in history. She lived in Mesopotamia in the year 1200 B.C. and worked as a royal perfume and salve maker for the king of Babylonia. Evidence suggests that she didn’t just mix scents, but experimented with hundreds of raw materials using advanced chemistry practices to create these cosmetics.

Trotula de Ruggiero

        • Living in Italy in the 12th century, there weren’t very many positions for women in STEM (if any at all), but Trotula de Ruggiero was well ahead of her time and studied gynecology, dermatology, and cosmetic science specifically for creating products for women.

Florence E. Wall

        • Florence E. Wall is one of the most famous women chemists ever. Born in 1893, she started studying cosmetic science from a young age. Not only did she go on to help found an entire institute dedicated to studying the science behind hair dyeing, but she also went on to teach cosmetic science classes at NYU, and found her own program dedicated to the science of cosmetology. Wall has left behind a legacy that continues to impact the field of cosmetic science and chemistry.

Estee Lauder

        • Estee Lauder is a name synonymous with cosmetics. Still, Estee herself didn’t only help found the mega company back in 1948 with her husband, but worked in the lab, experimenting with chemicals to create groundbreaking skincare and beauty products.

For years, the Estee Lauder brand has been dedicated to the innovation of cosmetic products and is even responsible for creating the first hypoallergenic skincare line ever. As the brand continues to push the limits in the chemical and cosmetic industry, it’s important to remember that none of this would’ve been possible without one woman and her experiments with chemicals nearly 75 years ago.

While this is in no way a comprehensive list of all the historically influential female figures in the chemical industry, it does go to show how women were breaking boundaries and influencing the creation of cosmetics even during times it wasn’t considered socially acceptable for them to do so.

Modern-Day Women Cosmetic Scientists

Women like Florence E. Wall and Estee Lauder are only a couple of the historical figures that have changed global cosmetic science and proven how powerful women’s influence in the chemistry industry can be. Thanks to them, the amount of women in this industry is every-increasing.

One of the best examples of women’s influence in the chemical industry is the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. For more than 75 years, the SCC has dedicated itself to advancing the development of new cosmetic ideas and technology, as well as promoting diversity and inclusion in this booming industry.

The SCC is an organization headed by women, with 11 of the 18 board member positions filled by females, including the title of president of the society, which Michelle Hines, Ph.D., currently holds. With chapters all across the globe and new members joining every year, SCC is proof that women are essential in the chemical industry and are responsible for the evolution of the industry from a scientific, and leadership perspective.

Check out these women cosmetic scientists who are shaping the industry at this very moment:

Shuting Hu

      • Founder of the skincare brand, Acaderma, and recipient of an award from the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists for her creation of hyperpigmentation skincare products.

Erica Douglas

      • Cosmetic chemist and beauty industry entrepreneur and educator, Douglas creates innovative skincare and hair products for textured hair and melanated skin tones.

Lindsay Ray

      • Lindsay Ray has dedicated her career to researching proteins found in silk, using her extensive knowledge in chemistry and biology to find ways to add this protein into skincare products for consumers to receive a plethora of benefits. Ray continues to create cosmetic products with innovative and sustainable materials.

These women are only three of thousands of women cosmetic scientists responsible for creating innovative and beloved cosmetic products distributed globally.

Job Responsibilities of Modern Day Cosmetic Scientists

Like any other scientific field, education and experience are essential for becoming a cosmetic scientist. Many, if not all, receive bachelor’s degrees in STEM and go on to obtain even higher levels of education including masters, PhDs, etc.

Modern-day cosmetic scientists are also required to have extensive knowledge and skills in various STEM-related subjects, such as:

      • Mathematics and arithmetic
      • Chemistry
      • Biology
      • Physics

In addition to having various scientific skills, cosmetic scientists are required to be creative in order to come up with original cosmetic formulas and designs for new products. Working in a lab also requires that these types of scientists have great people skills and work well in team settings.

Like with any job, no day is exactly the same, even if the job itself is repetitive. Working in a lab a cosmetic scientist is the same way. While the average day of a cosmetic chemist entails testing ingredients to create new products, the ingredients, products, and several other factors often differ from day-to-day, and continuously make the job more exciting.

Most cosmetic scientists’ job responsibilities consist of spending their days experimenting with different ingredients in the laboratory to create new formulas for cosmetic, or substituting ingredients in existing products with new ingredients. This could be because the manufacturer will no longer carry the ingredient, or because they’re looking for safer, or more effective ingredient options.

Here are some of the general tasks and skills these scientists also do on a daily basis:

  • Handle various forms of laboratory equipment
  • Run several tests to make sure that the cosmetic product achieves the desired benefits
  • Communicate with their team
  • Communicate with their superiors and present new formulas and ideas

The daily work of a cosmetic chemist is no joke. But once formulas have been “approved,” end up being mass produced, and becoming a full-fledged product on shelves in your local big box stores—the job can turn out to be very rewarding.

Importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the Chemical Industry

From scientists to suppliers, women in the chemical industry are making waves and showing every industry why women are not only essential to have on the team, but also leading them. There is an abundance of reasons why you should diversify your company and recruit women:

  • Creates a more inclusive and welcoming environment
  • Equal opportunities lift employee morale
  • A fresh outlook on topics and issues
  • Strong leadership qualities
  • Attract younger workers with a forward-thinking and inclusive culture
  • Help boost productivity levels
  • Strong communication, negotiation, and analytical skills
  • Stronger group effort and overall team spirit

Looking to add more women to your company’s teams?

There are several opportunities for your company to hire more female employees and leaders for every position. From filling marketing positions to engineering positions, try these three recruiting tactics:

  1. Look internally

Any good company knows that hiring internally and promoting existing employees to upper-level positions have several benefits. Not only do promoted employees already know the ins and outs of the company, you already know the employee’s reliability, work ethic, and skillsets.

  1. Recruit college students or recent graduates

Whether you’re looking to fill internships or entry-level positions, one of the best places to look for new recruits is on college campuses. With the increase in the number of young women pursuing degrees and careers in STEM, colleges are a great place to find new hires of various backgrounds and demographics.

  1. Make your company’s mission and beliefs clear

If your company believes in the inclusion of all people regardless of background, then why not say so? Including your company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity on your website is a sure way to let potential female hires and other prospective applicants of minority groups know that your workplace houses an inclusive atmosphere.

However, this technique should not be used as a marketing ploy to recruit minority groups if you don’t plan on following through on your commitment to make your workplace a place for all.

Want to Learn More about Women’s Influence in the Chemical Industry?

As one of the largest and fast-evolving industries in the world, the importance of inclusion and diversity in the world of chemicals is essential to the continued growth of the industry. At Ecolink, we’re not only dedicated to providing companies with innovative and eco-friendly chemical products but also strive to educate the public on the influence of women in the chemical industry.

Reach out to us or read similar blogs here to learn more about women’s influence in the chemical industry!

Women in Chemical Engineering and Manufacturing

Women in Chemical Engineering & Manufacturing

In celebration of Women’s History Month, EcoLink is making a conscious effort to highlight and bring to light all the most up-to-date and relevant information regarding Women in Chemistry and STEM. Understanding women’s added benefit to chemical engineering careers and manufacturing businesses brings to light the contributions of Women in Chemistry. Starting off with women in chemical engineering, how do they contribute? 

Benefits of Hiring Women Chemical Engineers 

Diversifying your company has a plethora of advantages. With the rise in awareness for gender-inclusive workspaces, women have more opportunities than ever to pursue careers in various fields—including the world of STEM. The chemical industry is one of the areas of STEM that is slowly but surely adding more female employees and leaders to its ranks—and profiting from it. Women in STEM are the future, and in this blog post, we’ll explain the benefits of hiring female chemical engineers. 

Skills Needed to Become a Chemical Engineer 

Engineering degrees tend to take a minimum of four years to complete and are a necessity for anyone wanting to pursue a career in chemical engineering. During this time, future engineers study an array of scientific areas including, but not limited to: 

  • Arithmetic 
  • Physics 
  • Chemistry 
  • Biology 

These categories accompany various subcategories that these students learn. Even if one wants to specifically become a chemical engineer, they still need to have knowledge in all the other scientific fields, as chemical engineering is complex and pulls from every area of science.  

Other Skills Required to Be a Chemical Engineer 

Obtaining a degree is only half the work if engineers don’t possess the correct skillsets. Here are some of the most sought-after skills companies look for when hiring chemical engineers:  

Attention to Detail 

  • Since they work directly with toxic chemicals, machines, and other hazardous products, these types of scientists must be cautious and precise at all times. An error or oversight on their part could result in anything from a minor incident, to fatalities. 

Math Skills 

  • The idea of being precise carries over to the scientist’s mathematical skillset. When formulating chemical products, they must allow no room for error in their calculations.  


  • While they must be precise, they also must be willing to take risks. Companies want scientific professionals who will help create new and better formulas, machinery, and other products for their business. 

People Skills 

  • Engineers must be able to communicate with all kinds of people. They must be able to listen and interact with a company’s leaders to learn what they expect of them. And if working on a piece of machinery for a manufacturing plant, then they must listen to the workers who are in direct contact with the machinery to learn of any issues, ideas, etc. 

Reasons to Hire Women Chemical Engineers 

Women make for great engineers. In general, women tend to… 

  • Listen and collaborate with others well 
  • Have a keen eye for detail 
  • Come up with creative and innovative ideas 
  • Have a different outlook on issues than men 
  • Create a safe and inclusive workspace in which all employees benefit 

Because of these characteristics, women tend to be great leaders, and scientific professionals must be leaders in their own right if they are to have a successful career. With the growing number of women pursuing degrees and careers in chemistry, companies should be looking to women to fill their engineering positions. Figure one below shows the ratio of men to women in chemical engineering. Though the number is not high, it is still higher than it has been before.

Women Chemical Engineers

Figure One: Census Bureau, 2019

Chemical engineers are responsible for evolving the world of chemistry, so why not evolve this position by filling it with more equally-capable female engineers? 

Recruiting and Retaining in the Chemical Industry 

Hiring a diverse team of professionals is key in every industry, but is becoming more apparent in the chemical industry. Chemical engineering and other STEM-related professions remain male-dominated with plenty of room to diversify, especially when it comes to hiring women. More companies are beginning to take notice of the plethora of benefits associated with hiring more females in the field of chemical engineering and are starting to specifically recruit them to their team.  

How to Recruit Women in the Chemical Chemical Engineering Industry 

  1. Internal Hiring Opportunities 

Create hiring opportunities available to current employees to make lateral or promotional transfers within the company. This will allow your company’s existing female employees to take higher-up leadership opportunities the same as their male counterparts. Not only will the company benefit from a more diverse team of leadership, but will also have the added bonus of not having to train someone new who isn’t familiar with the company. 

  1. Establish a Company’s Commitment to Diversity 

If a company seeks to externally hire more women or people of any minority group, then they should take steps to show prospective hires how they’re committed to diversity. Including a statement on the company website and backing up the statement with proof about the company’s commitment to an inclusive team will allow future hires to know the company’s beliefs and values align with their own. This commitment should be ingrained in the day-to-day work life and not just used as leverage to make the company appear more inclusive. 

  1. Target Colleges 

The number of females working in STEM-related fields is thanks to the increase in the number of females pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM in recent years. This group of women is the future of STEM and engineering professions. If your business is looking to add young and educated hires to your team, then target the promising individuals in the undergrad or grad programs who are eager to start their careers in chemical formulation and design. 

How to Retain Women in the Chemical Industry 

Recruiting an employee is one thing, but giving them reasons to stay with your business is another. Retaining female employees requires that companies provide them with equal opportunities at all times. This translates to every area of work, including equal pay and equal chance of promotion to leadership positions as other male employees. Your business should also make the effort to offer a great maternity leave plan if applicable and continuously commit to creating a safe and inclusive space. 

Women-Owned Manufacturing Businesses 

At the beginning of the 20th century, women were not given many opportunities to pursue careers—they could pursue things like teaching, domestic labor, and a limited portion of factory work. In our modern society, women are a major part of the workforce—including the manufacturing industry.  

There are many assumptions out there that women are not involved in the manufacturing industry, whether it be because they can’t, shouldn’t, or just don’t. What most people don’t know is that many women hold extremely important roles in manufacturing, even owning successful businesses. In increasing rates, women are earning higher degrees in manufacturing-related fields—in fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted research that shows that since the 1960s, the number of women in manufacturing has increased by over 40 million. Despite this, women in manufacturing are still underrepresented, with women making up only approximately 29% of the people in this industry. This makes it even more important to highlight some influential women in manufacturing. Figure two below shows manufacturing businesses primarily owned by women and other industries. 

Featured Women-Owned Manufacturing Businesses 

  • Julie Bartholomew, M.D.  
    • Bartholomew is the founder, CEO, and global innovations officer for IMX Labs, Inc. IMX Labs, Inc. is an innovative beauty tech company that specializes in cosmetic customization. In fact, this company boasts one of the world’s largest global patent portfolios.  
  • Lisa Lunsford  
    • Lunsford is a co-founder and the CEO of Global Strategic Supply Solutions LLC, also known as GS3. GS3 engineers manufacture, assemble packages and ship precise machine parts to a variety of industries, including automotive and healthcare.  
  • Donna Russell-Kuhr  
    • Russel-Kuhr is the president, CEO, and co-owner of PTM Corporation and Modified Technologies, Inc., a company that specializes in the design, tool building, prototype, and production of high-quality metal stampings.  
  • Kelly Victor-Burke  
    • Victor-Burke is a co-owner and managing member of Burke Architectural Millwork LLC, a custom architectural millwork that produces commercial and high-end residential products such as wood paneling, tables, booths, bars, cabinetry, and more.  
  • Priska Diaz  
    • Diaz is the founder and CEO of Bittylab, the company that manufactures the Bare® air-free feeding system, an alternative to traditional baby bottles that has been clinically proven to prevent GERD, reflux, severe gas, spit-up, and colic in babies.  
  • Aneesa Muthana  
    • Muthana is the president and co-owner of Pioneer Service, Inc., a small business that manufactures precision machine parts.  
  • Donna Chambers  
    • Chambers is the CEO and founder of a company called Sensacalm that hand-sews custom weighted blankets that have proven therapeutic benefits.  
  • Sandra Young  
    • Young is the founder and owner of Skyco Shading Systems, Inc., a company that manufactures custom window covering products for commercial and residential purposes.  
  • Jennifer Manzke  
    • Manzke is a co-owner of Manzke Machine, Inc., a small business that specializes in taking prototypes to the production stage through design and engineering.  
  • Kariman Sholakh  
    • Sholakh is the owner of a Tier 1 certified blown film manufacturing business, Nexus Plastics California, Inc. They produce sustainable packaging and pride themselves on high-quality products and consistency.  

In addition to all these amazing women, there are millions more that are extremely influential to the manufacturing industry. Although women in manufacturing are under-represented, the few that have entered the industry are making big waves. 

Females Are the Future

EcoLink believes in the importance of educating others about the history of women’s involvement in the chemical industry in order to shine a light on the necessity of females in workplaces predominantly headed by men. Our team has put together a collection of blogs discussing the past, present, and future of women and chemicals. Continue your learning by reading EcoLink’s blog, Why Aren’t More Women in Industrial Chemical Professions? to learn about why women haven’t been more involved with industrial chemical professions in the past!  

For more information about Ecolink or questions about the products we offer, please contact us here! 

Chemical Engineering

Women in Chemistry

Why Aren’t More Women in Industrial Chemical Professions?

The manufacturing industry is one of the biggest and most influential industries in the United States. Employment rates and economic value has been on a steady incline for years. Despite the massive success of this industry, the number of women in manufacturing remains extremely low—less than 30% of the 10+ million people in this industry are women. Figure One (Plex Team) below gives insight into the trends of women in the manufacturing industry. With this in mind, the question arises: Why aren’t more women in manufacturing?

men versus women manufacturing

Figure 1: Men Versus Women In Manufacturing (Plex Team)

Main Reasons Why There Aren’t More Women in Manufacturing 

Reason #1 – Outdated Stereotypes  

One of the primary reasons that females tend to avoid mass-product careers is because of old, outdated stereotypes that push the idea that females aren’t suited to work in such industries. Fields like engineering and technology are historically dominated by men because men are responsible for a large portion of the development of these industries; after all, females were not allowed to pursue such careers for many centuries.

Reason #2 – Public Perception 

Another reason for the lack of women in manufacturing is the public perception of this industry. There is a notion that warehouse and distribution jobs are… 

  • repetitive and monotonous 
  • require high levels of physical strength 
  • don’t require a high level of skills

However, there are a lot of positions that require highly skilled people, sometimes requiring higher education in manufacturing-related fields. Mass-production related jobs also don’t have to be physical labor or directly involved with the creation or production process—the modern production process means that they can involve collaborating with a team of scientists or engineers, working on the board of a company, working on processes through computers or automation, etc.

Reason #3 – Gender Wage Gap  

A well-known issue across many industries, not just manufacturing, is the pay gap between men and women. Research by the International Trade Union Confederation has shown that females globally are paid about 18 percent less than their male counterparts in the manufacturing industry, even though both genders do the exact same work, putting this industry in the top five industries with the highest global pay gaps. Understandably, information like this is going to prevent female workers from being drawn to this male-headed industry.

Reason #4 – Male Recruitment 

Additionally, manufacturing jobs are typically marketed to appear to men rather than women. This is in part due to the lasting stereotypes and assumptions that females are either not fit for mass-production and distribution jobs, or don’t have an interest in it. However, in recent years, many companies, in an attempt to fill empty jobs, have focused more resources on attracting female candidates, especially through outreach programs at schools.

The Future for Women in Manufacturing 

Overall, women in manufacturing are extremely underrepresented in our current society. Thankfully, things are starting to change, and companies are integrating policies to make work schedules more flexible for those with children, and new research is continuously coming out to support that having an employee base with an equal mix of each gender promotes company success. As female workers are increasingly supported in the industry and encouraged to participate, the number of women in manufacturing will continue to increase. Figure two (McKinsey, 2021) below displays employee satisfaction based on a mix of genders.

women in manufacturing

Figure 2: Supporting Employees Based on Gender (McKinsey, 2021)

But gender equality isn’t just about fair wages and basic rights in the workplace—it encompasses a larger fight to fix several gender imbalances. One of those being the health and wellness of female workers. In the few occupations predominantly headed by females, there is an increased risk for toxic chemical exposure, and thus, irreversible consequences to one’s physical health. Click here to read Ecolink’s blog, History of Women’s Chemical Exposure to Household Chemicals, to learn more about this lesser-known issue swept under the rug all too often.  

Benefits of Hiring Women in Chemical Manufacturing? 

The manufacturing industry is by no means a female-led industry, but neither is the chemical industry. However, companies are beginning to see the benefits of hiring women in chemical manufacturing in every step of the chemical creation and distribution process. While females may be outnumbered in chemical manufacturing, there is an increase in opportunities for them to close the gender gap in the coming years  

What Is Chemical Manufacturing?

Chemical manufacturing refers to the creation of products through the transformation of various types of raw materials. These products are either categorized as specialty or commodity chemicals. Whichever category they fall into, these synthetic products are needed in just about every business there is. From cleaning supplies to laboratory products, chemicals are an essential part of daily life for everyone in some way.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are over 15,000 chemical warehouses, labs, and other facilities across the United States that help contribute to over $555,000,000,000 to the economy each year. Figure 3 (EPA, 2019) below shows the distribution of types of industries involved with growing the economy. With numbers like these, this industry remains one of the most lucrative businesses in the world where employees in every area of the supply chain remain in high demand.

Figured 3: Facilities by Subsector (EPA, 2019)

But as of 2019, only about 6% of the global workforce in this booming field consists of females. With the rise in awareness for gender diversity and equality, there is plenty of room for development and a growing opportunity for women in chemical manufacturing.

Benefits of Hiring Women Employees & Leaders 

There are a plethora of reasons why all companies should hire more female employees and leaders in all facets of the workplace. Not only do a growing amount of customers and partners support businesses with modern values and inclusivity, but hiring female employees and leaders has an abundance of benefits behind the scenes. Here are just a few of the top benefits of hiring women in chemical manufacturing:

  • Attract younger workers with an inclusive culture? 
  • Help boost productivity levels? 
  • Strong communication, negotiation, and analytical skills? 
  • Fresh outlook? 
  • Stronger team spirit and group effort?

Females Are the Future 

Want to learn more about women in manufacturing, the benefits of hiring women, and their impact on the chemical industry?

Ecolink believes in the importance of educating others about the history of women’s involvement in the chemical industry in order to shine a light on the necessity of females in workplaces predominantly headed by men. Our team has put together a collection of blogs discussing the past, present, and future of women and chemicals. Start by reading Ecolink’s blog, History of Women Cosmetic Scientists, to learn about the legacy of female chemists through their memorable work that impacted not only the chemical industry but the world. 

Ecolink Community: Future Female Artists

Interested in more in the Ecolink Community? Ecolink would also like to happily announce the Ecolink Future Female Artists Collection! This week we are highlighting artists Katie Bushur with her self-titled “Self-Portrait” and Maddy Pelissero with her “The Future is Female” artwork. You can check out more of their work by clicking their names and viewing their featured art below!

Katie Bushur Art

Self-Portrait, 2021. Oil on canvas. 36×48 (Katie Bushur, 2021)

The Future is Female, 2022. Digital Art. (Maddy Pelissero, 2022)

History of Women Cosmetic Scientists

History of Women Cosmetic Scientists

While the world of science may not historically consist of women, it’s significantly influenced by them nonetheless. The various areas of scientific study such as biology, chemistry, physics, and more all have influential female figureheads. They have helped shape modern knowledge and practices in their relative fields and are especially true in the field of cosmetic science with women cosmetic scientists.  

What Is Cosmetic Science? 

Cosmetic scientists, also known as chemists, work directly with chemicals to formulate a variety of beauty products with different purposes, looks, and more. Cosmetic science refers to this formulation of raw materials to create said beauty products such as: 

  • Lipstick, eyeshadow, and other makeup 
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Hairspray  
  • Body lotions  
  • Face creams 
  • Hair gel 
  • & more! 

Famous Female Cosmetic Scientists 

While beauty products are used by everyone in one way or another, it’s women who tend to use the most, averaging at least 12 different beauty products each day. And while women can be any scientist they choose, it makes sense that women are the ones who have made historic breakthroughs in this field of chemistry. Here are just three of the most influential female cosmetic scientists in history: 

Florence E. Wall – Born in 1893, Wall was one of the first-ever woman chemists and more specifically cosmetic chemists. Her legacy boasts a list of accomplishments in the world of science. Here are just a few of the things she is known for: 

  • Extensive studies in hair dyeing and helped found a postgraduation institute dedicated to the science of hair dyeing. 
  • Created her own program dedicated to the science of cosmetology 
  • She taught the first college courses about cosmetic science at New York University. 
  • Member of the American Institute of Chemists. 

Hazel Bishop – Bishops influence began in the early 1900s during her pre-med program at Barnard College where she helped the founder of Almay Cosmetics identify allergens in his beauty products and remove them. She worked in various chemistry fields but dedicated most of her life to the experimentation of formulas for various beauty items. During her studies she… 

  • Created and branded a long-lasting lipstick that turned into a successful company. 
  • She invented other products such as foot spray, perfume, and more. 

Tapputi Belatekallim – Estimated to have lived in Mesopotamia in 12000 B.C., Tapputi Belatekallim is credited as being one of the first chemists and female chemists in the world. Archeologist’s findings suggest she was a royal-perfume maker. She didn’t just mix scents but used her extensive knowledge of chemistry to formulate fragrant salves for the king of Babylonia. 

Want to Learn More About Women Chemists? 

Click here to read more of Ecolink’s blogs about women’s historical and modern-day influence on the world of chemistry

women and household chemicals

History of Women’s Chemical Exposure to Household Chemicals

Every job has different day-to-day responsibilities, just as every job has different tools—a sports newscaster needs a microphone, and a plumber needs a wrench and tool kit. When it comes to maids and housekeepers, their tools are also easily identified: cleaning supplies. But unlike a sports newscaster or a plumber, the tools, or cleaning supplies, that housekeepers use can contain toxic chemicals. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of household chemicals by taking a look at the history of women’s chemical exposure in maid and housekeeping positions from recent years. 

History of Women’s Household Chemical Exposure 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 82.3% of people employed as a maid or housekeeper were women in 2002. Later in 2020, the Bureau reported an increase in the percentage of females in housekeeping positions, accounting for 88.3%. Eighteen years and a six percent increase later, it’s safe to say that maid services consist mainly of females. And while this field of work presents itself as a great opportunity for women to have a career, it does come with certain risks. 

Household cleaning solutions such as floor cleaners, oven cleaners, and more contain several hidden toxins such as: 

  • Ammonia 
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Sodium hydroxide 
  • PERC 
  • & more

Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals can have several negative health effects including triggering asthma, causing chemical burns and poisoning, as well as causing various types of cancer. In addition, pregnant women consistently exposed to any one of these harmful products are at an increased risk for their child to be born with birth defects. 

Since women make up the majority of maids and housekeepers, it’s women who mainly handle and are exposed to toxic household chemicals, thus suffering the consequences more than men in this field. 

What Can Be Done about Household Chemicals?

The first step is awareness. Educating cleaning companies on the dangers of the chemicals they are using is key. Next, they can start seeking a safer solution to toxic cleaners.   

Luckily, there are some safer alternatives to toxic household chemicals. At Ecolink, we provide companies with cleaner and greener solutions needed to help their business operate efficiently and eco-friendly. We also assist in chemical formulation to help create non-toxic cleaning solutions. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more. 

Want to Learn More? 

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