At Stahl, our purpose is to touch lives for a better world – and in order to do that, we need to harness all possible talent. Sunday 11 February marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which promotes women's access to, and participation in, the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). To mark the occasion, we talked to Stahl colleague Beatrice Chen, who works at our technical centre in China, about what (and who) inspires and drives her.
Can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do at Stahl?
I’m Beatrice Chen, and I work as in technical sales at our Leather Finishing lab in China's Technical Centre. My main responsibilities are application testing, collection article development and providing technical services to customers. Most leather finishing technicians are male; I’m one of the few women on the team.
If you had to pick a historic, inspiring woman in science, who would that be?
In my opinion, a person's professionalism is independent of their gender or profession. We can acknowledge that men have achieved more in certain fields, such as physics, mathematics, computer science, etc. But this does not mean that women do not have the capabilities to become outstanding in these areas: it mostly depends on their level of inclusion. I pay close attention to the Nobel Prize ceremony every year, and there are many outstanding female scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, like Katalin Karikó, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics last year, and of course, Madame Curie, who has influenced women like me since childhood.
In what way did these women help you with your research?
All these women who have achieved remarkable success in the field of science share a common trait, which is focus, passion, persistence, and curiosity about the world. I think it's important to continuously improve one's knowledge in the professional field, persist in research and development in this field, and at the same time, commit to exploring unknown fields. Looking specifically at the role of a leather finishing technician, the above also applies. One must continuously improve product awareness and finishing skills, maintain enthusiasm for work, and strive to develop new articles, new finishing processes, or new application ways for products. I also believe it's necessary to maintain effective communication with others, obtain the latest information and learn your customers' true needs.
How do you hope to inspire others?
Finishing is not a routine and tedious job, but rather an artistic creation, like ballet dancing with leather. So I would like to say that if you truly immerse yourself, you will enjoy the pleasure of creation. And of course, don't forget to enjoy life!
We were certainly inspired by Beatrice's vision and dedication. Diversity is critical to our success as a company. Read more about our vision of diversity for creativity and innovation.
Interested in joining the Stahl team? Apply here.