When we heard about this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias, we knew exactly the group of women who perfectly illustrate it – our lab team. In recognition of the all the women of Flavorman, we want to highlight our women-led lab team and hear their thoughts on the inclusion of girls and women into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Monica Horn, Associate Beverage Architect
Meet Monica Horn – an Associate Beverage Architect at Flavorman in charge of making beverages that meet our clients’ visions. Monica got her start in science and technology after graduating from Michigan State University, where she worked in biomedical laboratories in the health care industry. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, she wanted to make a change and joined us at Flavorman. She said she applied to work at our company because she could show other people that women should have roles in STEM.
“I knew I was going to enjoy working for a company that allows women from different backgrounds to be themselves.”
Monica hopes to inspire women and girls to consider a career in science and technology because it has “endless routes to fulfill whatever your desire is.”
She says the most important advice to remember is to “create your career, don’t let society make that choice for you, and go for it.”
Kristen Wemer, Director of Technical Services
Kristen has been on our team for more than 10 years and oversees all technical services for our clients. She’s even had a client take their product onto “Shark Tank” and successfully get a deal, which was a dream come true for her. She says she has always been passionate about food and science, and once she knew this passion could turn into a career, she was on the fast track to success. She says it’s essential for women to
“have the opportunity to have any role they want, and by seeing other women in these roles, it helps others visualize themselves in that position.”
As a leader at Flavorman, she hopes to inspire women and girls about the careers they can have and to chase their dreams, and looks forward to the day when women are recognized daily for all that they do. We couldn’t agree more!
Kadeja Davis, Associate Beverage Architect
Jack-of-all-trades Kadeja Davis serves as an Associate Beverage Architect, Vendor Coordinator, Beverage Developer, and Inventory Associate at Flavorman. Kadeja plays an integral role in the success of our company – right down to the specific ingredients we need to create the perfect beverage for our clients. Her duties at Flavorman require a lot of teamwork and collaboration with other departments. She says she finds empowerment and joy in working with her teammates because “we teach one another every step of the way.” As someone who is constantly willing to lead and learn from others, Kadeja cannot stress the importance of asking people questions and collaborating.
“I would encourage young girls to be eager to learn from whoever you can, ask as many questions as you can and never lose your desire to learn. One of my supervisors once told me ‘knowledge is power,’ and that helps me every day with my desire to learn.”
Kadeja’s dedication to learning keeps our entire team motivated daily!
Dorian Joseph, Assistant Beverage Architect
As an Assistant Beverage Architect at Flavorman, Dorian Joseph helps develop samples for clients, updates ingredients to make the product even better and executes new ideas they may have. Dorian started as a temporary employee and was both fascinated and motivated to learn more about the process. She has worked her way up in our company and although she’s thriving in her current role, Dorian says she would have been inspired at a younger age if she saw people like herself in more science and technology roles.
“I believe representation matters, especially to young Black girls. If I had a science teacher who looked like me, it would’ve pushed me to keep going and ask more questions.”
She says seeing women like herself in the STEM field is a great feeling, and she hopes to see more Black women join the industry. Dorian believes women’s accomplishments should be recognized daily. “Beyonce said it best, ‘who runs the world? Girls!’”
Cristene Gilbert, Beverage Architect
Cristene Gilbert, a Beverage Architect at Flavorman, focuses on reading formulations, gathering ingredients, and combining them in an order that allows the best and tastiest blend. After working in animal research for seven years, Cristene switched to join us at Flavorman less than a year ago. As someone who finds empowerment from the women before her, she is proud to be that role model for other women and girls and help pave a path for them in STEM.
“The importance to have women in roles like this is undeniably the key for future young women. To know that another strong woman has walked the path that I am on now and having a support system that understands me as a female in the workforce is a true privilege.”
Cristine says people would be surprised to know that the company helps to develop some of their favorite drinks, and she’s proud to play a part in this work with her teammates.
“It a true privilege to say the least,” Cristine says.
Katie Clark, Director of Research and Development
As Director of Research and Development at Flavorman, Katie Clark is our fearless leader of all things process improvements and project guidance. Katie says she earned her ranks through “blood, sweat, tears, the combination of an ‘old-fashioned farmgirl’ work ethic and a timely opportunity from Flavorman’s success.” She says that working with so many incredible women daily has made her “both proud and humbled.”
“Every woman brings certain strengths, and it’s important that we acknowledge and embrace those unique strengths. There’s still work to do in clearing a fair path for women to succeed professionally, but I think it starts with women embracing other women’s strengths and letting that intention be louder than any weakness. To me, that’s empowerment.”
Claire Oslund, Associate Beverage Architect
Claire Oslund is an Associate Beverage Architect who focuses on precisely completing recipes created by our team and ensuring they reach our clients efficiently. She says that finding a place where she feels supported and successful has been “the most exciting part of this job,” and “to have a working environment so open about its values, that does so much for the community, and really works hard to take care of its employees is a beautiful thing in this day and age.”
When it comes to inspiring other women to get involved in STEM roles, Claire says that biases in society have improved, but there’s still a ways to go.
“Too long have women been restricted or held back because of prejudice and outdated societal expectations about their abilities, intelligence, or value. More representation of women in science and technology is not just important to current women in STEM and their success, but also to the generations that come after us and the intrinsic quality of what they help create.”
She hopes all women and girls will advocate for themselves and remember how valued and important they are because their “happiness, safety and dreams are valid.”
Thank you all for your powerful stories that are helping to change the stigma behind women in STEM and inspiring women and girls across the world that they can be whatever they want to be. Cheers to your accomplishments, your empowerment, and for each of you being the change we all want to see!
ABOUT FLAVORMAN: Founded by David Dafoe in 1992, Flavorman is a custom beverage development company located in the heart of Bourbon country. Flavorman works with companies and entrepreneurs— big and small —to develop everything from energy drinks to flavored spirits and more. With 30 years in the industry and almost 75,000 beverage formulations, Flavorman has helped create thousands of household staples and iconic brands that have defined generations – and changed what the world is drinking. For more information, visit www.flavorman.com