Women of Mars - Careers | Mars, Incorporated
Women of Mars



As of today, 42% of Associates in the Mars talent pipeline are women†. There have been great strives to empower women at Mars, but there’s so much more that needs to be done. By creating an inclusive environment, female associates can rise and reach their full potential. Watch this video and learn Mars is doing to #PressForProgress.


Across our business, women are at the forefront of pioneering research AND tackling complex issues — from the impact of climate change to automation and artificial intelligence (AI). The women of Mars in STEM related careers persistently push boundaries as they solve complicated problems with new ideas, methods and technologies that are positively impacting the way we do business.

Lauren Belomy
Digital Transformation Lead

Lauren Belomy a digital transformation lead for our Digital Demand team, evaluates the benefits of foundational and emerging technologies, from content data management to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Her favorite project has been growing peanuts using digital automation.

“Growing up in Silicon Valley, I always knew I wanted to work in tech,” says Lauren. “In my job, I feel like I’m helping build the future. By prototyping and experimenting, I aim to develop new ways of working which enable meaningful change.”

Lauren, who has worked in tech since finishing college, advises young women who are interested in a career in STEM to connect with as many people as possible. “Go to STEM-related meetups and events. Listening to other people’s stories will help you find your own focus,” she says. “The more you involve yourself in that community, the more opportunities will open up for you.”

Valorie Maldonado
Senior Engineer of Process Development

Valerie Maldonado, a senior engineer of process development for Fruity Confections, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, also managed to turn her passion for STEM into a successful career. A self-proclaimed ‘science nerd’, Valerie was inspired to blend her love of science with her love of confectionery after a family trip to a candy factory when she was just ten.

“My main focus at Mars is the development of new Starburst ® products and determining which technology or equipment we need to bring new ideas to life,” says Chicago-based Valerie. “Thinking about how customers will react to new products keeps my job interesting.”

Valerie is confident anyone with an interest in STEM can make a career out of it. “You don’t have to conform to a stereotypical idea of how a scientist, for example, looks or acts. Women working in STEM are so diverse, and the industry is full of characters with unique personalities, interests and lifestyles. The main thing is, if you enjoy it, go for it!”

Ashley Allen
Climate & Land Senior Manager

Ashley Allen,a climate and land senior manager in Sustainability, knew she had a passion for science at a very young age. “When I was in high school, my local newspaper dubbed me a ‘recycling crusader’ for my environmental clean-up efforts and can-collecting habit. My passion soon turned into a career and I ended up working at the U.S. State Department promoting clean energy and climate-smart agriculture solutions in developing countries and helping negotiate the international Paris Agreement on climate change.”

Now, Ashley works at our McLean headquarters to advance sustainable development around the world through our Sustainable in a Generation Plan. She helps lead our efforts to take action on climate change by cutting the company’s carbon footprint across its full value chain by 2050.

Tina Blackmore
Science Engagement Research Partner

Tina Blackmore, a science engagement research partner at our Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in Waltham, UK, communicates the significance of research findings to different audiences spanning consumers and industry. Tina made STEM a career after completing a PhD and transitioning from academia.

What does she love most about her role today?

“In the morning, I might be talking to visiting chemists about Waltham before going into a meeting to discuss how to communicate new research to fellow Associates. The afternoon could then be rounded off with a global phone call with Associates from the other Mars Petcare brands about a new event where we are taking animal science to kids and students. Every day whizzes past and it would be impossible to get bored doing this,” Tina says.

Tina advises young women who are interested in pursuing STEM to stay true to what you enjoy.“There are so many jobs and careers out there that you won’t know about. Every experience, the good and the bad, is an opportunity to learn.”

Cui Wang
Global Microbiology Research Scientist

Cui Wang, a global microbiology research scientist at Mars Global Food Safety Center conducts research to ensure that the food consumers know and trust is equally as safe. Cui’s original career plan was to enter the pharmaceutical industry, but that all changed after the news of several serious food safety incidents involving infant formula coincided with her being a new mother. Cui decided to switch career paths to focus on food health and safety.

“At Mars Global Food Safety Center, we’re all able to take the lead in different food safety science projects, depending on our unique interests and backgrounds,” says Cui. “We also always work hard to make sure we’re supporting each other as a team. Additionally, I have the opportunity to work with world-leading experts, from the World Food Program and Cambridge University and enjoy being able to travel and conduct research in the field, such as in corn in China and peanut fields in India. These experiences are truly eye-opening.”

Cui, based in Beijing, China, explains that one of the misconceptions about STEM is that it can be boring and stuff, but clarifies that is not true. “The scientists around me are smart and have a good sense of humor. We’re actually also trying to make our research more accessible, using language that consumers are able to understand and avoiding technical jargon.”


Jo Gale
Global Scientific Advocacy & Stakeholder Relations Manager at Mars Petcare
Despite the fact that the veterinarian field is dominated by women, Jo Gale is still often misidentified as a vet nurse. People would often act confused, expecting a man to care for their animals.
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Sandra McCune
Scientific Leader, Human-Animal Interactions at Mars, Inc.
How companion animals impact our health and wellbeing is at the heart of Mars Incorporated’s research program at the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition. As a leader there, Sandra McCune is learning just how beneficial it can be having a dog or cat by your side.
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Dr. Carla Lerum
Sr. Program Manager of Veterinary Systems Support for Banfield Pet Hospital
For Dr. Lerum, Science is a way of thinking. It’s not just a subject or a career — it’s a part of who she is. That’s why it’s natural for her to turn her passion for STEM into a career, and now she’s using her influence to share with other women, continually building partnerships in the scientific fields.
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Cui Wang
Research Scientist of Microbiology at Mars, Inc.
While many people consider science work too difficult or boring, Cui enjoys the research work because what she’s doing is valuable and has exciting possibilities to benefit the food society. It’s empowering to know food being eaten by families everywhere is safe because of the work Cui does at Mars.
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Weina Chen
Global Analytical Technologist for Mars Global Food Safety Center
Weina has spent years working on the Mars Global Food Safety Center and has developed a community of passionate female scientists. Together, these women of Mars are able to build each other up and become role models for younger women in STEM.
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Ashley Allen
Climate and Land Senior Manager
In the years leading up to and following the 2015 International Paris Agreement on climate change, several of the top positions on the agreement were held by women. But the fact that they’re women didn’t set them apart — not to Ashley Allen. No, she was more impressed by their clear and dauntless drive and determination to tackle one of the most complex challenges of our time.
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Erica Mariane
Product Implementation Graduate at Mars Food Australia
Erica is passionate about two things — science and food! She turned those passions into a career at Mars, converting recipes into large scale commercial production. But she wouldn’t have gotten here without the inspiration of Women in STEM who came before her.
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Dr. Lilian Wong
Veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital
Lilian Wong knew as a young girl that veterinarian science was her future. But as she started working a vet, she always wanted more, always wanted to make a bigger impact. So, she set her sights on one day working at the Banfield Pet Hospital corporate headquarters, where she could impact pets across more than 1,000 hospitals.
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Associates in the Wisdom Health business unit are part of the Petcare segment exploring new frontiers in genomic science for companion animals.

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