Lessons from a Woman in STEM at Mars
Jessica Mason captained her university’s triathlon club, where she developed a passion for motivating people. Now a project engineer at the Mars Food factory in King’s Lynn, England, she continues to put this skill to use to encourage more young women to follow in her footsteps and pursue a STEM program.
She began her career in September 2016 when she joined the two-year graduate engineering program at Mars. Ahead of International Women in Engineering Day in June, she wrote a blog post to discuss her experience at Mars and offer advice to other women considering careers in fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
In the post, Jessica stresses the importance of role models, because women in STEM are underrepresented in everyday life, the media and popular culture.
“Fortunately, this situation is changing and through initiatives such as ‘STEM in The Pipeline,’ school girls can start to find role models closer to home,” she said.
She hopes that women in science and engineering like her, as well as teachers in STEM education can play a crucial part in inspiring students to consider careers which they have the talent for, but may not previously have contemplated.
“Enthusiasm is vital,” she said. Whilst she acknowledged that there are certain academic requirements for STEM careers, she highlighted the need for more people who love what they do. “This industry needs passionate and ambitious people and we’re looking for individuals who can demonstrate these characteristics in whatever they’re doing.”
Jessica expressed her appreciation for the Mars Graduate Development Program, where she gained valuable experience working with supportive and talented colleagues in both Mars Petcare and Mars Food. Whilst she confessed that careers in engineering can be challenging like any other, it is also extremely exciting and rewarding.
“Hard work pays off and it’s a proud moment when you can look back at the end of a project and see the results of all the work you’ve put in,” she said.