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Women of Mars Meet Weina Chen, Laboratory Scientist Corporate, Global Food Safety Center (GFSC) Huairou, Beijing, China

New and noteworthy: When her grandmother was growing up, girls, especially in poor areas, never had the chance to go to school; but in Weina’s class, 80 percent of students were women. “Women now represent more than 25 percent of all scientific researchers worldwide,” she says. “And I’ve seldom felt the need to advocate for stronger policy because at the Mars GFSC, everyone — male and female — has equal opportunities to pursue excellence.”

Honor your mentor: “My mentor encourages me to learn from my mistakes, once telling me, ‘Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.’ It sounds simple enough — but it helped me put things into perspective and remain optimistic about achieving my goals.”

Favorite work perk: “Women face harder choices between professional success and personal fulfillment. Not all research jobs offer work-life balance, and women are forced to pursue other careers. We’re lucky at Mars to have flexible work hours.”

Advice for the next generation in science: “Never underestimate your potential. Identify target areas for improvement and work with your manager to monitor your progress. Benefit from their experience and wisdom.”

We’re proud of role models like Weina who are leading the way for women in research! #WomenOfMars #WomenInScience

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