Julie is an External Supply Manager, Cell and Gene Therapy at GlaxoSmithKline. She currently works alongside other companies to manufacture Cell and Gene Therapy products for research and Development. Their ultimate goal is to find a cure for cancer through being able to work with an individual’s own immune system to fight their cancer. As a kid, though, Julie wanted to be either a mailman, a wildlife photographer, or a math professor. When asked what advice she would give to younger girls about pursuing STEM, she said, “[Don’t] let perfection get in the way of greatness. It is absolutely critical to become impassioned with your work and boldly take steps forward with your career. Embrace every single mistake, as these are the best learning opportunities. If you are not making mistakes, you aren’t trying hard enough”. As one of the only women in her major and career, especially when she was beginning, Julie had to learn to not put unnecessary pressure on herself to do everything correctly the first time or on her own. She says that she needed to learn to ask for help when needed, without the fear of being perceived as weak. Aside from being a mentor and inspiration to other women in STEM, Julie also enjoys time spent in the great outdoors, traveling, hiking, kayaking, and camping.
“Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Her work is even more incredible when taking into account the fact that Julie had to face discrimination as woman in the STEM field, ranging from the robotic fabrication facility she was working at not having a female bathroom, to being told she wouldn’t receive a promotion because she ‘would likely be stepping down at some point to have children’. Despite these absurd and daunting obstacles, Julie has persevered and earned the opportunity to “make pediatric vaccines and life-saving biopharmaceutical medicine for individuals who would otherwise not be able to still live life”. Julie’s career in STEM has enabled her to do many more incredible things, such as travel the world, live overseas, mentor STEM youths, and make products that positively impact and transform people’s lives. She notes one opportunity in specific: “At one point in my career I had the very unique opportunity to design and build a vaccine facility with a small group of other women engineers. Imagine the stunned look on everyone’s face when a group of women in their 20s entered into a very male welding facility to test out some robots! They were quite literally blown away, as no other women had ever entered their facility. These same women have become my closest friends and confidants”. Julie and her peers directly combated the stereotype of STEM fields belonging only to men.