Women in STEM - Maths
Our last installment of our women in STEM series is highlighting our woman in maths-facing roles across Croda. Since 2016, the number of women working in STEM fields in the UK has increased by 216,552 meaning the 1 million mark has been passed for the first time! We want to ensure this number stays on the rise and the key to this is increasing visibility of role models to girls. Research has found that on average across maths, physics, biology, chemistry and computer science, having a STEM role model results in a 12% increase in interest of girls in STEM subjects. Additionally, the presence of role models results in girls having more self-belief.
Keep reading to hear from some of the women working in the field of maths at Croda.
Amanda Miszczuk - Accounts Payable and Receivable Team Leader
Could you start with giving a brief outline of your career at Croda? I started with Croda Inc North America as a Graduate Trainee in 2019 in their finance department with rotations in accounts payable, accounts receivable, operational accounting, and financial reporting. My rotations allowed me to build relationships throughout the company with purchasing, sales, and site management to gain an understanding of how Croda functions and how different departments work together to achieve shared results. After my 2 year rotational programme, I took my current role of Accounts Payable & Receivable Team Lead in which I manage a team of four – two individuals in accounts payable and two in accounts receivable. In accounts payable, I ensure timely payments to our vendors and work closely with the team and purchasing to resolve discrepancies. In accounts receivable, I approve customer credit terms and review orders pending shipment, working closely with the team and sales to ensure customer satisfaction.
What first led to your interest in maths? I’ve always leaned towards math as an interest. Studying and pursuing math allows opportunities for a number of different career paths in business. I obtained by Masters Degree in Accounting and have worked at Croda since graduation, but I never imagined myself working in the chemical industry. Although my background has prepared me for my role, it is always fascinating to see different aspects of the business. Finance works closely with all departments to reconcile their expenses and budgets and therefore you can gain a lot of knowledge in other fields. This type of communication and knowledge is relevant to any industry you would work in while being in the math field as it is often intertwined with other facets of the business. There are opportunities in every industry with a background in math.
What is your favourite thing about working in the maths field? Having a role in the field of maths requires attention to detail and problem-solving capabilities. My favorite part of the field would be that you always come across different situations that you have to adapt and challenge yourself to resolve. The work can be very rewarding.
What advice would you have for girls looking to pursue a role in maths? There are many different roles that can come from a background in maths. I would suggest to try as many internships and classes as possible with varying topics to see what is the most interesting to help broaden your career path but also to find something that you love to do.
Amanda Smith - Senior Sector Commercial Accountant
Could you start with giving a brief outline of your career at Croda? I started my Croda career back in 2009 to support the integration of Wilton into Croda, based in the European Finance Office in Hesslewood where I started as an Assistant Commercial Accountant. During my time at Croda, I have supported Group Finance in Cowick Hall, Seatons and was seconded to North America to support Personal Care during their Budget process in 2015. I have been lucky to be given the opportunity to be part of the STEM team and develop the first KS3 activity and be a part of the team that introduced different software to Croda and remain the owner of this software. In 2016, I moved into a sector support role working with the PTIC business as a Dedicated Finance Support and I now work within the Consumer Care team.
What first led to your interest in maths? Maths always came quite naturally to me which made it quite enjoyable during my school years.
What is your favourite thing about working in the maths field? I think the best thing about the field of maths is that it touches everything, as an accountant you interact with every aspect of the business and you use maths in everyday life, money rules the world!
What advice would you have for girls looking to pursue a role in maths? There are so many different roles that involve maths, so research, speak to as many people as you can and try and secure some work placement roles to gain experience.
Debra Rummel - Regional Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable ManagerCould you start with giving a brief outline of your career at Croda? Croda has been my only job since graduating college over 30 years ago! I started in an entry level position as a Credit Collection Specialist. A few years later, I was then promoted to a Staff Accountant. Then, after a few mergers, I was further promoted to Accounts Receivable Manager where I had my first team report to me. Next up was the Uniqema acquisition. Once the acquisition was completed, I was promoted to Assistant Controller. Several years later, I advanced to Financial Accounting Manager. My work at Croda involves overseeing the transactional services within accounts receivable and accounts payable departments, as well maintaining our relationship with our bank.
What first led to your interest in maths? I remember at a very young age, having math come easy to me. Naturally, when a subject is easy – it doesn’t take much effort to learn the material. I had a lot of great teachers that were all excited about math and it was certainly contagious. Throughout my education, I was always asked to tutor other students in maths which was an honor. On a daily basis, I use maths in a financial aspect, and realise that many others within Croda use it for engineering, production, in the lab or even the salon. Math is used everyday in one way or another within Croda.
What is your favourite thing about working in the maths field? Every problem is new, fresh and a unique challenge. When you solve the problem, it is like an adrenaline rush. It keeps you on your toes and never gets monotonous. It is an extremely rewarding experience when a solution is obtained.
What advice would you have for girls looking to pursue a role in maths? Maths is used in nearly every industry and career. I would suggest educating yourself with several career paths and obtain internships or co-ops in each prior to making the final decision. Girls need to make sure they find a career they love, work hard and they will surely succeed.
Thank you to everyone for taking part!