#STEMSpark: Meet Jenise Lee, the mind behind CertClean certification revolutionizing the beauty industry

By Wendy Jacob on October 25, 2016 under Engineering Science STEM Spark Success

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“Confidence can move mountains. Doubt and fear can create them. Do everything you can do believe in yourself.” – Jenise Lee

CEO and engineer Jenise Lee is making the world a more beautiful — and safer place — by spearheading the world’s first review site for non-toxic beauty products, CertClean. As a child she suffered from severe nut allergies and skin sensitivities, and now uses her experience as a chemical engineer to help decode potentially harmful ingredients for other Canadians. But her business acumen (she has an MBC from Schulich) has also come into play. Lee notes that CertClean has the opportunity to revolutionize the beauty industry by certifying clean brands, positioning those brands for growth, and creating markets for healthier products.

  1. Who you are and what you do?

I have a chemical engineering degree from the University of Waterloo. I worked for an environmental engineering consulting firm for several years before I enrolled in the MBA program at the Schulich School of Business. As the CEO & Founder of CertClean, North America’s certification for safer skincare, I set the vision for the company and develop strategies to achieve a simple yet grand vision: CertClean certified products in every home. Having certified over 1,000 products so far, I recently launched an exciting campaign to build world’s first review site dedicated to nontoxic beauty products. See the campaign here.

  1. What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career? 

We can really be the change we want to see in the world. You just need to believe that you can.

  1. What did you want to be when you grew up and why? 

I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I’ve always believed that I was going to make the world a better place. But I didn’t know the what or how yet. I was a member of Greenpeace when I was 7, so it’s no surprise that I’m in the environmental sector now.

  1. If you could give your 12-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Confidence is key. Confidence can move mountains. Doubt and fear can create them. Do everything you can do believe in yourself.

  1. Any advice for young girls who dream of running a company in STEM?

Follow your passions… but make sure you also equip yourself with a broad range of knowledge and skills. Broaden your horizons so you can come up with solutions that actual solve problems!

  1. What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career?

Life can be hard; we all have hurdles we have to overcome. In my case, I was creating a company as my brother was battling brain cancer. I’ve learned that time is precious so spend it well and prioritize appropriately. Every day, I am grateful that I made the choice to work on something that is meaningful and impactful.

  1. What is your advice to the industry as a whole to help close the gap for women in technology?

To close the gap for women in technology, we need to close the data gap. With transparent data on gender ratios, differences in wages, etc, we can identify better approaches to bring true diversity in to work places.

Find out more about Cert Clean here. To follow Jenise or Cert Clean on Twitter, or Facebook. Help build a review site for nontoxic beauty by owning a clean beauty box, and visit this campaign

#STEMSpark: Science Fair Journey Of An Award Winning Canadian Female Scientist

By Doina Oncel on June 27, 2016 under Science STEM Spark

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It can start with a spark, a moment of curiosity. It can start while discovering innovative ideas come to life. It can start with a question raised, a clip from a show, a game, and, in this case, a poster. The discussion of how to get more women interested in STEM fields, commonly known as Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, continues as does the struggles to figure out the “how”. As a mission to encourage more girls and young women to follow their curiosity in the rewarding fields of STEM, it is imperative to bring to surface lived experiences of other young women and expose their reality of the journey involved in any of these fields. As Canadians it makes it for a sweeter reality to know that an aspiring young woman scientist has represented Canada internationally at Science Fairs bringing home awards for her scientific discoveries.

Jessie MacAlpine has done all of that, all because of her love for science. She is a great example, a great mentor to girls and young women who may have that curious thought of what is it like to be a scientist. She is a leader and an inspiration to little girls who dream that one day they can too become successful while making a difference though science.

We hope that her story will encourage girls and young women to pursue their dreams and take on challenges because making a difference is just as rewarding as the journey to leadership.READ MORE

#STEMSpark: Scientist Dr. Molly Shoichet celebrates and shares the success of researchers establishing the new frontiers of science.

By Wendy Jacob on June 2, 2016 under Science STEM Spark

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“I think that science defines the present and future. I encourage women and men to pursue careers in science because there are big problems that we are still trying to solve and big questions that we are still trying to answer.” – Molly Shoichet

Dr. Molly Shoichet is definitely a triple threat. She is the only person to be a Fellow of Canada’s three National Academies: Canadian Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Academy of Engineering, and Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. But she is also the recipient of many prestigious distinctions, including the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award for North America in 2015. Dr. Shoichet holds the Order of Ontario, Ontario’s highest honour and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.READ MORE