Mar 8, 2021

Women who make tomorrow

Five Zymergites who represent the best of who we are.

Image showing plastic pieces on a metal spoon

The Zymergen community values diversity in all of its dimensions. Women’s History Month is a chance to reflect on gender diversity as we celebrate the achievements of women in our world. 

As a science and technology company, we pay special homage to the groundbreaking women scientists who came before us and on whose shoulders we stand. These include giants like Rosalind Franklin, Ada Lovelace, Maria Mitchell, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson, whose contributions to the fields of biology, computing, and STEM in general are often ignored by history but without which our company simply wouldn’t exist. 

Much closer to home, we also celebrate the women among us who make Zymergen what it is today. Below, we profile a handful of our Zymer-Women. They are from very different parts of our company, but they all epitomize values of courage, commitment, and innovation that are core to who we are. We applaud them and are proud to call them our colleagues.

The scientific community has much work to do on its way toward a fully representative and inclusive workforce. There is no easy way to achieve it, but at Zymergen we are not afraid of working hard and holding each other accountable as we strive to realize this goal. Only by pushing the boundaries of how we work together can we make better products and a better world.

Enakshi Singh

When a door opens, you go through it 

Back in 2014, people told Enakshi Singh she was crazy to take such a big risk in joining an early startup like Zymergen. But the challenge of shaping and growing a new business that could improve the world was too great to pass up. In her own words, Ena shares her professional high points and a few pearls of wisdom from her perspective as a global finance leader.

You can’t make tomorrow using yesterday’s ideas

Last year’s racial unrest shifted how companies prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). Organizations of all sizes and influence made public displays of their commitments to rethink their diversity policies. But are we doing enough? And are we doing it right? Chanda Hand, our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager, talks about getting innovative about inclusion.

Chanda Hand, DE&I Manager
Elise Hand

Tackling plastic waste for a greener, cleaner tomorrow

Cajoling microbes to degrade plastic and turn it into something valuable is an extremely difficult challenge, but there’s no other project scientist Elise Span would rather be working on. Here’s our conversation with Elise on the thrills of scientific discovery, the unexpected rewards of managing a team, and the importance of purpose.

Ditching the brogrammer culture

In 2017, Vanity Fair profiled Barbara Frewen, Erin Rhode, and others about our effort to ditch the brogrammer culture. Barbara and Erin are both Associate Directors now, and their contributions to our community have been enormous. Since coming aboard as the first woman software engineer and third software engineer overall, Barbara has helped build a great deal of our software infrastructure. For her part, Erin has built an entirely new team — Data Management Solutions — to bridge gaps between science and technology at Zymergen.

Chanda Hand, Zymergen’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program Manager
Catherine Norbeck, Director of Learning & Organizational Development

How a cultural yearning to be the best helps us lead organizationally and scientifically

Zymergen isn’t content as a leader only in materials and chemicals. We’re also making the workplace of tomorrow, based on shared values and empathetic leadership. Catherine Norbeck, our Director of Learning & Organizational Development, shares how we make tomorrow.