Why aren’t there more women in cosmetic science?

Today, I’m traveling to New York to attend Thursday’s annual Society of Cosmetic Chemists scientific meeting.  I’m looking forward to it as there will be lots of great talks and I’ll be able to connect with a number of cosmetic chemists & industry people who I haven’t seen in some time.

One of the things that has always struck me about the cosmetic industry is the lack of women scientists.  At the meeting, the ratio of men to women will be something like 65 / 35.  Perhaps this is a result of the fact that women traditionally haven’t been encouraged to enter science.  In fact, this article in Psychology Today shows that women actually have a harder time thinking about STEM topics when they are thinking about romance.  Men don’t have this problem.

It’s unfortunately because most of the women that I have met in the cosmetic industry have been excellent cosmetic chemists.  It really is a perfect career for some who are both interested in science and the beauty and fashion industry.  Men have a distinct disadvantage when creating some cosmetics because they don’t where them.  Lipstick, eye shadow, blush are all much harder for men to make.  I think the problem is that there is just a lack of awareness of the cosmetic industry as being a career path.

That’s why one of the goals of this website and our sister cosmetic blog Beauty Brains is to encourage more women to pursue careers in the cosmetic industry.   Hopefully, we’ve helped at least a little in this area.


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