• Advocacy for and Advice from Women in STEM at 3M

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    • 3M Careers: Angelines Castro Forero and Karen Albertson - Advice for women in STEM at 3M

      At 3M, our 91,000 employees around the world inspire us every day by devoting their work to improving lives. And Application Engineering Manager Angelines Castro Forero and Global Business Unit Director Karen Albertson are no exception. Read ahead for their take on why 3M is seen as a great place to work and their advice for prospective 3Mers.

      You two have called yourselves 3Mers for a combined 40 years. How would you describe what it means to be a 3Mer?

      Angelines: 3Mers are continuously learning and looking for the next challenge to overcome. They thrive within collaborative environments and operate with a customer-first mentality. There are so many people considered experts in their field here who are willing to help and are just a phone call or email away.

      Karen: When I think of 3Mers, I immediately think of the global nature of our company, teams and customers. I see a collage of faces and cultures which come together to make us unique, inclusive and strong. At our core, 3Mer’s are also curious innovators with a passion for continuous improvement.

    • I think in addition to all these things you’ve listed, people are attracted to 3M because they want to improve lives. How does your work do that?

      Angelines and Karen: We are both focused on developing products that allow biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to make purer drugs and higher quality medical devices more efficiently. Some of these drugs treat health conditions such as cancer, immunological disorders, Alzheimer’s and infectious diseases, so it is incredible to think about the personal impact we have.

    • That’s amazing. Besides improving lives, what do you think makes 3M a popular choice for people starting out their careers?

      Angelines: 3M has a reputation for being an innovative, highly technical, diverse and ethical company with many different career paths available. When I interviewed a few years ago and took a tour of the Customer Innovation Center, I was able to see firsthand the depth and breadth of 3M technology. I think that is very exciting for technical people to know they can dive into so many different technologies during their careers.

      Karen: Employees here have an opportunity to explore many different types of industries, business models and roles in their careers without changing companies. I also believe 3M’s strong code of conduct attracts potential employees. People want to work for a highly ethical company and at 3M, ‘doing the right thing’ is part of the company culture.

    • What advice would you give recent graduates who are just starting out their careers?

      Angelines: Trust yourself more. I took a risk when I decided to move to the U.S. from Colombia to pursue graduate school, but I doubted myself a lot. Experience has taught me that any decision will bring uncertainty and challenges. Make the best decision that you can at the time, be ready to face any challenges head-on and be flexible to make any adjustments needed, and you’ll be fine.

      Karen: Don’t be too hard on yourself and accept that you have a lot to learn. It’s important to be self-aware, build on strengths and continue to develop new skills along the way.

    • That’s great advice, so I’m going to shift gears and ask for your advice in another area. How can people be more of an advocate for women in their careers?

      Angelines: Don’t make assumptions about a person’s goals and interests. Ask them. Also, understand that every person has a different style of working and we need to create an environment where different styles are welcome. This applies to not only women but to all of us.

      Karen: Start by listening to women and their desires and challenges at work and help them “lean into” their careers by supporting them to be their best. You can do this in three ways: ensuring all job openings have a pool of diverse candidates which includes women; making sure women are given opportunities to lead; and no matter your gender, mentoring women.

    • Share and start your 3M experience.

      Angelines and Karen’s stories are truly inspiring and at 3M, we want to make sure all our employees’ voices are heard. Whether you’re a candidate who has interviewed with 3M or a current employee, we’d love for you to anonymously share your experiences with us on our Glassdoor page.

      Interested in working at 3M? Join our Talent Community.