Anna Meier

The chemical industry has always been a sector where women tend to be underrepresented. That's true at Kuraray as well - especially in technical jobs. We therefore asked some of our female engineers whether they come up against any particular challenges in their work and the reasons why they chose their degree or vocational training course. 

“Maths and chemistry were my best subjects at school, but I also really liked art,” says Anna Meier, who has been at Kuraray since 2015. Before that she worked for Celanese Emulsions, mainly in research and development. “When I was at school, I did placements in chemistry and in a pharmacy. They made it clear to me that I would have better job opportunities in science. Even when I was young, I was interested in getting to the bottom of things. I was particularly fascinated by the mechanisms that make substances react and how salt dissolves in water.” She was attracted by a combined course at the pharmaceuticals division of Sanofi leading to a degree in chemical engineering with a parallel vocational training qualification as a chemical lab technician. “My family had no scientific or academic background and they found my choice hard to understand,” she recalls. Because she enjoys working in an interdisciplinary environment and has always been open-minded, she subsequently took a masters degree in chemistry and business studies alongside her job, graduating at the start of 2018. After three years as a Six Sigma black belt expert in quality management, new role as a technical product manager offers her opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration with various departments as well as applying her expertise to help customers. Networking means she is at home both worlds.

During her career, she has been exposed to a few sexist comments. But she soon gained the respect of her colleagues and was able to convince them of her expertise. “At Kuraray, I've never been treated differently because I’m a woman,” she says.