Ginkgo is dedicated to addressing inequities in technology and society. Our collaboration with STEMNoire 2022 is the first of many joint initiatives we’ll continue to support as we build a more equitable company and culture.
Ginkgo is proud to have participated in this year’s STEMNoire: a research conference and holistic wellness retreat for women of the African diaspora in STEM. Hosted in Boston, the virtual conference reached 178 Black women in STEM across the United States and territories, including students and professionals from the academic, industry, government, and nonprofit sectors.
STEMNoire is a first-of-its-kind research conference and holistic wellness retreat for women of the African diaspora in STEM.
Working collaboratively with the STEMNoire team, Ginkgo sponsored three events during the conference: STEMbiosis at Ginkgo Bioworks; Law, Policy, & Communications: Alternative Careers in STEM; and, EmpowHERed Health is Inclusive Health. Two Ginkgo employees — Luis Ortiz and Meron Wonderad — participated in the first event to share their experiences as Black Bioworkers.
The second event was moderated by Ginkgo’s Associate General Counsel Erica Jackson and featured Synim Rivers, Sr. Director of R&D Communications at Horizon Therapeutics and former Public Health Advisor for the U.S. FDA’s Office of Minority Health, Jihan Jenkins, Associate General Counsel of Intellectual Property at Pentair, and Alyssa Blaize, Associate Director of Commercial Ops & Strategy at Ginkgo. They discussed various career opportunities that STEMNoire participants could pursue outside the lab.
Finally, Ginkgo sponsored a discussion featuring S. Mayumi Grisby, Esq., author of EmpowerHERed Health, and Meghan Venable-Thomas, DrPH, MPH, Director of Community Development, City of Birmingham. The two discussed systemic inequities that Black women face in healthcare, and ways to advocate for personal and structural change.
“I was able to sit down with other Black women at STEMNoire to discuss the challenges & experiences Black women face in STEM fields, along with getting to expand my knowledge of bioengineering, digital tech, and what it means to be a professional in STEM.” – Ginkgo Cultivate Fellow Lataysha Walker
Dr. Malika Jeffries-El, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston University, joined STEMNoire leadership and the members of the incoming cohort of Cultivate Fellows for a private brunch to conclude the STEMNoire Conference. Participants had the opportunity to discuss their careers, barriers they’ve had to overcome, and ways to strengthen community in their ongoing journeys across STEM.
This event is the first of many joint events with STEMNoire that Ginkgo is excited to support as we fulfill our promise to build a more equitable company, technology, and society. We are grateful for our collaboration with the remarkable STEMNoire community and are excited to see them in Puerto Rico for next year’s conference!
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