Jennifer Moss, incoming Vice President-Research & Development, Meals and Beverages, joined Campbell as Vice President-R&D, Asia Pacific, in 2010, and now she is headed to the U.S. to lead R&D across the Meals and Beverages business. She’s a role model and mentor to a broad range of colleagues and students. Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, she shares why she is proud to be a woman working in STEM at Campbell.
I have always loved understanding how things work.
I grew up in Sydney, Australia, where I loved school and especially science. By high school, I had developed an interest in the law. I’d even been scheduled to get work experience at a legal firm through a school program. But at the last minute, plans changed dramatically, and I was instead sent to work in R&D at a consumer goods company. This proved a pivotal moment that set the course for the rest of my life. In this setting, I became fascinated by all that goes on behind the scenes to produce a product and its packaging. Creating a product is all about giving people what they love, whether through improving an existing offering or creating something brand new that hasn’t been done before. From that moment on, I wanted to build a career in this field.
I was fortunate, but many young women don’t get that kind of experience. Earlier in my education, a male science teacher separated boys and girls – and only talked to the boys. Luckily, my parents moved me to a different school where our chemistry teacher, a woman, said girls could do whatever we wanted to do – and we did. At least three of the girls in this teacher’s class went on to careers in industrial chemistry, including me; in fact, I loved STEM subjects so much I worked to earn my PhD in Chemical Engineering.
I spent a good part of my career working in the packaged goods space, and I’ve always loved cooking and food. I saw a connection between my chosen career – the innovation, the constant testing to get things just right – and how I created recipes at home. And so, nearly 14 years ago, I decided to make the switch into the food industry, to be able to apply my technical background and love of innovation to products that truly nourish people’s lives.
Working on R&D for Tim Tam biscuits, Australia’s most iconic brand, was too great an opportunity to pass up, and it has been wonderful. But just as Tim Tam biscuits were important to me growing up, so was Campbell’s soup. I was proud to help develop Campbell’s purpose, Real food that matters for life’s moments, a philosophy that motivates me every day – after all, my role is about creating real, delicious food from simple ingredients and sharing them with the world. Now it’s an honor to move to the United States to head R&D for some of Campbell’s best-loved offerings, like Campbell’s soups, V8 juices, Prego sauces, and more – everyday, nutritious food that’s there when you need it. I’m excited to work on developing food that’s accessible to everyone, to better understand American consumers, and to help bring Campbell’s brands to people for years to come.
I’m also excited to continue to help bridge the huge gender gap in STEM education and careers. Campbell does a great deal to support diversity and inclusion and women in the workplace, but we also need to be aware of what’s going on externally, where women in STEM still tend to lag in both salaries and leadership roles. International Women’s Day offers a great opportunity to remind us all – women and men – that every person has the right to be treated equally. We each need to be firmly centered on our passion, and ensure we have a network of people who can help us, and whom we can help. It can be lonely in any career – we need to support each other.