The definition of “eureka” is a cry of joy or satisfaction when one finds or discovers something. For Mallinckrodt’s African American and Women in Science business resource groups (BRGs) and teams of girls at Girls Inc. St. Louis, discovery made all of the difference in a recent partnership to spur interest in science, technology, education and math (STEM) careers.
About 40 girls participated in “Eau d’Eureka,” a four-month perfume design program from January 2016 to May 2016. Mallinckrodt employees volunteered hours of their time to work with four teams, guiding each team through the multiple stages required to investigate, produce and market a perfume fragrance that is packaged, priced and ready to be sold in the marketplace.
Supported by a company grant, Mallinckrodt BRG members organized and engaged in STEM-related presentations tied to typical Mallinckrodt careers and activities, all aimed at advancing the project. Over the four months, the teams:
• Learned about the chemistry of perfumes and iconic women entrepreneurs, including Coco Chanel and St. Louis legend Madam C.J. Walker;
• Researched essential oils and developed several test blends;
• Selected their preferred blend and determined scale-up requirements to manufacture a small batch, in either a roll-on or spray formula;
• Formulated batches and filled bottles;
• Determined production costs and product price points; and
• Designed and applied a label for their fragrance brand.
A number of Mallinckrodt office and plant employees voted on a winning fragrance; and winning team members each earned an annual membership to the St. Louis Science Center, donated by Mallinckrodt.
The company’s African American BRG focuses on promoting performance excellence, recognition of talent and strength of African American employees across the organization. The Women in Science BRG concentrates on providing opportunities to employees within scientific roles for professional development through networking, cross-training, mentoring and community outreach.
From left are Lowanda Johnson, Senior Operations Quality Engineer, and Rochelle Griffin, Director, Contracts Management and Analytics and Board Member of Girls Inc. St. Louis, both of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals; Ta’Mya Cummings a member of the winning team “Sensational Scents” with a bottle of the winning fragrance; and Emma Benton, Manager Financial Planning and Analysis, of Mallinckrodt. Mallinckrodt employees helped coach groups of girls in the design, development and marketing of a perfume in a partnership with Girls Inc. to help promote science, technology, education and math careers.