Celebrating International Women’s Day With Amyris’ Consumer Brand Leaders

March 08, 2022

Happy International Women’s Day! Internationally recognized for over 100 years, this day is dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias and is dedicated to highlighting the ways everyone can play a role in shattering bias, stereotypes, and discrimination in our communities.


Amyris sat down with the women leaders from across several of its consumer brand teams to hear what it means to them to #BreakTheBias. From skincare to beauty to health and wellness, read along to hear what they have to say on everything from breaking the bias in their communities to where they draw their inspiration in their daily lives.

Lastly, if you’d like to join Amyris in supporting two organizations that are paving the way for women and girls in environmental and STEM fields, Amyris is donating 10 percent of all of today’s sales from the online channels of its consumer brand teams to Scientific Adventures for Girls and Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network International. Only purchases made directly from our consumer brand websites will be eligible – please shop directly with Biossance, JVN, Pipette, Purecane, Costa Brazil, Rose Inc, OLIKA, and Terasana to see a portion of your purchase donated directly to these organizations that are removing barriers for girls’ participation in STEM and accelerating a women’s movement for the protection of our planet.


This year’s theme for IWD is #BreakTheBias and is meant to demonstrate how as individuals, we can break biases in our communities, workplaces, schools, etc. What is one way that you aim to break the bias in one of your communities?

  • Catherine Gore, President of Biossance and JVN Hair (CG): “One way I aim to break the bias is by teaching my son and daughter how to treat people equally and modeling the right values. The golden rule is king.”
  • Leila Chung, Vice President, Brand and Marketing of Pipette (LC): “A good mentor of mine always says, ‘What gets measured, gets done.’ We can’t break the bias and work towards diversity, equity, and inclusion if we don’t set specific goals and measure our progress. One way I aim to break the bias is to track the representation of race, gender, and identity across our marketing efforts to ensure our creative and key partnerships remain free from bias and stereotypes.”
  • Caroline Hadfield, CEO and President of Rose Inc (CH): “My biggest focus is team building without bias. It’s important that our team represents diverse backgrounds and life experiences. We work to empower the next generation, really bringing our junior team members into the fold. Our interns are in meetings and are given responsibility and guidance, but also a voice — we want to learn from them. At the same time, we see the value in parents who’ve stepped away from the workplace to raise children and returned. Their perspectives and experiences are especially valuable in fast-paced environments. There isn’t a fixed profile we’re looking for when we make hiring decisions, quite the opposite.”
  • Viviana Moreira Teran, Senior Director, Sales and Marketing of Purecane (VMT): “I’m happy to see that the theme for IWD this year is #BreakTheBias – an important challenge for everyone! During my life journey I have always been inspired by successful women’s stories, especially the brave women that had the courage and confidence to break down stereotypes and conquer new spaces in society. I believe that by sharing our personal experiences, we can inspire and encourage young people to pursue their dreams and not slow down due to biases they might face.”
  • Ying Chu, Vice President, Marketing and Content of Costa Brazil (YC): “I’ve been very lucky that my career, much of it in the media space, has been spent celebrating female voices. My job is to provide a platform for people, many of them women, at times unseen heroes, to tell their stories. Ultimately, this brings visibility to those who deserve to be at the table. All I can do is continue the work. By putting your head down and getting things done, it’s about pushing progress every single day. It’s not a singular task.”

Amyris and its family of brands are built around the shared mission to transition the world to sustainable consumption – what does building a sustainable future look like for you personally, and how do you embody this in your work?

  • CG: “For me, a sustainable future is centered around education. Whether it’s my family, friends, relatives or consumers at large, it’s important to educate people on making superior choices in products while not harming the planet. And in some cases, consuming less overall. Fortunately, at Amyris, we’ve inspired an entire movement in the beauty sector and beyond that you can have both, beautiful products to use while not harming the planet.”
  • LC: “For me, building a sustainable future means creating new standards and changing behaviors among a group that collectively help protect this planet for future generations. Our goal at Pipette is to help make sustainable consumption more accessible and convenient for families that use our products. We are getting closer and closer to our goal of using 100% recycled material in all our packaging and making it 100% recyclable for consumers to continue the cycle after they use our products. The easier we make it for everyone to do their part, the more impact we can make in building a sustainable future.”
  • CH: “Building a sustainable future is about making thoughtful decisions daily. For Rose Inc, that includes everything from clean ingredients to sustainable packaging. We set the bar incredibly high for packaging in particular, and it ultimately became our biggest challenge. There just aren’t a lot of turnkey solutions. The beauty industry tends to praise opulence, which often means excess or environmentally damaging materials. But prioritizing sustainability means we have to consistently deliver on performance while finding ways to remain true to our brand’s gorgeous aesthetic. Being true to our sustainability philosophy requires us to strip back, meaning our formulas must stand on their own.”
  • VMT: “I joined Amyris because this company is entirely and passionately committed to its mission of transitioning the world to sustainable consumption. As a business leader for Purecane, I’m able to support people’s journey to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. For me, building a sustainable future is about making it easier for people to find options that are good for them and the planet, without compromising on the qualities they love.”
  • YC: “For starters, I avoid single-use plastic — a particularly hard thing when you have young children. Inevitably, that means I’m schlepping my weight in hand-packed snacks and refillable water bottles anywhere I go; it’s an event. But it’s critical to lead by example. The same holds true for the products we put out in the world. At Costa Brazil, we go to great lengths to limit the plastic in our packaging but it’s not easy nor inexpensive. And sometimes, it’s just impossible. But we’re constantly evolving, improving, and we’re working on a lot of refillable product options.”

What is one piece of advice you’d offer to other women and girls as they too try to break the bias in their communities?

  • CG: “You don’t have to be a warrior. Remember who you are, believe in yourself, set goals that align with who you are, and climb your mountain one step at a time. Don’t take life too seriously.”
  • LC: “The one piece of advice I’d offer is to persevere. I heard Michelle Obama speak at Chief a few weeks ago, and her words still ring in my heart: ‘We have no choice but to persevere… we are here because someone didn’t get discouraged and didn’t give up.'”
  • CH: “We all play a part in change. It may be cliché, but it’s true: Treat others how you want to be treated. Challenge your own judgments and assumptions, give people grace (& yourself too!), and do the right thing. I believe that how you behave always comes back to you.”
  • VMT: “My one piece of advice to girls as they try to break the bias in their community is the same that I give to my 11-year-old daughter — always trust yourself, be brave, and don’t let anyone stop you from conquering your dreams, because you CAN do it!”
  • YC: “Remain curious. That in turn asks the questions, breaks stereotypes and immediately lifts expectations in any scenario.”

Inevitably, breaking the bias will at times be challenging and can become emotionally taxing – where do you turn to for support and where do you draw inspiration to continue this important work?

  • CG: “As some of you know, my mom passed away in 2018. She was an endless source of inspiration for me – graceful, elegant, kind, and empathetic. Now I have my dad, two older brothers and husband, and they are my inspiration. I’ve realized that they were as much a part of helping me feel strong, and ready to reach any goal as my mom was. They never put up roadblocks for me. I can see it now in the way they treat their wives, partners, kids, colleagues, etc. It’s their unbiased nature since the beginning that inspires me. My mom’s example will always be with me, but these men give me hope for the future.”
  • LC: “I definitely turn to other strong women for both support and inspiration, from female colleagues and mentors to networks of women in leadership. But most of all, I turn to my mom, who’s the strongest woman I know. She’s someone who’s gone through so much adversity in her life but came out as refined gold! I’m so inspired by her resilience, persistence, and passion. Even on the worst day, I look at her and get the strength to keep going.”
  • CH: “In my experience, it all comes down to a diverse team and open communication. We hire people who are experts in their field, and I trust them. I draw inspiration from them. My team is comfortable challenging me and sharing their points of view, which are always beneficial. The more voices we amplify, the more information we have to make strategic decisions. This isn’t a dictatorship; we’re all learning and growing from each other.”
  • VMT: “I recognize that breaking the bias can be emotionally taxing, so when I feel stressed, I pause, look back, and try to find the small victories. Reflecting always helps me see the bigger picture and appreciate what an important role those seemingly small victories play and just how far we’ve come in progressing on this journey.”
  • YC: “Easy, my kids. They bring happiness and humor and humility to every situation. They’re completely unfiltered, which is disarming and really helps me reset. Plus, their unbiased love is just incredible to witness. And, this seems obvious, but it really illuminates the idea that a future of true equality is as much about empowering my daughter as it is about educating my son.”

If you’re interested in joining our team of leaders paving the way for the planet and people, visit our careers page and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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