The International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February) reminds us that full and equal access to and participation in science, technology and innovation for women and girls of all ages is imperative for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

We spoke to Becky a Senior Microbiologist, Food Technologist and Primary Packaging Analyst in our Technical and Innovation Centre. With Visy since 2019, she says she is continuously improving her technical knowledge and skills to contribute her best for the company and customers.

What she does and why she loves it

I love to visit our manufacturing sites and understand their processes and help them improve the quality of their output, as well as solve problems. My colleagues love to share knowledge and skills, and make my time there enjoyable, respected, and a safe place to work.

My role includes:

  • microbiological testing and analysis for primary packaging

  • troubleshooting customer complaints

  • manufacturing site audits in the capacity of air quality and general cleanliness, technical support for microbiological related projects

  • primary packaging (beverage aluminium cans) analysis with respect to integrity, specification conformity, suitability of customer products with our packaging, assessment of customer filling characteristics, corrosion characteristic identification

  • troubleshooting and investigating the cause of leaking cans

  • communication and laboratory reporting to internal and external customers.

Why she likes science

I like science because I like to know how things work. Science is all around us—using science to solve problems is the way forward. Science has led us to finding out things that give us what we have today. It’s not a subject that stops, no one person will ever know everything about science, and there is even more we don`t understand. That’s unlimited potential is exciting, that’s why I find science so amazing.

An interesting project: antimicrobial coatings trial

The most interesting project I have worked on is the antimicrobial coatings trial. The trial is to apply an antimicrobial varnish technology as a new feature for food and non-food grade packaging to prevent the growth of microorganism on the surface, thus ensuring the safety and quality of packaging. The efficacy of three different antimicrobial agents were assessed with regards to their ability to inhibit or stop microbial growth.

Her career advice for women and girls pursuing science

For women and girls considering a career in science, passion, innovation, creativity, and knowledge are key. Technology is always changing, so you must keep up to date.

Constant learning is crucial, and I find learning very exciting!

IImage: Becky at our technical centre carrying out beverage can microscopic assessments.

mage description: A woman with glasses in a white lab coat is smiling at the camera. She is seated at a desk with a microscope beside her.