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Jane Anders, BEng Mgt '84, MBA '88

Chemical Engineering & Management | A World of Opportunity

Following opportunities has led Jane Anders literally to the other side of the world.

It started just over 25 years ago when she was offered an assignment with Procter & Gamble in the United Kingdom. She took the role, then moved to ConAgra Foods where she headed their International R&D. That position opened her eyes to the prospects in Asia.

Today, Anders is Senior Vice-President in charge of Innovation, R&D, Product Development, and Package Development for the Estée Lauder Companies in the Asia Pacific. Based in Hong Kong, she leads teams in Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, and Singapore.

“Our goal is to develop and commercialize superior concepts, products, and packages that Asian consumers love. Our starting point is basic science and technology for new-to-the-world products through to claims and visualizations for in-market products,” says Anders.

“A large part of my role is developing our strategies and ensuring we have the human and physical capabilities and capacity to deliver against our strategies and exceed our business goals.”

It’s a role that calls on both the problem-solving and business skills she gleaned while earning her BEng in Chemical Engineering & Management in 1984. She followed that up with an MBA from McMaster, in 1988.

“When I graduated, I really didn't know what the future held.  I thought then and still think Engineering is a great field for women” she says. “What I've learned is that for me, the people I work with are what count the most.  I try really hard to leave organizations stronger than when I joined and I hope my legacy will be the people and teams I've helped, in some small way, build.”

After several decades of success in positions around the world, it isn’t too surprising that her advice to young people is to be open to new opportunities.

“Nothing is static, the only constant is change, and you need to keep upgrading your skills and knowledge to be relevant,” she says.