"As a woman in a male-dominated field, it is critical to be assertive. Strive to know more and do more, always be prepared, and have confidence in yourself and your talents and abilities."
— Ashley Daugherty
City of birth: Spartanburg
Education: B.S. in chemistry, University of South Carolina; Ph.D. in chemistry, Emory University
Your job: Director of analytical services and product development at Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp.
The best thing about my job: My job is fast-paced and demanding, but I love that and thrive in the kind of environment where I have to multitask. On a daily basis, I am engaged in data analysis and problem-solving — from reviewing chemistry data to ensure our drug products meet quality specifications to helping develop processes for new drugs in the pipeline. I get to practice the best of both worlds, using my scientific training in chemistry and also management and business with new product development and overseeing personnel.
Community involvement: As a wife, mother, and full-time scientist, I am pretty busy. I do, however, still try to make time for community involvement, and am passionate about mentoring young women and encouraging them toward a career in science. To that end, I invest my time and serve as a mentor for high school Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs. I am also a mentor for Women in Chemistry at Columbia College. This year, I also served as Capstone lecturer for Women in Chemistry and Chemistry Job opportunities at USC.
Something I wish I’d known earlier in my career: I wish I had known the vast possibilities that are out there for job opportunities in my field. When you begin studying a specific subject, you often think that the career possibilities are limited to teaching or being an academic. Now, I know that there are so many different applications of my work in the real world. I also wish I could tell my younger self to be flexible and adaptable, and to trust that the path that I am on will ultimately lead to a productive, fulfilling career.