How Colgate's Global Technology Organization Is Cultivating an Inclusive and Innovative Culture
At Colgate-Palmolive’s Global Technology Centers, we’ve created programs and built partner relationships to continue expanding our diverse talent pipeline.
At Colgate-Palmolive, we’re committed to our purpose of reimagining a healthier future for all. As part of that commitment, we aim to increase diverse representation across our organization to reflect the diversity of the communities where we live, work and sell.
In our Global Technology and Design Organization (GTeD), our skilled and talented teams work with new and emerging technologies that drive the innovative growth of our company. (Look no further than our talented flavorists to see the kinds of cutting-edge work we’re up to.)
To ensure we stay at the cutting edge of innovation, GTeD is creating educational pathways and continuing education to people in groups underrepresented in STEM and people from underserved communities.
“We’re an innovation-based company building products for the world,” said Latonya Kilpatrick, the Worldwide Director of Technology, Research and Innovation, Oral Care and Global Devices at Colgate. “With diverse talent, we’ll be able to have so many lenses, experiences and insights to draw from, which helps us build connections to the populations we serve.”
View and learn more about these opportunities below.
Internships at Colgate
At our U.S. technology centers in Piscataway, New Jersey and Topeka, Kansas, undergraduate STEM majors are recruited to participate in a 10-week summer internship program.
Thanks to Colgate’s relationships with several historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) — including Xavier University of Louisiana, Howard University and Spelman College — the internship program helps to create a diverse pipeline for entry-level positions at the company.
In addition to opportunities for undergraduates, Colgate also welcomes Ph.D. candidates from HBCUs and national Black professional development associations to participate in the company’s two-year industrial post-doctoral program.
Paris Napue, a Spelman College graduate (‘20), was an intern at the company as a college undergraduate. Her experience during her summer at the Piscataway campus was so positive that she applied to the company’s rotational program, a bridge between internships and full-time employment.
Today, Napue is proud to be a full-time team member at Colgate.
“I felt really comfortable being myself in my internship,” Napue said. “That was a huge factor for me wanting to continue working here. There are always levels in the corporate world, but here, our CTO even made the time to listen to our presentations and have conversations with us.”
To view and apply to internships at Colgate, visit our student opportunities portal.
Smile with Science Symposium
Colgate also launched the Smile with Science (SWS) Symposium three years ago, which aims to connect GTeD with a broad range of talent across the world through networking and an award-based challenge.
Since 2021, more than 150 students have applied to the symposium and nearly 50 students have been selected to attend. In total, eight individuals have been awarded cash prizes for the research they’ve presented.
In addition to presenting their research, participants network with fellow students who are also pursuing their Ph.D. in STEM fields, as well as Colgate scientists and hiring managers.
Students pursuing their Ph.D. degrees in STEM fields are given the opportunity to present their research and compete for awards. They also are able to network with the company’s scientists and hiring managers.
Hongwei Shen, an Associate Director of Technology for R&D at Colgate, said he’s kept in touch with many former participants, some of whom are located outside of the U.S.
“The spark can come from anywhere,” Shen said. “Diverse thinking comes from people from all different backgrounds, and SWS helps to bring together those voices to incubate innovation.”
For more information and to apply, visit the Smile with Science Symposium webpage.
The National GEM Consortium
Since 2020, GTeD has partnered with the National GEM Consortium, an organization that partners with underrepresented groups (African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans) at the master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science. GEM assists these students in their graduate education and pairs them with major employers.
With GEM, Colgate has awarded nearly $250,000 in fellowships to more than ten students to use toward their graduate education, as well as provided the opportunity for these students to work as interns at Colgate’s and Hill’s Pet Nutrition technology centers.
Students 2 Science
Colgate is proud to be a partner of Students 2 Science, a national organization that inspires, motivates and educates elementary, middle and high school students living in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities to pursue careers in STEM.
To help expand its mission to communities around our Piscataway Global Technology Center, we’ve provided financial assistance to the organization. Additionally, Colgate scientists volunteer their time by participating in science education initiatives, student mentoring, career panels and hands-on laboratory demonstrations.
Pan American Society for Pigment Cell Research (PASPCR)
PASPCR is an international scientific organization that promotes research collaborations between clinicians, physicians, and scientists that focus on various skin disorders and life-threatening skin cancers.
Additionally, PASPCR works to increase diversity in the area of skin research and provides fellowship grants for underrepresented high school and/or undergraduate students to complete a summer research project and showcase their findings at the PASPCR annual meeting.
Over the past two years, we have supported six students and are providing financial support in 2023.
R.I.M.E (Raritan’s Introduction of Minorities to Engineering) Program
For more than three decades, Colgate has been a partner of the RIME Program, which introduces students in middle and high school to STEM-related fields and helps build the technical pipeline with culturally diverse talent.
Many corporations have supported the program over the years by opening their doors to corporate tours or by sponsoring science competitions and field trips. Many of the RIME students have gone to college and graduated with STEM majors.
Trailblazers in Oral Health Research Scholars of African-American Heritage Fellowship (TORCH) Fellowship Award
The Colgate and National Dental Association Foundation TORCH program was created to recognize the best and brightest scientists and dental scientists of African-American descent and to help move oral health science impacting communities of color forward.
This program is a direct commitment by Colgate and the NDAF to meet the need for scientists of color and diversity in science. Top scholars are chosen and provided awards that include salary support of up to $45,000, as well as support for research-related supplies and travel of up to $25,000.
Outside of monetary awards, the TORCH scholarship also provides opportunities for mentorship, professional development and industry exposure at Colgate.
Dr. Adeyinka Dayo, a 2022 TORCH scholar and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, was provided the tools through TORCH to refine her research surrounding non-communicable diseases.
“As an African-American clinician-scientist, I understand the gravity of the global impact of health disparities and the importance of translational clinical research in bridging the gap,” Dayo said. “I’m honored to be part of this program.”
Learn more about the award and apply.
Audacity to Dream Scholarship
The Colgate and National Dental Association Foundation Audacity to Dream Scholarship program was created to recognize some of our most talented rising dentists and help alleviate the cost burden of their education.
This program is a direct commitment by Colgate to increase awareness of the challenges faced in Black America as it pertains to education and beyond.
“We know that oral health can affect the lives of African American children and their families in devastating ways — their ability to go to school, to work and to thrive,” said Dr. Gillian Barclay, Colgate's Vice President of Global Public Health and Scientific Affairs. “That's why Colgate is vested in supporting African American dental students because we know that they will make a meaningful difference in our communities and our world.”
Top scholars are chosen for leadership, community service, research and overall awards that range from $5,000 to $20,000.
Learn more about the award and apply.
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