Defining women in STEM: Angela Dodd

March 9, 2023

For Angela Dodd, finding a career as a female senior scientist meant navigating the STEM world without many women mentors. “When I joined the International Paper Innovation Center out of grad school, there really weren’t many senior scientists who were female. I’m proud to be a senior female scientist and I hope younger scientists can look up to me.”

Located at International Paper’s Innovation Center in Federal Way, Wa., Angela has assisted IP’s GCF business with front-end innovation that creates innovative solutions for our customers’ problems. It’s something Dodd calls “customer-centric, outcome-based innovation.” She said, “We’ve taken on a big role of working directly with our customers to understand their needs and then create a solution that’s measurable, meaningful and delivers value to our customers and their end-use consumers.” 

One example is optimizing the production of  Supersoft® Odor Control pulp in order to allow IP to offer this product to a broader customer base. Like many industries, manufacturers of products that use fluff pulp have experienced increases in material costs due to the pandemic and inflation. Devising lower cost flexible, innovative solutions to save customers and businesses money has been a huge priority in recent years. 

She also serves as a mentor for women in STEM. Along with some of her colleagues, Angela helped establish International Paper Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), a forum for women to support each other’s careers and assist with specific issues they face in the workplace. “WISE gives us a forum to discuss challenges and hardships, but also to educate the broader group here, because for females in our industry, there are challenges we face. To start the conversation on how we can be better allies to women in this field and outside, is something I’m really passionate about and that’s been going on for five years now.” 

Angela is proud of helping to create a space where any topic is fair game for discussion, all in the interest of advancing women in STEM and fostering a more diverse, inclusive workplace. WISE gives women a safe space to share their ideas, without feeling like they have to justify their seat at the table.” 

Because of her contributions to women in manufacturing, the Manufacturing Institute has recognized Angela with a 2023 Women MAKE Award. This annual national awards program honors women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C-suite.

The Women MAKE Awards are part of the Manufacturing Institute’s Women MAKE America initiative, which is the nation’s marquee program to close the gender gap in manufacturing. Women account for about half of the U.S. labor force but represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. Women MAKE America aims to create a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering and inspiring women in the industry. 

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, International Paper congratulates Angela and all the women in manufacturing roles across the company who create the products people depend on every day.