Honoring International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we spoke to a selection of inspiring women from across Microban’s leadership team to impart their best advice to the next generation of emerging female leaders.

At Microban, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our company ethos. We take immense pride in boasting a workforce where women hold 50% of our team and leadership roles, playing pivotal roles in driving innovation, growth, and positive change within and beyond our organization.

This International Women's Day (IWD), we had the privilege of engaging with a selection of remarkable women from across Microban's leadership team. We invited them to share their perspectives and insights with the next generation of emerging female leaders.

Meet Microban's female leaders.

Meet some of the female leaders behind the scenes at Microban who generously shared their insights and experiences with us. Witness their inspiring career progression from their beginnings at Microban to their current leadership roles:

  • Amanda July: Transitioned from Customer Service Specialist in 2016, now excelling as the Global Customer Services Supervisor.
  • Demetra Bernard: Joined Microban as Senior Manager Global Built-In Marketing in 2019 and was promoted to Director of Marketing.
  • Glenner Richards: Started as a Scientific Officer in 1994 before joining Microban and becoming the Director of Microbiology and Analytical Chemistry in 2024.
  • Kimberley Cherrington: Started as the Field Marketing Manager for Europe & Asia in 2018 and now holds the Senior Manager position in Global Brand and Marketing Communications.
  • Maria Diefenbach: Began her journey as a Business Development Associate in 2007, currently serving as North America Brand and Marketing Communications Manager.
  • Nisa Fan: Started as an Events Coordinator in 2014 before joining Microban and now thrives as an Associate Product Manager.

Q. How can women support other women in their organization?

Amanda: We can support each other by understanding that we have similar challenges and celebrating each other’s successes. We should be as forthcoming with resources and advice that can help, and provide the support and encouragement we would welcome for ourselves.

Demetra: Within their organizations, women should act as mentors and sponsors for one another. We should be able to safely create a supportive network that fosters growth, equality, and empowerment. Cultivating these types of relationships will ensure that women’s voices are heard, that we receive encouragement and guidance, and that we get the visibility necessary for advancement and growth.

Glenner: It is important to find people who make you realize that there is nothing wrong with being who you are; and simultaneously be that person who makes others be comfortable with who they are.

Kimberley: Women have a pivotal role in fostering an inclusive and empowering environment within organizations. Building networks that encourage collaboration, establishing mentorship programs, and providing tailored leadership development opportunities are key steps. Additionally, creating spaces where women can advocate for equal opportunities without fear of backlash is crucial. This includes educating all employees about unconscious bias and promoting awareness of its impact on decision-making.

Maria: Small everyday actions make a big difference. That can look like celebrating the achievements of other women, learning from one another, setting a positive example, and boosting morale.

Nisa: Make sure women’s ideas are heard and have open and honest conversations. Being honest opens the door for discussion and improves us to be the best version of ourselves.

Q. As a leader, how do you make sure everyone feels included?

Amanda: I try to include my team in the decision-making process so that they feel heard, supported, and contribute to the overall growth and success of the team.

Demetra: As it relates to my team, I believe in creating a culture of belonging where everyone feels safe, included, and valued. I recognize that no two people are alike, so I do my best to understand and embrace their differences and am intentional about creating an environment that makes my team feel confident and comfortable. That is just one of the reasons that we are a high-performing team.

As a leader, fostering a culture of inclusion requires me to actively seek diverse perspectives, nurture open communication channels, and value each individual's unique strengths. Implementing inclusive policies such as flexible work arrangements and mentorship programs can further cultivate an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Encouraging open communication about areas of weakness is also vital for supporting individual development.

Maria: I strive to ensure everyone feels respected and valued and that their opinions matter in every interaction I may have with them. I may feel differently about the direction of a project, or an opinion but try to see it from their point of view as well before moving forward with the best decision to achieve the goal.

Nisa: When making decisions, invite everyone to participate where possible. Being involved in some key discussions can give people a sense of empowerment and involvement.


Q. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Amanda: Be the type of leader you would look up to and would enjoy working with. Understand that you are only as strong as your team and appreciate the value that each member contributes.

Demetra: Know your worth. Speak up and share your perspective. Build your network. Go for it - you're more than qualified. What you consider a failure is really just a lesson - learn and grow!

Glenner: Go peacefully amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. (Excerpt from Desiderata poem, Max Ehrmann 1927))

Kimberley: Self-belief, authenticity, empathy, resilience, and continuous learning are paramount for aspiring female leaders. Embracing challenges as growth opportunities, cultivating a strong support network, and addressing toxicity promptly are crucial. Seeking out mentors and role models for guidance and inspiration is also invaluable.

Maria: Think of about any of the female role models in your life – they were not born that way. Those admirable traits took years of work to develop and perfect. Take baby steps and know that you too can achieve the same. Don’t fixate on the negative if you make a mistake, acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward. You can learn a lot from the things that did not go as planned. Don’t be afraid to share personal experiences; it can make you relatable and showing your human side creates trust and authenticity. The same can be said for brand building – everyone loves a brand they can trust and is authentic!

Q. Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? If so, how did you conquer it?

Amanda: I wouldn’t say that I have experienced imposter syndrome, but I have always pushed myself to higher standards and continuously tried to improve who I am and how I present overall. It is important not just to be viewed as reliable but to actually be reliable.

Demetra: Yes, I have experienced imposter syndrome often during my career. If so, how did you conquer it? To conquer imposter syndrome, I lean into my competence and confidence. I do not pretend to know it all and am willing to ask for help. I also surround myself with a supportive network of women who provide encouragement and guidance.

Kimberley: Sadly, like many female leaders, I have experienced imposter syndrome. And honestly, it still hasn’t truly left me. In an attempt to overcome it, I focus on acknowledging my accomplishments and strengths rather than dwelling on debilitating self-doubt. I also seek support from peers who can provide guidance and perspective. Additionally, I try to practice self-care, setting realistic goals, and reframing negative thoughts with positive affirmations. I know how capable I am. It’s a case of acknowledging the devil on my shoulder and then telling them I can do this!

Maria: I think everyone experiences self-doubt from time to time. I try to think about all my achievements and sentiments, and I make a list. I write all the positive things in all areas of my life and list areas where I would like to see improvement, trust your innate ability figure out your priorities, set small goals, and act! Be proud of the small wins. Those will eventually lead to big outcomes. Going for a walk or run always seems to help clear my mind and diminish any negative thoughts as well.


Q. What's a leadership lesson that you've learned that's unique to being a female leader?

Amanda: Tone matters.

Kimberley: One unique female leadership lesson I’ve learned is the importance of challenging gender biases and stereotypes. Advocating for other women's voices to be heard, promoting their professional growth, and actively working to eliminate bias in recruitment processes are crucial steps in breaking down barriers to gender parity in leadership roles.

Maria: Female leaders tend to emphasize the importance of collaboration, building strong relationships, and fostering an inclusive environment all which are key to having a successful team and business. Don’t be afraid to use your voice and prioritize open and honest communication.