Katelin Roberts is the immediate past executive director of BioHive, a company whose purpose is to accelerate the life sciences and healthcare innovation industry in Utah.
“BioHive creates a sense of community for our industry and supports businesses and future students, so they feel like they have a place in our industry,” said Roberts. “This is an incredible thriving industry and place for opportunity, and we want everyone to know they can participate.”
She started her career in aerospace and eventually found a mentor that led her into manufacturing. As a woman in STEM, she noted it is important to recognize the value of mentorships early on because those are the relationships that will continue throughout a career.
If Roberts could go back and give herself advice from when she started her career, it would be, “It’s all about people. Our success and all we do is about the people we collaborate with. We do things as a team. All the successes I’ve had—it’s all been with other people.”
She credits her mother as being the inspiration for her success. Her mother was an orphan who went through the foster care system. Roberts recalls she joined a small start-up company in a secretary position as a single mom. She worked hard in this role, moved up through the company, and eventually retired as the president of a group of companies.
Roberts also gives this advice to women wanting to be in the business world: “Find people who support you,” she said. “Women need to be their own biggest ally and support each other. The worst thing women can do is cut each other down.” According to Roberts, this support begins at home. She and her wife try their best to be there and support each other and their two children to maintain a work-life balance. It’s hard to succeed as a woman in business if you don’t have a supportive spouse and a supportive community around you.
She finds motivation in meeting the people in her community who make an impact, appreciating research and innovation, and meeting students that have a spark and creativity for what they want to do with their future.
“We must continue letting women know that they can do it,” noted Roberts. “There are ways for women to get into new careers and get into pathways for these wonderful industries in Utah. There are resources to support them in what they want to do—we have to continue investing in young women so they see themselves in positions of leadership and authority.”