NutraWomen Wednesday: Holly Ganz, PhD, AnimalBiome
Ganz started the company in 2016 after noticing a gap in the market. Today, the company boasts the largest database of cat and dog microbiome samples in the world.
"AnimalBiome is predominantly female and this reflects that women have a greater interest in animal health and the life sciences. While 80% of veterinary students are female, the leadership of many pet food and animal health companies today continues to skew male,” noted Ganz.
Ganz said she was fortunate to obtain mentorship through the Keller Pathway Fellowship at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, a program that encourages women to pursue entrepreneurship.
When it came to the decision to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, Ganz said she had a lot of encouragement both at home and in the classroom.
“What's unusual about my story is that my mother is an artist who found her career path to be challenging, and so she actively encouraged my interest in science rather than art, though I expressed interest in both. She also encouraged me to put my career before having a family,” explained Ganz.
In order to close the gender gap, Ganz said companies have to provide better support for families, including parental leave.
“We also need to give women greater recognition for their accomplishments, invite them to give talks, serve on speaker panels, make the process of determining who obtains awards blinded to identity, such reviews of grants and patents, as they have been able to do in music."