The Compass Summer 2023 | Page 5


Lucy Gildea , PhD

Chief Innovation Officer , Product and Science Mary Kay Inc .

ucy Gildea , PhD , has over 20 years of experience in global product development across numerous product categories . As chief innovation officer , product and science at Mary Kay Inc ., Dr . Gildea stands at the forefront of cutting-edge scientific research . Since joining Mary Kay in 2017 , she has helped secure its status as a leading skincare and nutrition innovator in the direct selling and cosmetics industries .
Through her role , Dr . Gildea has become deeply involved with Baylor Scott & White Health , serving on the BSW Dallas Foundation board and as development chair and incoming vice chair for the BSW Charles A . Sammons Cancer Center board .
Did you have any childhood experiences that led you or people who encouraged you to pursue science and technology in your career ?
Since I can remember , I have been drawn to science . I have been lucky enough to have opportunities and mentors throughout my life that kindled my curiosity and ultimately drove me to pursue a career in the scientific field . I had a great opportunity to intern in a state police forensic crime lab for several summers , as well as an internship in an academic laboratory doing biomedical research while in college . Both further fueled my passion for a career in the scientific field and ultimately led me to pursue an education in cell and molecular biology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine , focusing primarily on immunology and infectious disease .
What is most rewarding about your work with Mary Kay ?
There ’ s a saying at Mary Kay that “ a lipstick can change the world ,” and I truly believe it because I am fortunate to witness it every day . My work allows me to consider complex facets of the global beauty industry while utilizing my background to drive innovation , stretch boundaries and empower women through our cutting-edge research and products . Additionally , Mary Kay ’ s philanthropic commitment to advance cancer research and other causes that impact women , resonates greatly with me . As a woman , a scientist and a beauty consumer — what better place for all of this to come together than a career at Mary Kay !
As an immunologist , where do you see the opportunity for the greatest advances in early detection and cancer treatments over the next five years ?
Advancements in cancer research are seeing improvements in earlier detection and better treatment than ever before . Researchers are experiencing breakthroughs in immunotherapies targeting cellular pathways and combining agents to produce long-lasting results and survivorship . Much remains to be discovered , but this is an exciting area with life-saving outcomes . I also see enormous opportunities for artificial intelligence to contribute to better detection and earlier diagnosis as imaging technology and databases improve . These discoveries all come with a substantial investment — philanthropy has been and
will continue to be essential to the future of cancer research .
As a mom of four boys , what do you hope you teach them about the importance of giving back ?
I want my boys to understand they have the ability to make a difference , and their actions — no matter how small — can have a significant impact . While each of my boys has a unique personality and diverse interests , my hope is that they all have gratitude for the blessings in their lives and pay it forward to causes that bring them joy , serve a greater purpose or are meaningful to them . There is no wrong way to give back , except by doing nothing at all . I hope I have instilled in my boys an innate need and desire to do their part in making the world a better place for others .
What differentiates Baylor Scott & White from other healthcare systems ?
If longevity and size — operating over 100 years and being the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas — aren ’ t enough , Baylor Scott & White solidifies its position at the forefront of innovation and driving progress by continuously funding breakthrough research . They continue to build a strong community by providing education and training for future leaders in the healthcare industry and equipping its facilities with the latest medical technology , healthcare providers and staff to maintain the highest quality care for patients .