Katelyn Arnold - Age of Ambition

Have you ever felt underestimated or patronized at work because of your age? Regardless of one’s success, age discrimination seems to be affecting a lot of people in the workplace, particularly young women. Despite their successes and qualifications, they are often overlooked for promotions, pay raises, or even basic respect due to their perceived lack of experience or maturity.  

However, many have found ways to overcome these challenges and succeed in their careers. Through determination, hard work, and a willingness to learn, they are proving that age is just a number. 

Take Katelyn Arnold, a recently named Forbes 30 under 30 scientist and our most recent HerSuccess podcast guest. At an early stage in her career Katelyn pioneered a name for herself as a leading scientist in the biotech industry. 

In this latest episode, Chris and Katelyn talk all things career setbacks, age discrimination, overcoming challenges and female empowerment.  

Katelyn shares her stories of where she gets her ambition from, her experience of trying to network as the only woman in the room, and the setbacks she has faced which she now uses as motivation.   

Katelyn demonstrates to us in this episode the importance of having your voice heard, especially as a young woman who deserves to display her achievements rather than be patronized for them.  



In this episode, Katelyn talks about where her ambition and passion for science originated.  

As an aspiring ballerina from a young age, science was a fallback option for Katelyn until an injury took her out of dance, resulting in her reigniting her love for science.   

As a Ph.D. student, she found the direction she wanted to take her career, and in the episode she emphasized the importance of taking any opportunity that comes your way.   

Thanks to her strong ambitions and passion for the industry, Katelyn is now listed on Forbes' 30 under 30 for science. By having clear career goals and a strong drive and motivation to achieve them, Katelyn has already solidified herself as a highly successful woman in the biotech industry.  

Katelyn's success proves the importance of truly loving what you do.  



Katelyn's success has come with its challenges.   

In this episode, she tells us about being the only woman at networking events. While she asked her male peers questions and tried to engage in conversation with them, they did not reciprocate these efforts with her.   

This is why Katelyn emphasizes the importance of expressing yourself and your voice in these events, especially as a woman.   

"Keep showing up, keep putting yourself in the room, and make your presence known so that you're not just a bystander." 



Katelyn bravely opened up about her ischemic stroke in the third year of her Ph.D.   

Describing her medical setback, Katelyn explained how it affected her. She didn't remember that you have to peel a banana before you eat it, but she did know the exact experiment she was conducting for her Ph.D. the next day.   

Not normally believing in signs from the universe, Katelyn believed this experience to be her one and only sign that she was in the correct field. She explains that going through this setback was a big source of inspiration throughout her work after that.   

"I feel that I persevered through that experience, and it cemented my desire to continue in this field of glycobiology."  


Katelyn’s career really does prove to us that age is just a number. Her many accomplishments at such an early stage in her career confirms that despite all the setbacks the contemporary workplace throws at young women, these challenges can be overcome. Age discrimination may still be a major problem in the workplace, particularly for women, but Katelyn’s career shows that we must not be discouraged and to keep working for what we want to achieve.  


Tune to the latest episode of the HerSuccess podcast to hear more about Katelyn's inspiring career journey.