International Women's Day Spotlight: KAPLAN MD's Female Leadership Team


In honor of International Women’s Day we wanted to celebrate our hard-working female staff. We sat down with our Director of Operations Joanne Lee, and Vice President & General Manager Sophie Hynes to chat about why working in a women-driven environment is important to them, and how their roles in the skincare industry has shaped how they purchase products.

What have been some of the most memorable moments in your career?

J: Overcoming a challenge is always the most triumphant feeling. I feel the most memorable moments have been facing challenges together as a team, and feeling the pride as everyone takes ownership of ensuring success.  

S:Coming together as a team, problem-solving, brainstorming, diving into the unknown and trusting we can successfully conquer any hurdle, together, always brings the best, most exciting memories! The team has been working on a big project and goal for quite some time now-  we recently launched the project with success, and it brought us all such excitement and satisfaction to see how well it was received, this came from passionate teamwork. I will always remember that moment!

 Why is a diverse and women-driven workforce important to you?

J: Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world.  It is truly a privilege to live and work in an environment where diversity is not some feel good corporate aspiration, but just a result of being.

S: I am so grateful to be surrounded by strong, smart, driven women of all backgrounds at KAPLAN MD. We have a responsibility to each other to ensure that everyone is heard and seen, and this informs our choices every day.  

 What one piece of advice would you give any aspiring female business leaders?

J: If you believe in it, don’t give up!

S: Perseverance, kindness and belief in yourself will get you to where you need to be!

 Which women inspire you, and why?

J: I am inspired daily by my mother. While I have always appreciated my mother’s wisdom, it is only after becoming a mother myself that I truly understand and respect my mother’s strength. 

S: Both my Mum and my Grandmother inspire me every day. They are both incredibly strong, beautiful women that remind me to always remember where I have come from, be strong, resourceful and stay true to myself.

 How has being in the skincare industry shaped your views on what to purchase and what not to purchase?

J: Seeing first-hand the time, effort and resources that KAPLAN MD puts toward procuring quality ingredients and the team’s pride in the final product, absolutely affects the way I make my everyday purchases.  Whether a box of cookies or a blouse, I find myself purchasing the item with the most attention to detail.

S: I find myself being far more discerning about what I purchase and consume. Understanding the resources and efforts that go into creating a brand really makes one appreciate the detail. KAPLAN MD is a Positive Luxury Brand, meaning that every part of the brand, from ingredients on the INCI list to where our packaging is sourced, is vetted to ensure we are compliant with their social and environmental sustainability standards. This level of detail and consideration that goes into KAPLAN MD to ensure we uphold these standards, in turn, makes me look at the whole industry in a different way. I find myself scrutinizing ingredients lists, spotting shortcuts, applauding clever packaging details and celebrating small, independent brands that pour so much passion and creativity into the process. 

How does having an almost all-female workplace inspire you?

J: It makes me desire success so much more – both to honor the women who paved the way before me, and to affirm the hard work and sacrifice of all working women today.

S: I learn so much from the women I work with on a daily basis. I am constantly inspired by the teamwork, kindness, undeterred passion and work ethic that everyone brings to the table. Not only that- we’re also each other’s cheerleaders, and we have a lot of fun too!