Meet Melissa Dotson, an influential woman in business


    While growing up in Metairie, Melissa Dotson thought she was destined for a career in medicine.

    But that all changed in 1994 after Dotson’s junior year in high school, when a summer program at LSU—Recruiting into Engineering High-Ability Multicultural Students, or REHAM—opened her eyes to the world of chemical engineering. Dotson and other participants would attend classes in the morning, then tour area plants under the guidance of mentors from Dow, ExxonMobil, Shell and others.

    “That’s when the light bulb went off,” Dotson says. “That summer program showed me that engineering was exactly what I wanted to do.”

    Today, along with being an engineer working for Shell, Dotson is one of Business Report’s nine 2024 Influential Women in Business honorees.

    She is known for prioritizing mentorship and development in the workplace and in the community through organizations such as the National Charity League, the Junior League of Greater Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, the LSU Chemical Engineering Advisory Board and others.

    Read the full story, and check out features of this year’s other WIB honorees.