Sara DaSilva

Sara DaSilva

Black Belt Project Manager
Univar, Inc.
Spring, TX, United States
Sara DaSilva
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Sara DaSilva is a chemical engineer working as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager for Univar, a chemical distributor. She manages short- and long-term projects that help streamline business, supply chain, and manufacturing processes.
BS Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh MBA, University of Phoenix
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as a sponsor or coach for an engineering club or team.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to be contacted about potential job shadowing by interested students.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Sara DaSilva

Hi Nida! Thanks for your kind words. Good for you for pursuing what you think you will really like to do in your future career. What inspired me before I went to college was my teachers who encouraged girls and boys to achieve the same accomplishments in every class. I liked science especially and I had teachers that really challeged me, and I never thought engineering was really for men vs. women. I liked that science was hard for a lot of people and it was something I was good at, so I knew there would be opportunity to get a job. I also thank my mom for pursuing a job in science and never letting me think there was anything different about that, it was just another totally viable career path. As I have grown in my career I continue to be inspired by other people around me-not just women, but many people I work with and who have come before me cracking the glass ceiling and making inroads for progress. So many women are truly trying to make a difference for the women engineers that will be joining the work force, like Mary Barra, Debbie Sterling, and researchers Dr. Kathleen Buse and Dr. Herminia Ibarra. I look up to these women and they inspire me.

There have been so many times I doubted whether I was on the right path, and I think that's normal. But as I have matured I have stuck to what I am passionate about and I don't make any apologies for being that passionate about whatever it is. For example, I really love statistics, and I enjoy that as part of my job. I also feel passionate about hiring great people into my company and encouraging young women to continue to smash the glass ceiling. I try to find ways every day to make those things a part of my life because that is what "gets me up in the morning." A few years ago, an upper level manager told me that in order to help me find the best career path, he wanted to know what I really loved to do--not what I was necessarily great at or what I thought other people wanted me to do, or even a specific job title. That is a grounding thing for me to think about when I feel like it's not worth fighting the "norm" of a male dominated field or if I feel like my work and home life are out of balance. As long as I continue to pursue life with passion, including making my job something I'm passionate about, happiness will come to me. Good luck and pursue your passion!!

Hi Rose Anne! Chemical engineers absolutely work in the cosmetics industry. There are even colleges that have certificate programs in cosmetics engineering, as a part of the chemical engineering degree! Any engineering degree gives you the foundation to be able to problem solve with data using sound scientific methods, and then chemical engineers specialize more in chemistry, materials, fluids, and solids processing. I encourage you to keep chemical engineering and even chemistry on your list of potential degrees to pursue!