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!!