Follow Your Own Path

When I was growing up, my mother told me over and over to be a doctor. This was so drilled into my head that I went off to college and chose to major in the traditional sciences to prepare for medical school.

After two years at school, I told my mother I was really interested in economics and wanted to follow that as my path. Needless to say, she was disappointed in my decision. She said to me, “I wish you would change your mind and go with the easier path.” The reason my mother felt this way was she herself had worked in corporate America for 25 years or more at that point. She had built a successful and impactful career in an extremely male-dominated industry, but indeed it was hard.

As I have developed in my career, I have had the support of my entire organization, which has allowed me to flourish. I have had the support of male leaders who believe in my potential and acted as both mentors and sponsors.

My advice to women is that if they find themselves in an organization that doesn’t value their contributions, they should understand their worth and find a new path.

In today’s workplace, we all face challenges, regardless of gender. While some of those challenges may manifest themselves differently, they are challenges nonetheless. Now, my role is to continue to pave the way for my daughter, and all the daughters who will come after me.