My parents were very focused on the power of education in shaping the lives of their six children. While I was the fifth child in the family and both parents worked outside the home, Mom and Dad still found time to help me understand physics and edit my essays. There wasn’t much focus on fashion or sports, but there was plenty of time to discuss politics and world events. Learning was considered a personal responsibility and as important as my parents’ jobs were to the household. I have carried this love of learning with me throughout the years and have tried to instill that same passion for education in my own son, who is now grown. I have also found that the grounding my parents gave me in this regard has informed my approach to my career and the roles I have played in the workplace over the years—I am inquisitive, I question the status quo, I listen, and I love to get to the heart of every matter before making what I hope is the right decision for the business.

I joined Time Warner Cable just about a year ago. Since then, I have been impressed with the company’s deep commitment to address America’s declining proficiency in STEM, which we all recognize puts our children at risk of not competing successfully in a global economy. In response, Connect a Million Minds was born in late 2009. It is an initiative designed to connect young people to fun, engaging STEM opportunities and to inspire them to become the problem solvers of tomorrow.

Now, more than two years into the initiative, we know that a key contributor to the shortage of women in STEM is the lack of strong female role models in these fields to whom young women can relate. Having that connection to someone who can bring STEM to life and make it real in today’s world is a great catalyst in helping to address the underrepresentation of women in STEM. Just as my parents and some dedicated teachers were there to spur me on in my early years, our company’s media platform is being utilized to shine a spotlight on STEM careers and role models—including powerful women who have the ability to change young girls’ perceptions of STEM. And that is making all the difference.