I have the pleasure of meeting amazing STEM professionals across the U.S., China, Romania, Spain and many other countries I travel to as a researcher, keynote speaker, and technical advisor. Sometimes, I’m the only woman in the room. When I’m not, I always try to connect with the other female professionals. I am very fortunate in establishing some amazing and productive relationships.
That is the upside. Unfortunately, I often see women who are frustrated with their careers, experiencing situations that marginalize their unique ability while making them feel “valueless.” This frequently calls into question their commitment for pursuing leadership positions in any field.
It pains me to see professional women so devalued when they have the potential to address national and global engineering, medical, scientific, and technological challenges. I am a natural optimist, with many exciting experiences that produced a good measure of success in my career. Despite this optimism, as an African American and as a female engineer, there are times when I feel isolated, misunderstood, unsupported, and even unwelcomed. I’ve seen many women quit, leave the profession, or withdraw and accept mediocre roles rather than the stellar ones they were meant to fulfill.
Never Give Up
I am so disheartened by the prevalence of this experience that I am embarking on a mission to reach as many of these women as possible. I already spend a lot of time encouraging women, discussing a plan of action for their dreams, and shining a light on their valuable skills. They are an asset to our society, to the profession, and to many other women in the STEM-related fields. Despite my desire and best intentions, physically traveling to locations around the globe is not an efficient process to reach the millions of women that need to hear this message.
I want to reach more of these women, sharing strategies of success from around the world. I come from a situation that many professional women experience, where those around me anticipated my failure. I am using my book and my companion website as a vehicle to take me around the globe. They are tools to create a personal, hands-on guide and far-reaching network of empowerment to anyone struggling or looking for inspiration in their career development. Thus, Transforming Your STEM Career Through Leadership and Innovation: Inspiration and Strategies For Women published by ELSEVIER Academic Press, is born.
My husband says I’ve gotten into my “Yes, I am woman – Hear me roar!” mindset. I think it’s a very appropriate description because I want to hear from these women. I want to know that they know they are valuable. I want to create a network of women to share successful and proven strategies of leadership and innovation. I want to broadcast how best to ROAR into the next stage of a STEM career.
While I share details of research studies, the objective of the book is on sharing practical knowledge, experiences, and encouragement from the “trenches.” Think of the chapters as letters to a friend who is bursting with potential and on the verge of walking into greatness as a STEM professional!
It is my aim to showcase shared viewpoints and effective strategies. I plan to stir, inspire, encourage, and uplift anyone in pursuit of innovation and leadership dreams.
Ladies, ROAR On!
With great confidence in you,