My parents and family have always instilled in me the importance of hard work, good morals, and education. Needless to say, model behavior and discipline were extremely important. They made living at home uncomfortable. When I say uncomfortable, there were always chores and expectations to be completed within and outside of the home respectively. Completing chores haphazardly and not performing to my highest ability was not an option. Doing the dishes meant not only washing the dishes but also wiping down cabinets, packaging leftover meals, cleaning all cooking sources, and cleaning the floors. It was as if each chore was a spring cleaning charge.
I finally learned the secret to avoiding my parent’s strict regimen: find activities to better myself as a person. This pushed me to join as many organizations and programs as possible in order to get away from home. These activities helped me grow; increased my interpersonal skills; diversified my outlook of different cultures; improved my analytical skills; and increased my knowledge base. In turn, this also pushed me to work harder and made me a well-rounded individual with a multitude of interests.
High expectations followed the same extensive level of dedication. This level of excellence that I hated in my childhood pushed me to a lifestyle with the following guidelines I always keep in mind: take the initiative; do it right the first time; be efficient to complete tasks done in the quickest amount of time; and complete the work so that not only are you proud, but others are proud of its function and presentation as well.
Those same four guidelines have helped shape me into a natural leader in both my career and lifestyle. When faced with negativity, racism, or skeptics, it never matters because my foundation prepared me to overcome these obstacles by finding effective solutions.
Having accomplished so much in the facilities engineering industry is a result of growing up uncomfortable and wanting something different. Everything that I do must increase my personal value, whether it be social interactions, career decisions, knowledge expansion, business ventures, or community involvement. I find it imperative that my actions show good character and intentions, staying true to the things that make me happy. My four guidelines started out as a means to deal with an uncomfortable environment, but they have been the constant factors that I see in everything I have accomplished.
Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it?
Truth be told, there will always be discrimination in some form or another. Instead of focusing on being discriminated against, I let my work, ethics, and actions speak for themselves, which is the greatest representation of me as an individual.
What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career?
Take the initiative! If you see something that needs to be done, do it; do not wait for someone to tell you that it needs to be completed.