While listening to California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Seminar celebrating Women in History Month to discuss the various roles of women at the premier laboratory, I was awed. I am proud to be a woman even if my role is not unique or ground breaking. The road has been paved and is open for women to use their creativity, imagination and intelligence to fulfill roles as top-level scientists and engineers.
They had different programs throughout the morning and the one resounding in my mind was their director of HR who had a panel of different women, many long-term at JPL, discussing why they came to JPL, what drives them, and how they stumbled (if that is the correct word) on this career path. The word that was repeated over and over that resonates was PASSION. Many didn’t know this path was their passion until they got involved and mentors and other motivators spurred them to pursue math and science. Along with that of course, is having leadership skills, a vision, and the creativity to use what you have learned and apply it. It was uplifting and very emotional to me.
All women (and men too) should follow their passion. It speaks so well of teachers, parents and other mentors that there are women who are not intimidated by being in a “man’s world.” Intelligence and capability is not gender based. Tell your daughters, sisters, cousins or whomever that you can be strong in math and science. It is not only for boys. It is for people. It can be your passion. As a teacher or parent you can light that fire under your children/ students. The world needs the inspiration, imagination and passion of this next generation. Anything is possible and dreams really can come true.
Be a mentor. Encourage and Inspire. I applaud you.
JPL Press Release about the event here