As I sit here on my living room couch, laptop open and the title of my blog the only words on the page, I think about what I’d like to share in this post. As Monday approaches and the inspiring and thoughtful posts will start to show up in our feeds to celebrate International Woman’s Day, I think about my personal experiences. I think about how it’s probable many women in my industry and possibly even a wider audience, may be able to relate about what I have seen, felt, heard and what I hope for myself and other women for our futures.
I find myself very fortunate. I work in a very male-dominated field, cyber security within Financial Services, and I have found myself running a successful business, surrounded by incredibly talented people and am working towards shattering that ‘glass ceiling’, the term we have heard many times in recent years. I can’t say with any certainty if I would’ve been more successful, or perhaps progressed faster, if I had been born a male. My blog is not about that. I’m not interested in looking back and thinking about ‘what ifs’. Honestly, I’m just too busy even if I wanted to.
Instead, I want to be proud of myself and I want to reflect on the positive qualities I believe come to me because I am a woman and celebrate these today. I think being a woman who has earned some success in life can only help shape my future. Some characteristics that make for successful women I believe I have, including being a good multi-tasker, very organized, strong but maternal and when appropriate, soft-hearted, and flexible.
But the reality is that my personal confidence took many years to form and embrace. And, I have been blessed to have amazing advisors, a supportive family and maybe some ‘good timing’ decisions that helped me along the way. Not all women are so lucky. As I continue my journey, I want to find the time to help other young women who are hungry for finding their place professionally and personally. While we may not all have the support system around us to help set us up for success, we can surely help improve those chances for those less fortunate.
While resolutions usually come January 1st, mine comes March 8th and I plan on keeping it! My resolution will be to help and mentor at least 1 woman who asks for help. And I am not just referring to a short stint mentoring program, I mean really helping. My resolution is to spend the time, listen, plan, monitor, re-work if needed, and watch a young woman flourish. I hope that if you are a woman reading this who also have found some success in your life, you too will join me with this March 8th resolution! So, who’s in?
I asked some of our customers and partners to provide us what they are most proud of-
“My greatest accomplishment has been graduating summa cum laude from Illinois Institute of Technology and starting my career at Goldman Sachs. My family migrated to US when I was nine years old as my parents wanted to provide me and my sister with opportunities they didn’t have growing up. By graduating at the top of my class and having the opportunity to work at a top institution, I feel like I made the most of these opportunities to ensure my parents’ efforts and sacrifices weren’t in vain.”
“Creating Live Cooking Shows that bring Empowerment, Connection and Fun to my Community”
“My greatest achievement for me was conquering my fear of becoming independent with my two kids. Finding this courage has helped me focus more on both my professional and personal goals.”
“Getting over my fear of dogs. I love this guy fiercely and can no longer imagine life without a pup. They make everything better.”
“My proudest achievement is leaving what I once thought would be my dream job for an opportunity to help build something even greater. I learned that taking risks is what enables growth, regardless of the outcome.”
Katherine and Natali Kowalski
“Learning about electronics and code”
“Blessed to tally many achievements in the professional world, but the proudest achievement is given the opportunity to raise a daughter in a world filled with powerful women, in the hope that she will recognized as one of them.”