Inspiration. Enlightenment. Humility.
I was asked to write a reflection piece after my attendance at the 2022 Plastics News & Rubber News Women Breaking the Mold Conference on November 14-15. Three words summarize my feelings about the event: inspiration, enlightenment, and humility. For two days, I was surrounded by the most influential and knowledgeable women in this industry, gaining an education that goes beyond the “how to”. I took away a renewed desire to achievement and the confidence to know I can.
This year’s theme was “Finding Your Voice”. I discovered that finding your voice as a woman in business and the workplace is much more than just speaking up. It goes to the very core of who you are as a person and a professional. While in Nashville, I listened to numerous presenters speak about their successes – in essence, how they found their voice. How they navigate through the waters of a male-dominated industry, balancing life & work, and how the relationships they build along the way are vital.
I was inspired and, at the same time, humbled when I spoke with some of the women. Their diverse backgrounds, combined with the personal hurdles, energized my thoughts and motivations. Anoosheh Oskouian’s lecture, Beyond Just a Seat at the Table: How Women in Executive Leadership Positions Transform the Workplace, recounts a personal story of victory. She describes challenging times while moving from Iran at 14. However, through goals and tireless hard work, she has been the President & CEO of Ship & Shore Environmental, Inc for over 20 years. According to Anoosheh, “The first step is proving yourself, and the second is seizing the opportunity when it presents itself to you. You can be confident to take on that risk. Surround yourself with people who recognize your capabilities.”
Networking with these numerous women enlightened me on how we are all different yet the same. We may come from different manufacturing areas or have had different experiences. Still, we all agree we want to grow our careers in the best possible ways while incorporating a balanced life. Reaching for education through these events aids us in getting there. Through the knowledge of inspiration, enlightenment, and humility, we can all find our voice.
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