Neha's Story | Unstoppable Together | No7 US
Neha, Senior Manager of Supply Chain Operations:
“The female figures in my life have taught me how to be myself – to feel comfortable in my own skin and find power in that.”
I’ve been surrounded by strong females my whole life. My grandmother was an amazing Indian matriarch who worked three jobs. She was tough, yet loving, and pushed all her children to be successful in their careers. My mom is my rock. She is a 1980’s immigrant who moved here at the age of 23 following her husband through an arranged marriage. She studied medicine and is still working as a physician. My father came from a traditional Indian family that did not believe in women in the workforce, but by moving to the US, my parents could do things their own way. My mom had studied medicine in India, and found a way to do her residency at John’s Hopkins. She went on to become a radiologist. She’s really strong and does not believe in excuses. When she was hired for her first job, the entire practice of doctors consisted of white American men. She was the first brown-skinned hire, the first foreign hire, and the first female hire. She was not fearless when she joined – she was extremely intimidated and scared – however, she persevered. She worked so hard to prove that she was an equal physician to the men in her practice. She broke the mold for the many ethnicities and women that joined after her!
My parents made lots of great decisions and one of them was to send me to an all girls school. I grew up during a time when the word feminist was a bad word, but at my school, we were encouraged to celebrate feminism. We believed in speaking our voices and celebrating who we were.We were taught to try to be authentic to ourselves and to be opinionated.
I found so much power in that. I am drawn to other women who celebrate me for being me. I believe we need other women to support us, to encourage us, and to help us feel accepted.
My younger sister for example, she’s my biggest fan. She is so
smart and the funniest person I know. If she needed to, she would walk through
a fire for me. For me, growing up she was like my little doll, but now, as a grown
woman, she’s my number one supporter. With myself, my mom and my sister, we
are a fierce trio. Considering my parents were both brought up in a very
traditional Indian culture, with strong influences of patriarchy, they were
able to move away from those constraints, and give us all lives where we felt
powerful and limitless.
With my own little girl I want her to believe in herself. When she faces a problem, find a solution. When she sees an injustice, get angry and take action. When she is lost, to look within herself to find her strength, nurtured by generations of women who lifted her up.
We are #unstoppabletogether