Who do you think of when you think of an engineer? I think of the eight thousand engineer colleagues we have here at Johnson & Johnson. These are the men and women who make it possible for J&J to provide the healthcare products and services that enable millions of people to live healthier, happier lives every day. Recently I came across the provocative #Ilooklikeanengineer on Twitter. One of the things that excites me about social media is its ability to foster and maintain connections. #ilooklikeanengineer has inspired thousands of tweets reinforcing the notion that there’s no place for stereotypes when pursuing your passion, and that in any profession, diversity makes for a stronger workplace. Count me among those who look like an engineer – educated, trained and leading the Johnson & Johnson Global Supply Chain today.
For me, it was an obvious choice to study engineering, even though there were not a lot of women in the field at that time. I grew up with a wide range of math and science activities. I spent a lot of time at the data processing company my Dad owned, learning about computers in the 70s and early 80s, and then worked for a startup software firm afternoons during high school. My Mom is an accountant, although she majored in languages, so there was a lot going on with numbers and technology at home. That exposure served me very well in my engineering studies and throughout my career, which has included assignments in engineering, manufacturing, new product development and IT. The discipline I learned as an engineer has helped at every juncture.
Whether it’s engineering, medicine, teaching or any other field, my advice to anyone exploring career possibilities is to find what you love to do, then build your career around that. If you stay true to yourself and make a career in what makes you happy, you will do it 1000 times better than doing a job you aren’t passionate about, and success will follow. Let #IlooklikeanEngineer inspire you to pursue your education and career passions.