On Oct. 19, about 70 professionals sat down in the North St. Paul Street office of D Magazine’s CEO headquarters.
Less than five of those attendees were male.
It was the last event of 2015 for the Dallas CEO Women’s Speaker Series. That night, the focus was on women in STEM, and there were certainly some headliners ready to speak.
The three women at the front of the room have contributed in amazing ways to Dallas business through their wildly different jobs: one is a coding whiz who markets her own software to the public; another is an entrepreneur who specializes not only in online connections between social media personalities and advertisers, but also in helping professional women network and further their careers; and the last is a physician who loves research so much she not only writes about it for the Dallas Morning News but also teaches public health at UTD.
Dana Brown, Molly Cain and Seema Yasmin are truly women the Hockaday community can look up to and learn from their years of experience in different fields.
Brown, for example, had advice that pertains exactly to students who aren’t sure what they want to study. Before she decided to go into coding, Brown wanted to be an artist; unfortunately, her high school art teacher was skeptical of her talent in that area. After this conversation, she decided to pursue computer science, spending the first years of her career at Texas Instruments.
On the other hand, Cain got all the way through college before veering into new career territory. After earning a degree in journalism from Texas A&M University, Cain decided to pursue entrepreneurship. In addition to Glass Heel, her online headquarters for the professional woman, Cain is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
Finally, Yasmin, like many Hockaday students, has multiple interests, and has managed to pursue them all. In addition to investigating disease in maximum-security prisons and on Native American reservations, Yasmin also reports on health for the Dallas Morning News and teaches public health at UTD in her multitudes of free time.
Though these jobs keep her constantly busy, Yasmin always looks great; however, she remembers being looked down on by predominantly male colleagues in her early years in healthcare residency for managing to be dressed up yet still professional.
“Don’t be surprised, sadly, when people look at you and think you can’t do it all. It used to really upset me,” Yasmin said. “You shouldn’t let people make you feel small, or undermine you, but you are human, so sometimes you will feel that way.”
Yasmin thinks that the best way to remedy those feelings is to have a great support system, which she knows exists at Hockaday.
“It sets you up for a career when you not only pursue success for yourself but you also have a sense of community and camaraderie of being other women, for other women,” Yasmin said. “You don’t think about just your personal success but about successful women as a whole.”
Apart from her thoughts on self-confidence, Yasmin also had advice for students like those at Hockaday.
“Sadly, our education system, the way it is now, makes you choose, one over the other, and it makes you choose early on…things aren’t as separated as we think they are, and one thing will complement the other,” she said. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it all.”
Though the Women in STEM session was the final one for the year, the past year’s speakers foreshadow great things in the next year from this D Magazine initiative.
Stay up to date with different speaker series here.