"As a kid I read a lot of books and I noticed how male or female protagonists took different life paths. I learned there were acceptable paths based on gender. Sometimes novels give you a societal message, like Pride and Prejudice and sometimes the message is subtler. My interest in psychology is related to all the reading I've done and the questions I have about how someone's background influences what kind of character they become." - Sarah Wilen is a sociaspatial analyst at PLASTARC.
"Now our culture says that women can do anything and I've done it all. My life is possible because women can do anything. I am an architect, I'm a belly dancer, I'm a mother, I love clothes and I moved from India to the United States 25 years ago on my own. Men don't get the "You can be anything message." I can engage in a mostly male profession but men can't enter into mostly female professions as naturally." - Ritu Saheb is a real estate developer/architect.
"When I was in High School I wanted to become the President of the United States - so I applied to the Universities that had the best American Studies and Political Science Programs. When I wrote to Columbia University for an application, they sent both an application for Columbia and for Barnard College. Even though my grandmother had gone to Smith College, I had no intention of going to an all woman's college. I didn't think having a four year break from competing with men would be beneficial for my career. But when I applied and ultimately accepted a spot at Barnard, I had no idea that it was a woman's college. It's amazing that it happened this way, but I am so proud to have gone to a woman's college." Melissa is the founder of PLASTARC and is an expert in workplace strategy. "In the end, I decided that through Architecture and occupant advocacy I could start/make change faster than if I were President. I may or may not be right."
"There were socially accepted topics of conversation in my home and money wasn't one of them. I never learned the vocabulary for asking for more, asking for a raise, using my connection to network and advance my career. I don't think men question money or networking the same way. My grandmother taught me to never overstay your welcome and to not be an imposition." Claire Rowell is a workplace anthropologist with PLASTARC, where she says her boss, Melissa Marsh, is a true role model. "It is inspiring to see Melissa's command over a meeting. She is confident and capable and often she is the only woman in the room. A lot of my friend's mothers are like this too and I admire them. They are strong women and their example is trickling down to their daughters. I am not yet equipped with all of these traits and skills but I hope to be in the very near future."