Five Year Plan. Vision Board. Book of Possibilities. Journals. All of these things have one thing in common, goals of having my seat at the table. Now this table isn’t just some regular dining room table, this particular table is “The Table”. The table where our ancestors dreamed of sitting. The table that we weren’t allowed to be a part of, however even today in 2018 there’s still not very many of us at that table especially in my neck of the woods. The opportunity of having my seat at the table finally came. The funny part is the feeling that I thought I would have is not what actually happened. For years I have been focused on getting my seat but once the time has come instead of feeling joy, I have mixed feelings. On one hand I’m excited and happy, but in the other hand I’m sad because of the lack of representation of women that look like me at the table.
I have been in STEM for over 10 years in different areas but for the last 4 years I have been in the world of Technology. Technology is innovative but it is still very much a male dominated field. It’s so male dominated that the most confident WOC that has it together, focused-driven and goal oriented can still walk in the room and intimidation will try to creep in. She doubts herself and thinks she no longer belongs or is even qualified. She considers changing her degree major or her career focus.
But why is that? At times we often feel invisible because we may be the only woman of color in the room. No more! It is time we no longer focus on having a seat at their table, but instead create our own table. It’s time that we encourage our young ladies that you are well equipped and qualified to major in Computer Science and Engineering. It’s time to empower our young ladies to pursue a career in STEM! The possibilities are endless, and you hold the power! Diversity Drives Innovation! Do not conform! Be Bold! Embrace You! Be Confident in your abilities! As I’m becoming confident in my abilities, I’m no longer looking for acceptance.
Terri Floyd, MS a Little Rock native, wears many hats. She is a proud mother, IT Business Analyst, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Adjunct Professor, to name a few. During her free time she enjoys reading, writing and spending quality time with her son and family.