This blog was guest written by Alicia Lowery, a hardware engineer working in power, performance, and design at Intel.
My mom is very strong. Growing up, I saw how she dealt with trials and tribulations and that shaped my perspective and helped mold who I am. She taught me by example how to maintain my integrity amidst the mountains and valleys that come with life.
Mothers have the ability to simultaneously be strong and soft. To love, while at the same time showing that love through correction, sternness, and redirection because love isn’t always making your child happy. It’s about creating “good fruits” – people who are productive, honest, and communal.
It’s hard to do that with everything we juggle – work, children, finances, etc. It takes strength to stand up for what you think is right on a continual basis (or at least 95% of the time because life gets hard). To do all that we have to do, you have to be very strong, loving, and caring. The dynamics of that are not always easy, but the empathy, understanding, and fortitude of motherhood makes moms what they are.
I stumbled upon a love of STEM because of my high school program, and I will definitely encourage my children’s interest in science and technology. I also want to teach them the things my mother taught me – problem solving, resiliency, character, and how to interact with other people effectively and compassionately. I want to produce well-rounded children who can be technical, savvy, strategic, but can also be understanding, emphatic, and have the wisdom to make good decisions.
As an African-American woman, I have unique experiences. As a pregnant woman, I have a different set of unique experiences. All of us have unique experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, and cultures. Diversity is within each of us, but empathy is an often overlooked superpower.
Flexibility of thought and understanding is what powers the best innovation. Working hand-in-hand, diversity and empathy make it possible to pull together and reach a common goal with optimized results. In technology, that means we can create better, more nuanced products and obtain greater reach in different cultures and marketplaces.
My hope and wish for all children is for them to be whomever and whatever they want to be. For my future children and other young African-American boys and girls who are interested in pursuing STEM, I have this advice: don’t let anybody steal your joy or taint your confidence. Remember, you’re not alone. There are many of us who have done it and the way is being paved for you to do it as well. Just like my mother, we’ll be your rock forever and always.
My mother continues to be my rock, and I adore and thank her for that. Even with being on the road to becoming a mother myself, my mom is still watching over me. Moms are amazing like that, and I’ll strive to be the mom to my child that my mom is to me.