The second instalment of our International Women's Day features comes from Laura Pryce, HSE Manager for STS based out of our Canada operations.
"When I was a child, I loved the hurdles in track and field. I loved it because I was really good at it. I don’t just mean, like, for a girl. I was the best in the class , the best in my grade! It was a really defining and curious thing to realize that I could be better at something in gym class than the boys. I tucked that feeling away and used it whenever I felt challenged in my ambition. I could do it – with enough drive and by rejecting the negative, I could.
By and large, my career experience has been overwhelmingly positive; I’ve felt recognized, heard, seen and appreciated. I’ve had extraordinary mentors, both male and female, who stop at nothing to support me and push me to excel in my field. I feel truly blessed to find myself within the Kentech organization, a company that celebrates such diversity of spirit, ambition and intellect that they coined a phrase for it: K2.
That is not to say that my path has been without challenges. I have absolutely experienced my gender being used, both unconsciously and consciously, as a justification to marginalise me. From quasi-offensive endearments meant to belittle my contributions to outright harassment meant to control me – I’ve run the gamut on inappropriately gendered politics. And to be perfectly honest, when it happens, it sucks. It’s disappointing and frustrating and just so trite. But those moments don’t say anything about me, or my journey. They don’t reflect my passion for what I do, my capability or who I am.
For me, International Women’s Day is a day that I reflect on the powerful, inspiring, amazing women in my life who I have looked up to. The women who showed me that your worth is not defined by your gender or your sexuality or your race - it is defined by your integrity, resilience and capacity for connection and growth. I think about the woman I want to model for the two little girls watching me: someone brave and kind; someone who holds space for other women, empowering them to find strength. I am excited for a future for them. We have come so far in what we’ve accomplished, the adversities we’ve faced, the challenges to which we’ve risen. As a woman, I think that is the best legacy to leave in the workplace: a space where women can thrive, not as a girl, but as their vocation. A chance to not just be the best girl at hurdles, but to be the best."