Mom, I won the Bell Labs President's Award!!!
Author | Podcaster | Founder & Managing Partner at The COMO Group | Published on LinkedIn
I was just a few years into my corporate career with Lucent Technologies when I found out that I had won the prestigious Bell Labs President's Award. Like most of the special moments in my life, I immediately called my mother to share the good news; after all, this wasn't just any award!! This was the coveted annual Bell Labs award that was only presented to a select few by the President of Bell Labs. It was reserved for those that demonstrated an outstanding level of innovation, technical excellence and business impact.
Upon sharing my exciting news with my mom, I went on to tell her how only a handful of women over the previous years had received this award. As always, my mother dished out some wise words, "Sonal, women have come a long way since I was your age and are continuing to break barriers. Countless women are achieving new heights of success each and every day and you are one of these women and I'm proud of you. You may be in a male-dominated industry but that won't be for long." Today as I was looking for some paperwork in my office, I came across this award and I was reminded of the conversation that I had with my mother.
Early on, I found myself being "the only one" among my male colleagues. I should say that my experience with Lucent Technologies had always been excellent as they not only supported, but celebrated diversity. That being said, over the years I started to seek out other women role models both inside the companies I used to work with and outside. I have built a strong female network that has really enriched both my personal and professional life. Through these connections, I have learned so much, grown as a leader and have been able to cultivate life-long friendships that I truly cherish. In my role as a daughter, sister, mother, friend and woman co-founder I am fortunate to be surrounded by some amazing female role models. These women continue to amaze me with their strength!!
Today is International Women’s Day. Let us all take time to reflect and celebrate the women that have had a positive impact on our lives. Happy International Women's Day to all the fantastic women of the world. If we work together, we can continue to raise the bar and take action to ensure equality for women everywhere!!