Women can define their own paths

Andrea Mendoza Lespron

Andrea Mendoza

As a woman in the 21st century, I believed we could easily choose who and what we wanted to be. However, suddenly, the words gender and sex started having a whole different meaning. They were not only words, but sets of expectations we were supposed to fulfill.

I began wondering. Can we, as human beings, define our paths, or are our paths defined by our sex? Do we have to live following gendered stereotypes, or can we step out of the lines and create our own way? Attending the meeting of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas in Austin was an inspiring experience. Walking into the room and mingling with several members, I realized I was surrounded by amazing women who had embarked in the journey of being businesswomen.

Rose Batson, a founding member of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas, opened the meeting with some remarks on how one of the biggest motivations for human beings is the feeling of “awe.” Every person seeks to experience such feeling; the job we perform, the career we pursue, and our daily decisions and actions reflect our desire to experience little moments of “awe.” We wish for wonderful experiences that leave us awestruck with passion and satisfaction. Overall, her speech was an inspiration to step out of our comfort zones and chase all of our dreams.

Hence, the majority of these women decided to open their business because they love experiencing these moments on a daily basis; they followed their dreams and were hard workers who never gave up. Interesting enough, several of these women decided to open their own businesses because they realized that as women, their opportunities within male-dominated companies were limited.

Candy Chick Nichols, owner of Arrow Head Custom Framing, mentioned how she opened her own business because she did not like people telling her what to do due to her “rebellious personality.” Nichols also mentioned how innovation is the key component to grow a business; affordable prices, personalized service, and development of new products are vital.

Although she has not faced a lot of stereotyping in her field, she did recall one time when she answered the phone, and the client asked to speak with her father—not believing she knew enough as to help him. Finally, she remarked the importance of networking to create connections, of “women helping women,” and of having the honesty to correct mistakes. Her story is an example of how far perseverance and passion can take you when all of you commit yourself to your goals. 

These women are an inspiring example of how we can define our own paths and that stepping outside the limits might give us awesome feelings of gratification.

Andrea Mendoza is an English junior.