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ANSYS 19.2 Release Highlights

Leading by Example: Tech Parents on Raising Daughters

As we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States, we wanted to share the perspectives of our ANSYS team members on what parenting in the tech world means to them.

Preeti Gupta, product director, semiconductors

Preeti Gupta, product director, semiconductors

Our children are growing up witnessing momentous world changes that are sure to propel society forward. As parents, we have the privilege and responsibility of helping shape the thoughts of our little girls and boys. A recent “Women in Technology” event, co-hosted by ANSYS, was an eye-opener for me on the importance of exposure for these very impressionable minds.

As with all mothers who are also pursuing a career, my day starts early and ends late, and every minute counts! Evening networking events are an inconvenience as they put a dent into an already packed schedule. They have to be really important for one to take precious time away from other commitments, like taking care of the needs of children who have been at school for over 10 hours or catching up on work or chores! Considering all of this, I am very glad that I not only attended this event, but also brought my daughter along.

The event itself was a high-impact panel discussion among women achievers in the field of technology on the following topics: personal branding, leadership, negotiation, networking and mentoring. It was a revelation that certain facets of my personality and challenges that I felt were unique to me are actually common behaviors exhibited by women in general. Nuggets and insights came out of the discussion that were of tremendous value to all. Half-way through the discussion, as I sat enraptured, my daughter asked me for my phone and I quietly handed it to her, fully expecting her to open up “Temple Run.” After all, how would an elementary student connect with this discussion and find it interesting?

To demonstrate the power of influence, these are the notes my 10-year-old took on my phone — completely on her own initiative with no encouragement from her mother:

  • Lead yourself with what you are good at.
  • Try to make yourself shine.
  • Always respect mentors.
  • Cannot “manage” army in war, “lead’ it.”
  • Figure how to problem-solve.
  • Make decisions.
  • Have communication, courage, consistency.
  • Be able to negotiate.
  • Understand your value and be passionate.
  • Do not take advantage of people.
  • Do not lose people's trust.
  • Do not be too humble.
  • Do not be shy.
  • Add value to the next level.
  • Do not compromise passion and calling.

And, the morning conversation on the way to school the following day was on personal branding, networking and mentoring! As a parent of two daughters, my only regret was that I hadn’t worked out the schedules so that my older daughter, a sophomore in high school, could also attend.

Some events become defining moments in our lives and this was one. Take the time to proactively seek such opportunities. I know I will. It is more than worth it — for us as fathers and mothers, for our sons and daughters!

Dave Horn, digital marketing manager

Dave Horn, digital marketing manager

A proud dad may exaggerate, but the grades don’t lie. My daughter, a fifth-grader, has received more A’s in math than I did throughout the entirety of my scholastic career.  She loves the detective work and the “aha” moments when a previously challenging or “blurry” problem suddenly presents a clear solution.

This mindset has led her to also love science and technology. While stuffed unicorns and llamas line the shelves of her bedroom,  down in the basement there are model rockets ready for spring and, in the family room, there is a laptop where Scratch and now Python™ are used to (mostly) silly effect.

So, what does a dad — the youngest of three brothers, who grew up in a small town where men did the work and women raised the kids — do when his daughter wants to spend the afternoon building rockets?

He embraces it all.

Thankfully, it seems that the “this is a girl thing and that is a guy thing” way of thinking is dying a long-overdue death.  To the people like Stephanie Kwolek and Margaret Hamilton who helped put the nails in the coffin of this way of thinking, thank you.  The loss of potential in the sciences and arts from people who gave up what they truly had a passion for because it was deemed unseemly for their gender is inestimable and infuriating.

So, what does a dad — the youngest of three brothers, who grew up in a small town where men did the work and women raised the kids — do when his daughter wants to spend the afternoon building rockets?

He thanks everyone who helped break down the barriers and heads to the basement to help build a rocket that will go quicker and higher than the last one.

Susan Coleman, marketing manager, academic and startup programs

Susan Coleman, marketing manager, academic and startup programs

This Mother’s Day is extra special for me because it is my first time celebrating as a mother. Growing up, both of my parents worked, and I had very involved grandparents who filled our time away from home with amazing memories. Having a working mother inspired me to work toward a fulfilling career but, in retrospect, her example gave me even more than a strong work ethic. She taught me to ensure that people can always count on you, and that your name and your word are all you have in life, so don’t put yours on something that you haven’t given your all to. She also taught me that you may not be able to control if you are the smartest person in the room, but you have complete control over being the hardest working person in the room.

These lessons influenced my decisions throughout college and my career. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I am passionate about not just teaching her these lessons, but always leading by example.

My career experience started in marketing and media, but I didn’t let that hold me back from leveraging my skills at an engineering software company. Children (boys and girls) should grow up knowing they can choose any career they want in life.  For instance, gender should never hold a boy back from choosing a career in nursing, or a girl from an engineering degree. We should seek a professional path that allows us to balance our strengths with doing something we love. Our companies and industries will be strengthened from this diversity, and we will be happier, both as employees and as human beings.

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