Meet software engineer Dr. Teresa Vasquez — one of the mentors at our 2022 Women’s Leadership Summit!

Dr. Teresa Vasquez, affectionately known as “Dr. T,” was born to a Guatemalan immigrant and Creole woman from Louisiana. Her father always said that he “wanted a football player, but what he got instead was the best blessing in the world…a daughter.” Actually, he actually got both — Dr. T played women’s professional football too!

Her mother died when she was five years old, leaving her father to raise three young children. Dr. T’s dad ignited her passion for problem solving as a child, helping her with electrical and mechanical engineering projects. She credits these experiences as the start to her passion for technology and software engineering.

DR. TERESA VASQUEZ: Hi, I am Dr. Teresa Vasquez, but you can call me Dr. T. I lead technical teams to success by being myself and helping people feel valuable. A lot of what I do as a technical leader depends on how I can encourage and support other engineers to be their best selves. We all need someone to believe in us and I do that by using my technical skills and passion to build things. I use math and science to build logic and engineering and technology to help people meet their goals. There is no better feeling than getting to help someone, which in turn helps me. 

PLAG: Share a recent interaction with another woman or girl that you found inspiring.

TV: I was questioning my purpose and one of my mentees became my mentor. She spoke life into me and encouraged my journey by reminding me of my success and impact. It helped me to get out of my slump and to refocus my vision and goals. 

PLAG: What difference would it have made for you to have had Play Like a Girl in your life as a girl or young woman?

TV: If I had a resource like this, I would have been able to achieve my calling more quickly with fewer mistakes. As a girl, I did not have many, if any, women mentors in my life and Play Like a Girl would have been a huge part of learning and sharing my real self earlier in my career. 

PLAG: What does “ready for any field” mean to you?

TV: ‘Ready for Any Field’ means seeing the beauty in the abstract and knowing that no matter where you end up, your journey and experiences are important and that STEM is the foundation for every professional career you’ll ever pursue. 

PLAG: Why is sisterhood (or women supporting women) important to you?

TV: We know each other’s pain and fears especially in STEM careers. When we share information, we grow more confident and can support others more. Sisterhood brings a level of intimacy and knowledge that can propel us toward our goals – together. 

PLAG: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from a woman role model, mentor or colleague?

TV: “You can do anything because anything you love and touch will turn to gold.” 

PLAG: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

TV: I’d tell little T to not shrink to fit in. Take up all the space you need because your courage will inspire others once you find it.

PLAG: What advice do you have for younger girls who want to follow in your footsteps but may be afraid to ask for help (mentorship or guidance)?

TV: Fear is the killer of creativity and innovation. Failure is the path to success. Beyoncé said it best: “I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it. I dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it...” --says Dr. Teresa Vasquez Click To Tweet

The grind is your journey and if you want it, you can have it. All you have to do is grab it. You can accomplish it, but you need to “get in formation” and get support for what you want so you can get there faster. Don’t be afraid of rejection and use your youth as an advantage because someone will always want to help you along your journey.

Believe that you are valuable because you are. WE NEED YOU more than you’ll ever know. You are a part of OUR story too and by allowing fear to keep you from getting in the game, you’re impacting us all because we need your unique self so that we all can win. Help us by asking for help. 

Follow Dr. T on Instagram and join Play Like a Girl in our mission to build a diverse pipeline of women in STEM by encouraging girls everywhere to embrace failure as fuel to build confidence and be #ReadyforAnyField. ⚡️

 

Win a chance to be mentored by game changing women in Nashville! Tell us how sport has prepared you to succeed in any field by submitting your original photos, videos or art via Instagram or Twitter using #ReadyforAnyField. No purchase necessary. Void in AK & HI and where prohibited. Open to legal residents of 48 contiguous US & DC. Starts 2/21/22; ends 2/28/22.