The women before you, and YOU. What barriers were broken for you to fly?




I did some serious reflecting yesterday on International Women's Day. After tuning into the powerful instagram live by Alicia Keys and Simone Biles (with that live performance on the piano!?😍), listening to the conversation on empowering within (click here if you missed it), and spending time with my mother.. I am feeling especially empowered. 


I am a first-generation Iranian-American and the first female in my family to join the medical field. My mom was the first to go to graduate school and broke the barrier to come to the US to do it (instead of marrying after high school and calling it with career dreams). My uncle is an MD and my grandfather was also the town physician - along with every man before him. When I was younger, the spotlight was always on my brothers to become a doctor/lawyer/engineer an "continue the tradition" by having the family name tied to healthcare. But for me, it was maybe graphic design or something in business.  Then it changed. I became the Doctor of Physical Therapy and the only one in healthcare. It's me "carrying the name" forward in the medical field.


Life happens so fast I don't always take the time to reflect on who and what made me who I am today.  I realized had it not been for my mother, I would have never had the opportunity to become a physical therapist - let alone here in the US. She is so strong, so driven, and instilled that in me from a young age. My grandfather and uncle were both supportive of this. 


Physical therapy is a female-dominant field but we are still not paid the same as our male teammates. It's interesting being in the sports PT world as a female because we're still outnumbered, but with the right confidence and drive I feel ready to break more barriers. It's a work in progress. If other women hadn't done it, I would feel less certain. But wow - it's empowering to think of all the women before me. To all the girl-moms (and dads), your daughter is watching you crush it. 💕


What's your story? Who inspired you? A mom? Grandma? Sister? Aunt? Share below and take up some space today.


Community Manager
Community Manager

This is such a beautiful reflection @Leada_M. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and congratulations on being the first woman in your family to be in the medical field! You are breaking barriers and will inspire future women in your family. 


My older cousins inspire me. They went to college, worked hard, and were very successful because they stayed true to themselves and their goals. They are the first women in our family to make 6 figures, own businesses, buy homes, and get to travel the world! They inspire me to work hard and encourage me to be...well me. They showed me what could be possible in my life and I know I can reach out to them on anything I need. They're some of the most powerful women I know and I look up to them every day


Like Leada_M I am also the daughter of immigrants.  I am first generation Canadian Dane.  My parents immigrated in 1958.  Neither parent went to high school or university, although they both had trades.  My father is a butter and cheese maker and my mother was a hairdresser.  Dad worked hard and long hours to provide for our family of 4, and Mom was a stay at home mother…and a wonderful one at that!  I was the first grand child to go to college and university.  In my career I did training for a global electronics company and became the media spokesperson for their consumer products division.  I did television appearances, was featured in commercials and led media launches.  It was an unbelievable source of joy for my parents to be stopped downtown and be told that someone had seen me on television or heard me on the radio.  An even bigger thrill when the PR agency sent a stretch limo to pick myself, my parents and my daughter to take us all to a tv station for a segment I had to do on a morning show!  It was so thrilling for me to know that I gave that joy to my parents after they had worked so hard to provide a better life for my brother and I.  My Dad was my biggest advocate always saying to me as a child I could do whatever I wanted, and my Mom always smiled and said try.  I see my children working hard, and not feeling barriers to achieving their goals.  I am so proud of them, and they love to show their grandparents what they have achieved as well.  It’s a great feeling to see how our family has grown and prevailed!