It’s often hard to see if personal efforts to make a difference or create change are successful. However, Dr. Angela Trego, a mechanical engineer and businesswoman whose list of degrees, work experience, awards, and accomplishments is seemingly endless, feels we often measure success with the wrong metric. “We often get caught up in the big numbers, but the important part is the individual. It’s the one or two people you impact that is most important,” she says.
The desire to help individuals led Dr. Trego to start her consulting firm, which offers hands-on training for technical organizations. It aids in the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented populations. Her motivation to help women in business and STEM is simple — “I am successful because people helped me,” she adds. “I ask myself, what can I do that would be helpful to other people and help them be successful?”
When Dr. Trego started her career as a mechanical engineer, she found herself surrounded by male coworkers who were about 20 years her senior, giving her a feeling of imposter syndrome. She shied away from participating and offering input. Eventually, she realized she had ideas to contribute, and that confidence switch made all the difference in her career. But it didn’t just lead to personal success; it improved her team’s and her organization’s successes.
Now, she uses her experiences to help other women recognize they, too, belong at the table and that they have every reason to be confident in themselves. Whenever she discovers that her influence and example have given someone the courage to pursue a degree or career in STEM, she considers it a win. “There’s nothing better than to hear their excitement,” she said. “Then they talk to other people and help generate momentum. That’s going to help us do amazing things as a society.”
Dr. Trego’s efforts aim not to get more engineers or create more women business leaders. The goal is to spread more goodness. “Positivity can permeate just as much as negativity can, so I want to find more ways to be positive and give back,” she adds. For Dr. Trego, there is no better way to give back than to help others chase their dreams, reach their goals, and live up to their full potential.