Campus and Community

“I turn obstacles into opportunities and I found many of them in my life”

The testimony of Kim Sawyer, an enterprising and fearless woman, took place at Técnico (Salão Nobre) and was part of an event organised by the Gender Balance Group at Técnico.

This Monday, October 2, Kim Sawyer, former ambassador, lawyer and entrepreneur, shared her experiences with Técnico students. The audience, mostly composed of women, was fascinated by the way Kim Sawyer talked about the failures and obstacles that may arise throughout a professional career. This first session is part of “Women in Science and Engineering”, a series of events organised by the Gender Balance Group at Técnico.

The former ambassador spoke openly about some situations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment that she experienced in the beginning of her career and about the importance of creating her own business. “I turn obstacles into opportunities and I found many of them in my life. But instead of regretting those obstacles that could have made my life harder, including those for being a woman, I believe they made me stronger and helped me map out my road to success”, declared Kim Sawyer.

The founder of Connect to Success, a project aimed at supporting the growth of women owned businesses in Portugal, recalled what inspired her to create this project, the achievements so far, but above of all “the great feeling of helping women to succeed”.

Kim Sawyer also spoke of another project related to domestic violence, one of the problems that impressed her the most in her passage through Portugal. “We are organising a motorcycle ride to draw attention to the problem of domestic violence”, she announced.

“Networking is key to business and career success. Failure will inspire you to succeed as long as you learn from it”, she said. “A clear understanding of equality in their families”, will allow more women to network, explains Kim Sawyer.

“If you change nothing, nothing will change”, said the former ambassador almost at the end of the session. “The most important thing to be confident is to believe in yourself and not waste time thinking about what others think of you”, she noted. Never give up and work passionately were some of Kim Sawyer’s advices to the audience. She ended her speech saying “Persistence allows us to succeed”.