#SeeHer: Going the Distance as a Female Engineer
As a child in Ghana, Diana Wilson was granted something not every girl got: a formal education. Her chosen field of study was even more unusual.
“I went the science path,” said Wilson. “That was something they selected for men.”
She attended the local school, where she studied chemical engineering before heading to the United States at age 16 as a track-and-field athlete for a competition called the World Scholar-Athlete Games. Two years later she chose to return to the United States and study chemical engineering at Oregon State University. She went on to become a product system leader at Georgia-Pacific.
Both on the track and in her professional life, Wilson learned to practice perseverance.
“The fact that it’s not easy doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to be able to go through adversity and come up on top.”
She admits that being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be tricky. “There are people who would want to test you,” said Wilson. Watch the video to hear how she earns their respect and how she filters out the noise of social pressures. You’ll also find out how she and her husband are giving back in Ghana.
“I hope my story will inspire women to know that you gotta be fierce and not give up,” said Wilson, who likened overcoming challenges to running a race. When you hit a wall, she said, “It’s a mental thing. You have to fight on and break the wall.”