There are not a lot of women in the technology field and even fewer of those are women in the field of the technology of reading minds. The woman I am about to tell you about is both of those and her story is inspiring so many to make a difference in the lives of others by utilizing technology.
Tan Le was a bright young girl that was born in South Vietnam. She faced hardship and uncertainty in her homeland so she left South Vietnam for Australia as a refugee with her mother, grandmother, and sister when she was a mere 4 years old. She faced days secluded with other refugees in the bottom of a fishing boat in fear of pirates and other unknown obstacles that could come their way. This did not stop her pursuit of greatness though. At the age of 16 she began studying at university. She finished her Bachelor’s degree when she was 21 and continued to grow even more from there. (Tan Le 2012 )
Although Tan Le and I are not that far apart in age her culture and upbringing differ dramatically from my own. She grew up as a member if a society where she was the minority. Where she face racial slurs spray painted on the wall of her neighborhood. Through this all she watched her mother work in a manufacturing company for 12 hours a day and still have time to study English so that she could learn the language and excel in her new home country. Tan Le faced adversity, she excelled anyway. She had great role models in her mother and grandmother and she was determined to be successful. She was so successful that she was named young Australian of the year in 1998 as well as being voted one of the most successful women under 30 that same year. This was not long after she finished law school, it was shortly after that she found a passion in speaking and changing things for the better. She was also recognized in many other areas as she was growing due to her hard work and ability to make breakthroughs in the work that she was doing.
Tan Le was part of a Vietnamese family and in Vietnamese culture traditional family rolls are valued. Meaning that the man is the head of the household and the leader and the woman is to follow his commands as he has authority over her. This is the father as well as the husband. Tan Le, however was raised by her mother and grandmother who both had a severely independent streak in them. Lucky for us Tan Le’s family also valued her education and ability to succeed with her new roots in Australia. Education is something that is highly valued in the culture that Tan Le was brought up in and she did her best to earn her education well. She was preceded by her mother who sought her education and eventually opened up a computer store and then a beauty shop. She succeeded in her pursuit and earned several awards along the way. As well as a spot on the Forbes’ list of 50 names you need to know, pertaining to her being an influential woman in technology. She was honored not only by her adopted country but also by her country of origin. (Tan Le 2012)
Some would say that at this point her life would change but instead she longed for the days when her sister and she were young and poor and they slept in a bed together with their mom. The days when they all leaned on one another and their tight circle was what kept them going. Her mother gave her some very good advice about how to deal with those feelings, she told her just to do it. Don’t hold back use what you have been through and what you have accomplished to move yourself further and to push others along with you. So that is what Tan Le did.