Warrior Woman Wednesday: Roxy Olivas
A woman in the world of engineering is rare, and being a “girly-girl” can be initially intimidating when you could be judged for it. Meet Warrior Woman Wednesday, Roxy Olivas!
In college, my best friends and I drove up to Scottsdale one weekend to celebrate my birthday and we stayed with Mo’s sister, Roxy. I was completely impressed by her success and how much she had accomplished all while maintaining a fashion agenda. Her drive and positive attitude is what made her succeed.
Roxy grew up in beautiful Hawai’i where she felt she was a little sheltered not being on “the mainland,” A.K.A. stateside.
“Everything is really slow-paced and people who aren’t related to you treat you like family,” Roxy paused. “It’s
the aloha spirit.”
As breathtaking as Hawai’i is, Roxy felt she had a bigger opportunity off of the island. There isn’t much for tech careers and she realized she needed to leave in order to pursue her dreams.
She loved technology since middle school, but Super Mario Bros and her old hand-me-down Super Nintendo were the trigger to her wanting to be an engineer. With a leap of faith she graduated from high school and went to LA for a year then transferred to the University of Arizona.
Roxy felt it was a challenge as a
female in engineering school. While she was never disrespected in
class, she was aware of being the only female in most of her classes.
“It may have been a self-confidence thing on my part, but I did
always feel like I had something to prove – even in my first few years
in the workforce,” Roxy said. “It was also really common when people asked me what I majored in to get a surprised reaction.”
Eventually she graduated with a B.S. in Computer Engineer and a minor in Mathematics and Japanese. After college, she lived in Phoenix for three years before moving to Dallas. Her roles have evolved from an IT student worker to business analyst to software tester and to finally project manager.
“I completely fit the bill of an engineer being generally introverted, always thinking of things more logically, and just having the capability of being a complete nerd,” Roxy said. “But, I’m also really girly in that I love makeup, fashion, and getting dolled up.”
Merging the two together of tech and fashion flair was a little difficult to navigate. Roxy said when she showed up for interviews in a pencil skirt and hair done, people are “kind of hesitant believe that you have an engineering degree.”
Roxy fortunately didn’t face any discrimination in her current or previous roles. One of her mentors includes an alumna from her sorority, Delta Chi Lambda, who provided to be a great source of inspiration and encouragement. She felt blessed to have the support of others both personally and professionally.
“All of my bosses have been male, but I’ve considered myself so lucky that they all, in one way or another, encouraged my career growth and told me that I am good enough when so many times, I thought I wasn’t.”
Roxy now has built her self-confidence over the duration of her career. She wishes when growing up and in college she had more
great examples of women in STEM careers, especially in tech. She just read Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ and relates entirely to how she felt in college and early in her career.
“I think it’s so important for women to support and encourage each other because we don’t tell each other enough ‘you’re beautiful and capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for,'” Roxy smiled.
Q&A with Roxy Olivas
1. What motivates you to succeed?
think a lot of my motivation is the younger generation of women. I know
it sounds weird, but I never had a lot of examples of women in tech
growing up so if I could inspire even one girl to
know that you CAN be smart, beautiful, and a women of great faith all
at the same time, I think I would fulfill my life’s purpose.
2. Who inspires you?
Women like Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer – brilliant, beautiful, and
powerful women. Also, I’m inspired by Christian celebrities/athletes,
like Tim Tebow and Chris Pratt, who are unashamed and very vocal about
3. Your biggest achievement?
degree. There was a semester when I almost flunked out and I really
thought I couldn’t do it anymore. It took me 6 years to get my BS and I
never changed my major once! My mom told
me once that it doesn’t matter how much money or stuff you have, people
can take away everything from you, but you will always have your mind.
4. Goals for the future?
In the near future, I’d like to grow in my career in Project Management
and I’d like to grow my blog and etsy shop. My pipe dream is to maybe
get to an executive level.
5. What advice would you give to others?
Do your job. Whatever it is you’re doing right now, whether it’s
temporary or your dream job, do it and do it well. Also, attitude is
everything – work hard and stay humble.
6. What do you do for fun?
I work out, cook, bake, and I LOVE to travel. I have a lifestyle/travel blog that I TRY to keep up with. Also, calligraphy/brush lettering is
also a hobby that turned into an etsy/instagram: Pineapple Shack XO .
7. Favorite quote or Bible verse?
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11
This is my life verse and I love it because it’s a constant reminder that God is in complete control of everything. There were so many times when I thought my life sucked and it was never going to get better, but every time I step back, I realize how blessed I really am and that God has always made everything beautiful in the end.