WDYDWYD?Why do you do what you do?
I refuse to decide and I won’t let other women have to decide.
As a little girl, my sister and I would dress up as cleaning ladies and prance around the house dusting. I would cook in my play kitchen and pretend to be a mother to my dolls. I never put on a play suit and tie or stole my father's briefcase. I never pretended to be a working mother.
In sixth grade, I was asked to look into the future and write my autobiography. I discussed my career. I talked about the long hours I worked and my husband, but I never mentioned any children. Seems I thought then that working and being a mother was impossible.
It isn't fair that women have had to choose. I won't choose.
Today, as I focus on building my career as a consultant, I am starting up the conversation both inside and outside of work on what my company and other companies can do to support women. I am finding women mentors. I am talking to the women who have found a way to make it work and figuring out how they did it.
When I have children, I will raise them to believe normal is playing in the kitchen while wearing a suit and tie. I will go to work each day and create an environment where working mothers can thrive. I will be a mentor, leader, and change agent in the corporate world.
I will be a strong, successful working mother.
— Ali Nuger
Photography by Tony Deifell, MBA '02
Bain & Company
Tony Deifell (MBA 2002) created WDYDWYD?, a social media meme of people answering the simple question, “why do you do what you do?” by combining an image and text. To honor the 50th anniversary of women students at HBS, the Women’s Student Association Alumni Team (Annie Wheeler, MBA 2013; Danielle Slutzky, MBA 2013; and Tara Hagan, MBA 2014) partnered with Tony and asked alumnae to answer the question, “why do you do what you do?”
Harvard Business SchoolDillon HouseSoldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163