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