Achieving Success as a Woman in STEM, with Sydney Metzmaker
“I am woman, hear me roar” is Sydney Metzmaker’s motto. If a challenge is presented in front of her, she attacks the challenge instead of shying away.
She roars. It all started when she almost quit club soccer at the young age of 10 years old. For club soccer, you had to try out and be selected to make the team. Sydney attended most but not all of the tryouts, choosing to attend the DARE session at school for one of the days. She felt she made the right choice at the time, however, when selections were made and she was not chosen for the A team but rather the B team, she was heartbroken. Her pride was hurt and, at that moment, she realized she really truly wanted to make the A team, but her actions didn’t show her intent. Sydney decided to attend the first practice with the B team and see how she felt afterward. She showed up, looked around at the other players in attendance, and instantly felt frustrated. These players didn’t care about the game like she did is what she concluded. After the first practice, Sydney’s father asked her point-blank if she wanted to remain on the B team or quit? He continued to say, if she quit, she had to quit the game of soccer altogether. Her initial reaction was to quit. She was frustrated and felt she had lost something special by not being selected for the A-team. However, Sydney thought about his words just a little longer, and she thought about how much she would miss the game of soccer if she quit. Sydney responded with, “I am not quitting. I will make this team into the A-team.” Her father beamed with pride and said, “Ok! Then let’s get to work!” The very next practice Sydney took a moment to meet with everyone on the B team, to get to know them. She then proceeded to act like a leader in their presence. Sydney wanted to show them what it took to play the game the way it should be played. She worked hard, harder than she had ever worked before. Her coach noticed her enthusiasm and decided to schedule an exhibition game versus the A-Team at the end of the season. She was even more motivated than before when she heard this news. Her season went very well considering some of the players had never played soccer before. They ended up with a winning season overall playing against other B team club teams. Finally, it was the day of the exhibition game. Sydney’s coach asked the team to show up 15 minutes earlier than normal. He gave an amazing speech that day and Sydney followed him by saying, “We are all winners and I know, without a doubt, that regardless of the outcome of this game, we are all true soccer players.” They all played like it was the last game they would ever play. The result? They tied the A team even in double overtime. It was a moment in time Sydney will never forget.
No one knows your true worth unless you show it to them; unless you roar. Sydney’s keys to success are to never give up on something you love. Show others your true roar. When facing a challenge, address it head-on looking at the problem holistically.
Now she is 35 years old, She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering, Masters in Architecture-based Enterprise Systems Engineering, over 10 years of experience in engineering both technical and business positions. Currently, Sydney is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of a software engineering company and she is just getting started in her career. Her goal at this point in her career is to positively influence women to join STEM programs/careers, continue to innovate in the technology field in an impactful mission, and become a role model for young women to help them overcome the challenges we so often face.
What You Will Learn:
- Sydney’s journey as a woman in STEM
- How Sydney worked her way to the C-suite table at a software engineering company
- Sydney’s role as the Chief Operations Officer for PVM, Inc.
- The pivotal moment in Sydney’s childhood that paved the way for her success
- Sydney’s experience being at the Citadel as a woman
- Sydney’s views on women in STEM fields and what the future holds
- How Sydney manages her finances
- How Sydney makes her life work so she can work