Celebrating Women's History Month-Meet Our Programs Director, Nicole Pletka!

Sat, March 30, 2024 9:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Nicole Pletka

Speed Round Questions

College major: Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology

Favorite high school summer job/internship: Family-run, local pizza place

Favorite quote/mantra: "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded." -Emerson

App you can't live without: 1Password

Hobby you'd like to explore more: Carpentry


In celebration on Women's History Month, who are the women who have made the biggest impact on your life?

NP: "My mom and my sister. I feel very fortunate to have been raised by strong women with strong opinions. I'm a pretty outspoken person, but believe it or not, I've always been the quiet on in the family." Also Joan Jett. That woman stood behind her convictions and didn't let anyone tell her how a woman should act, or sing, or dress.

What has been your most meaningful learning opportunity in your career? How has it shaped you in your current position?

NP: "Getting fired from a really toxic place. I had never been fired before and I was shocked when it happened. I learned a lot about how much of my self-esteem was tied to my career and how important it is to be able to articulate what matters to me. I realized that hard work and great results are not what always matters to the people at the top. I was never going to be respected there because my principles about how people should be treated were not shared with leadership. From then on, I always remember that my values are far more important than a paycheck. My confidence comes from who I am, and what I believe, not where I work and what I do."

What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing women in the workforce today?

NP: "I think one of the biggest challenges for everyone is related to how quickly technology is evolving. It can feel very difficult to stay well versed in the current trends when everything moves so fast."

What technological advances are you most excited about?

NP: "I'm really excited to see more focus on  sustainable technology. I started my career in environmental consulting, and I love seeing more integration with environmental science."

What advice would you give to your younger self, and to young women getting their first full-time position?

NP: "Don’t stop going out. Find organizations and activities you like and keep showing up. Even if you don’t know what to say to people, just keep attending. It takes being seen 5 or more times before people start expecting you. Then you start noticing the other regulars. Then it starts getting easier. This is true for networking, hobbies, exercise, and quite literally anything."

Lastly, do you have any favorite female-focused charities or causes you'd like people to know more about?

NP: "I’m a big fan of Herizon Music. Thea Wood creates a Newsletter and podcast spotlighting women's contributions to modern music and industry trends affecting women who work on stage, on air, and behind the scenes. I’m not a musician, but I’m a Riot Grrl at heart. (fyi – not a typo… this was a 1990s revolution that you are probably too young to know about.)

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