Influencing the Most Impressionable

Influencing the Most Impressionable

Laura Drabik

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The Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence award ceremony took place on Thursday, May 16, 2019, where I was honored to be one of the 100 women recognized for leadership in our professions and in the community.

When I was notified of my recognition back in April, I was thrilled and immediately knew I was going to take my husband and our impressionable seven-year-old daughter, Claire, with me to the award ceremony. I’ve taken her to a few different work functions, including hackathons, to give her an idea of what mom does and what she, a future woman, CAN do. In this instance though, Claire would be able to see a room filled with amazing influential women; women from all walks of life, all making a difference in a wide range of industries. And then I looked at May 16th on my calendar. I was scheduled to present a session on “Technology's Bold New Contribution to Insurance” on behalf of Guidewire… in Tokyo. There was no way I could do both.


As disappointed as I was to not be at the award ceremony, I knew Claire could still have this experience, and I was determined to make the most of it. She was going to accept my award for me and because the honorees were given an opportunity to say a few words, she and I put together one simple line: Always listen to your mommy. We practiced and practiced it leading up to the ceremony.

The night of the ceremony, I anxiously awaited the event’s play-by-play. I waited for the texts, photos, and video of her “presentation.” When they came through, I was beyond proud of my daughter for going up on that stage, clearly and confidently saying her rehearsed line, and receiving the award on my behalf.

My husband and colleagues filled me in on the amazing stories that were shared at the awards ceremony where honorees were asked to share their “firsts.” From Kristina Luscher, the first female president at all-boys Bellarmine College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school founded in 1851, to Rashim Mogha, who was the first in her family to say no to an arranged marriage and move to the U.S. to follow her dream of a career in technology, I am truly inspired by these women and honored to be recognized with them.

I am grateful that Claire was able to attend such a powerful event and have the opportunity to hear first-hand about the achievements of these strong women of influence. It is my hope that Claire and other young women understand that they too can one day make a difference in the industries in which they work and communities where they live.

For additional information about the Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence award program and Laura’s recognition, please read the following: