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You read them everywhere. Or at least it felt that way to me as a bleary-eyed, thirty-year-old PhD student with a new baby. Snappy interviews of smiling, confident, impeccably dressed, forty-something women who were leaders in science, medicine, or biopharma—women who had achieved my 10-year plan. I knew I had leadership potential, even in my teens. I was ambitious and outspoken, adept at feigning confidence in the midst of uncertainty. In group settings, people habitually looked to me for answers, even when I didn’t necessarily have them. I also learned early on that I loved a good puzzle, and I gravitated toward math and the life sciences. Armed with these tendencies, youthful optimism, and the support of other strong women in my life, I emerged into adulthood fiercely determined to climb the biomedical research career ladder ...