Melissa Rancourt

Founder of Greenlight for Girls

And - Engineer & Business Owner

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I would have wanted to know “anything is possible” at every age.

What do you do?

I am a founder of an organization that helps to encourage girls around the world to study STEM. This company has an incredible team that works around the world to make hands-on fun events about science - and because of everyone who helps to do this, we have reached more than 31,000 children in more than 30 countries.

I am also an Engineer and do my own work around the world to help make companies better and bigger. I also own a company, a luxury spa and yoga studio, in the city that I live, Brussels. And finally, I lead a university degree program in New York, Paris & Shanghai for executives who attend Parsons School of Design.

Why did you choose this field?

I've always wanted to be an engineer - or at least since I was 12 years old. It was my mother who encouraged me to pursue Industrial Engineering after I read a book at this age about the subject.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I suppose it would have been fun to know that I would use my engineering experience and skills to eventually create and build my own companies. I think if I knew this at a younger age, it would have helped my confidence - and perhaps this is why at the end of our Greenlight for Girls' events, we yell together, "anything is possible!". I would have wanted to know this at every age.

Why do you love working in STEM?

Learning and enjoying STEM subjects has provided me every opportunity - and continues to do so today. I wake up every day with a feeling of wanting to learn even more.

Best advice for next generation?

I feel very lucky that I get a chance to provide advice and inspiration to girls of all ages to study STEM - it is why I built an organisation to do exactly this. In addition to spreading the message that "anything is possible", I also would say - stay curious, keep learning and look to find what inspires you to make a difference in the world.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” - Mary Oliver

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

Useful things

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