How Shermin Kruse’s childhood experiences in Iran have shaped her professional career

Driving change

As Kruse looks at the professional landscape for women, she says it’s difficult to compare career opportunities in the U.S. with those available in Iran.

“Only 13 percent of the workforce is women in Iran,” Kruse says. “It is both culturally and economically difficult for women to find work and remain employed in Iran. But they are doctors and lawyers, politicians and cabinet ministers. Nevertheless, it doesn’t compare to the situation in the U.S. You don’t need your husband’s permission to work here.”

Still, the situation in the U.S. is not perfect and Kruse hopes she can be part of the process to bring about change.

“I’m an equity partner in a law firm,” Kruse says. “I can afford great childcare. But what if that’s not your position and your career is still important to you? The lack of good, affordable childcare in the U.S. is a huge impediment to women’s success in the professional world.”

One of the keys to having a successful culture, or a successful organization, is the ability of people to work together toward common goals.

“I don’t minimize the significance of each thing that each person on my team has to offer,” Kruse says. “They could have tons of bad ideas. But sometimes, they come up with these really great ideas. If you don’t foster an environment where they freely come to you with those ideas because you don’t respect their role, it’s devastating.”

We all grow when we are allowed to actively participate in the world around us.

“If you are an intellectually curious person and always have a desire to learn and grow, then moving along the path or up the ladder is very satisfying,” Kruse says. “It’s fun and it makes you happy.”

To learn more about Shermin Kruse’s book, “Butterfly Stitching,” visit www.butterflystitching.com