Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Women accomplishing remarkable feats

A personal message from Mary Hockaday, Associate Director for Experimental Physical Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory
April 1, 2015
Mary Hockaday, Associate Director for Experimental Physical Sciences

Mary Hockaday, Associate Director for Experimental Physical Sciences


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  • Kurt Steinhaus
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Mary Hockaday

As we celebrate women not only during Women’s History Month but beyond, it’s important to keep in mind that these individuals often have excelled in their careers in defiance of gender stereotypes and by rejecting perceptions of a glass ceiling. As I have learned throughout my own career, we can all turn challenges into opportunities. Young women should feel confident that they can create a path to success in any field they choose.

It has not always been easy to be a female in a male-dominated field, but having the support of inspiring parents and strong mentors taught me to dream big, have faith and move forward. When I first arrived at the Nevada Test Site to support a nuclear test, the presence of a woman was an anomaly. I took it as a sign of acceptance when they painted my diagnostic equipment pink.

I believe our future female leaders will accomplish remarkable feats. I expect to see the first (and possibly second) female Laboratory Director in the DOE Complex in the next five to 10 years.

We can support future accomplishments by encouraging our kids to stay curious and to take advantage of the many excellent science, technology, engineering and math outreach programs offered in northern New Mexico. Above all, remember: Each of us has a choice whether to push forward or let someone else hold us back.

-   Mary Hockaday