Inspiring women in education and industry

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Meet Christine Truong, a supply chain management and operations major at UNT.

For Truong, spreading positivity and inspiring women to become the best version of themselves – both personally and professionally – is her life’s mission.

As an international student from Vietnam, Truong knows firsthand the barriers women face in some cultures when it comes to education. When she was 19, she was a part of JUNKO Association – a non-profit organization originally from Japan – that traveled around remote areas in developing countries in Asia. They worked to persuade families into letting their daughters attend school, even supplying them with backpacks and school supplies.

But after receiving pushback, Truong was inspired to start her own non-profit called “She Inspires Me.” The organization aims to bring women of different backgrounds and careers together to speak about their struggles, how they overcame them and provide motivation to Millennial and Gen Z girls to fight for the education they deserve.

“There are a lot of barriers and obstacles out there – but when we talk to other women who have experienced similar hardships, it inspires us to better ourselves,” said Truong.

In many developing Asian countries – especially in some remote areas where students don’t have access to transportation, electricity and education – Truong says it is traditional for women to drop out of school as young as the second grade, often forced into arranged marriages.

“They still think women don’t deserve a better education than men,” she said.

This traditional perspective is what encouraged Truong to move to the U.S. to pursue higher education. Now, she is president of the logistics and supply chain organization at UNT, affiliated with ISM and ASCM – the oldest and largest non-profit supply chain organization in the United States. She was also recently offered a research graduate assistant position in business analytics.

When speaking to Truong, she talked about the struggles of being a woman leader in a male-dominated field like supply chain management.

“Being a good leader is hard, especially as an immigrant woman, but I believe that whatever we do reflects who we are, and it doesn’t stop me from being an inspiring Gen Z female leader.”

When Truong first started her supply chain management education journey, she was typically the only woman in the room, but she continued to pursue an avenue for women to thrive alongside her. Since becoming the president of the logistics and supply chain organization, it has grown from just a handful of members to well over 100, with more women and diversity participating than ever before.

Her motivation?

Prove. Them. Wrong.

“I believe in using the hardships and suffering we face and turning it into a real result, into an achievement,” she said. “I’m grateful to the faculty in the Department of Logistics and Operations Management at UNT for supporting me along the way.”

Truong believes that women belong in the supply chain industry because of their organizational skills and ability to be more flexible and thoughtful with industry-related issues.

She started her non-profit organization, “She Inspires Me,” to empower women's perspectives for Millennials and Gen Z to conquer the world in a better way. Through this organization, she hopes she can convince women that they are worthy of a better life, as long as they believe in themselves and are open to new opportunities with positivity, perseverance and compassion.

“I hope my project helps drive fresh and inclusive thinking about women leaders for Gen Z and Millennials,” said Truong.

The organization is fast growing on social media, with nearly 9,000 followers on Instagram alone. Truong’s goal is to create more episodes with women guest speakers, and eventually gain sponsorships and donors to make a bigger difference in the lives of women. The organization is also currently recruiting, and Truong encourages any UNT student who believes in the cause to join.

“My mission, I believe, is to help and inspire others. To help women see their potential, be happy, and be inspired.”

While Truong is not set to graduate from UNT until December 2023, she is already busy paving the way for women around the world to be whatever they want to become.