As a Manager in Operations, Leila Sabet spends much of her time sporting a neon
vest and working in a warehouse—a role that stands in stark contrast to her vibrant, feminine personality, involvement in the Miss Florida program, and love of all things fashion.
But to know Leila is to understand her resilience and passion for breaking down barriers that keep others from succeeding.
Starting her career in a male-dominated field, Leila welcomed the challenge to re-write the narratives attributed to women and demonstrate that females who found power in embracing their femininity could be incredibly capable leaders.
For someone who confronted assumptions about her ability to succeed, the notion that she would have to prove herself, and work harder to be taken seriously was not a novel one for Leila. When stepping up for a leadership position as a young girl, Leila was focused on making a plan of action and using her love for her school community as motivation to make things better. Others vying for the same role chose to focus their energy on attempts to deter her and get her to back down by making her feel small. Unfortunately, Leila was targeted on social media with xenophobic remarks about her Iranian heritage. Even though she persevered, those hurtful words remained with her for many years. But as she grew through overcoming challenges and barriers, she tapped into her unique identity as something to be proud of, and she developed greater empathy for others who feel a lack of belonging or hide their differences to be accepted.
Leila saw an opportunity to emotionally connect to others by sharing lessons she learned through adversity. “The minute you decide you want better for yourself is the minute that the entire universe begins to shift in your favor. We must unlearn everything we have been told and relearn everything through our experiences.”