#SeeHer: She Won't Let Others Determine How Far She'll Go

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Kim Sweet has a simple message for young women who are just starting to plot out their career paths: “Be flexible.”

“I hope they don’t get so tied down to what their plan is that they miss the opportunities that crop up along the way,” said Sweet, who’s now Vice President for Quality and Commercialization for Georgia-Pacific’s Consumer Products Group.

It’s a piece of advice she wishes she’d had when she started out as a young biochemist. Now, one of her favorite components of her job is mentoring young people.

“Seeing what I can impart to them – that’s what I really like about being a leader,” Sweet said.

But like many leaders, Sweet had some tough lessons to learn before she could step up as a role model to others. “There have been times where other managers have dictated how far I could go, based on my schooling, based on being a woman,” Sweet said. “Although at the time it was difficult to work through, it also taught me some very important lessons.”

The biggest lesson, she said? “Never let somebody else define my limits.”