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Celebrating Black History Month: Cardisha Grant

Cardisha Grant will celebrate her two-year anniversary with Compass Group this May. The biomedical engineer and mom of a 9-year-old son is known for busting out into song in the office, transforming any musical genre into opera. Read her story to learn how she’s hoping to be an inspiration to her son and women looking to break into the male-dominated industry of engineering.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
To me, Black History Month means acknowledging black excellence. It means acknowledging the individuals and the events that were important to the history of America.

Who are some of the notable African American figures who inspire you?
I have a big list! People who did a lot for women like Mary Davidson and Madam C. J. Walker. Then there’s Mohammed Ali, Maya Angelou and Benjamin Davis, the first African American general in the U. S. Army. And, black musicians like Erykah Badu and Fantasia. If I can meet anyone in the world, it would be Fantasia. These people taught me you can do anything you put your mind to, no matter what society tells you.

How do you put that idea to work in your daily life within Compass Group and within your community?
Mind over matter! When I am repairing something at work or doing anything that is difficult, I control my thoughts about it. I remind myself it can be done. I repair a lot of devices like bedside monitors, modules, transport monitors, etc. When I see a machine that I have never seen before, I have to figure out how to repair it, and I’m able to do so because I believe that I can.

What do you do to create a positive work environment?
It’s my energy. It’s the energy you bring to the table that affects others around you. When I first started here, I said good morning to every person by name. I still say good morning as I walk past people. The right energy can relieve tension in any room. It’s important for people to remember that you have the ability to set the tone in the room every time you walk through the door with how you treat others and how you act. If you show people respect, they’ll show you respect right back. I fully believe that energy can be transformational.

What drew you to the field?
My father. I watched my father work with his hands and do a lot of building and remodeling. I saw how he would figure things out, and it inspired me. It’s the hands-on aspect of this industry that I love and I have a lot of opportunity to think things through and solve problems like my dad did. Every day is something different. I’m learning something new every single day.

What legacy would you like to leave at Compass Group?
I want people to see that I came in and did everything to the highest potential. When my manager comes to me and says, “I want you to take over this project,” it’s because I have earned their trust to do the job. I’d like to help other people like me in this field. Biomedical engineering is a male-dominant field and I want to see more women in the industry, period. I also want to see younger individuals enter the field.

What advice do you have for other women who interested in working in this area of Compass Group?
I would say be open to suggestions from co-workers. There are no dumb questions. Do not isolate yourself. Learn from those ahead of you. Take every opportunity to expand your knowledge and grow.

What do you hope your son learns from your work?
I want to show him you have to work hard for what you want. No one is going to hand it to you. The hardest thing for me as a single mother is to think my son will have struggles because of the color of his skin. That’s why education is so important. I want him to know it is the key to a better future. He’s 9 and he wants to go to school for coding. He wants to create his own games. He can do that. I finished school and now with this job we will have a great future.

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