#tough as nails woman of the month: sanna malick

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Sanna Malick




Founder of a private tutoring company specialized in science and math


Mademoiselle by Essie

The #ToughAsNails Woman is confident in herself, in her abilities, and in the people around her. She is adventurous, courageous and headstrong in achieving her goals. She knows that failure is a step closer to success. You can have it all, as long as you are willing to work for it.
— Sanna Malik

Sanna Malick’s life has taken her all over the map, literally. From studying art in New York, to pursuing an advanced degree in chemistry in Georgia, to working in the legal field in California, to studying law in both Minnesota and France. Currently, she owns her own company in Chicago and she makes sure that she takes time to travel for six months out of the year. Sanna has had a breadth of experiences and has created an enviable life for herself. That isn’t to say she hasn’t had a few bumps along the way, but she persevered through the challenges and has found a way to balance her passion of travel with a career where she empowers young women through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education.

What is your approach to setting goals and staying motivated?

I keep a list of five goals that I’m aiming to accomplish on the notepad on my phone. I look at them every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed. Once they get checked off, I add another five. One of my superpowers is that I have laser focus. I figure out what I want and obsessively work until I get it. I’m very goal driven. Your goals must become an obsession in order to accomplish them. Some goals on my current list include going to Antarctica and buying a condo!

What is something that you are proud of that you’ve accomplished recently?

A personal leap I took recently was to freeze my eggs thanks to the encouragement of other female friends who had done the same. I refuse to settle for the wrong partner. I refuse to be unhappy. I want women to know that they have the option to freeze their eggs. It’s empowering to stop your biological clock. Freezing my eggs gives me the freedom and flexibility to have children on my own timeline, either with or without a partner.

Where did your desire to support women come from?

My desire to support young women originates from my being Pakistani. In Pakistan, women are often uneducated, oppressed, victims of physical and sexual abuse, and shamed by family members and society as part of a deeply ingrained culture that does not allow women full independence from the men in their lives. Fortunately, my parents were not like traditional Pakistani parents. They raised my two sisters and I as if we were boys, teaching us to be strong and independent, reassuring us that anything was achievable. I know that I’m lucky to have been raised by parents who encouraged me to be such a strong woman. Because of this, I am empowered to do the same for other young women.

What is your secret to being a strong, #ToughAsNails woman?

I attribute my resilience to being brought up by strong women and by surrounding myself with inspiring women. I love the quote by the motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I’m very selective in who I befriend. I choose to surround myself with people that I admire, people that challenge me, people that raise the quality of my life. I have very strong and inspiring female friends in my circle.

What does supporting other women look like to you?

Why is it necessary? In addition to running my tutoring company, I teach young girls at Inspire Girls Academy, a nonprofit after-school program in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. This program is founded in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Last spring, I taught 2nd and 3rd grade girls climatology and meteorology through the lens of fashion, and I will again be teaching this upcoming fall to a new group of girls. My long-term goal is to start my own school where students are taught math and science through art. My hope is to motivate more young women to pursue careers in the math and science fields. In my lifetime, I would love to see the day where women and men are truly equal. For me, that starts with teaching young women math and science.