From an early age, Christine Voreza was driven by the pursuit of a better tomorrow.
Growing up in poverty in Kenya, she dreamed of independence and financial security. But more than that, she dreamed of a future where her options were not defined by her race, gender or socioeconomic status.
Her parents supported her and suggested that education would be the path to get her there. But it was Voreza’s older sister that ultimately helped her start on the journey that would take her to business school more than 7,000 miles from her hometown of Kapenguria. A journey that would ultimately lead to Parker.
“My older sister was a trailblazer in our home. She started a nonprofit in Africa helping minority women find a way forward with their lives and it led her to pursue a degree in Philadelphia,” explains Voreza. “She thought I would be a great candidate for an MBA program in America. She showed me the possibilities.”
In 2013, Voreza, then in her late twenties, came to the U.S. for the first time to attend Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. The program was expensive but she earned a scholarship to cover half of her tuition. The rest was scraped together by family.
“Even then, I felt so grateful—for my family who sacrificed for me and this school that believed in me and gave me an opportunity,” Voreza adds.
The opportunities continued to come. At Simon she focused her studies on brand management, which helped her to land an internship and solidified her interest in financial models and data. A few months before graduating she secured her first job in the Strategic Pricing Leadership Development Program at Parker. Just one year later, she was promoted to division pricing manager at the Fluid Control Division in New Britain, Connecticut and today, she is division strategic pricing manager at the Stratoflex Products Division in Fort Worth, Texas. As part of her divison’s Diversity and Inclusion High Performance Team, Voreza is both a strong proponent of—and catalyst for—change, purpose and positive impact.
“I’ve felt this deep sense of connection in each department and each location where I’ve worked,” says Voreza. “They welcomed me, the company sponsored my work visa. It’s more than just a job, it’s family.”
And family takes care of family. Voreza’s success has not only created a better future for her, it’s enabled her to support family back in Kenya and empowered her to be a role model for others—creating a positive ripple effect that’s impossible to measure.
“My hope is to champion this idea that you can be who you want to be without limitations. You can transcend economic factors, social factors, ethnicity or race, anything that limits certain people and propels others. Everyone who has the interest and the capability to do something should have that opportunity.”
This is a point she can’t help but think about when she flies home each year. “Every time our plane is landing in Nairobi, I feel a sense of pride,” says Voreza. “I tell my family that our Parker aerospace parts are enabling that flight, creating a better tomorrow for us—as individuals, as a family, but also as a society.”