in partnership
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(Image courtesy of Jennifer Le).

Mrs. World is a Seattleite, for the first time since 1984

Poised to perfection in stunning yellow, Seattleite Jennifer Le made history when she became the first Vietnamese woman to be crowned Mrs. World in May 2019.

As the most long-standing pageant for married women, Mrs. World was quite the title to obtain for Le after years of dedication. Congratulations 2019 Mrs. World Jennifer Le, Seattle couldn’t be more proud to call you our own!

But who is Jennifer really? And, what does her work through Mrs. World mean for Seattle?

Born to immigrant parents and raised in Kent, Le won her first crown as a Miss shortly before becoming a first generation college student at the University of Washington. There she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and began her career in the tech industry, first at Accenture and then at Facebook. Not what you might think the typical beauty queen does on her non-pageant days, right?

During my conversation with Le I asked what led her to pursue pageantry alongside her roles as a wife, mother, and career woman. She said that in the beginning she merely wanted to grow from a new, challenging experience, but soon she learned that there were so many more benefits to pageant life so she continued participating. In 2018 she claimed the title of Mrs. Vietnam World and that led her to the Mrs. World competition.

Through pageants, Le shared that women have the opportunity to hone their interpersonal and leadership skills, develop friendships with inspiring women from around the world, take pride in one’s individuality, make an impact in the community through volunteering, and have a platform or cause that is meaningful to them to support and raise awareness.

Le’s platform is one she takes seriously and it’s definitely something that Seattle will benefit directly from. During her reign, Le hopes to play a big role in closing the gender gap within the tech field. Because, well, women have a lot to offer! Le shared:

Working at Facebook opened my eyes to the world of tech. In my most previous role, I was a technical recruiter hiring PhDs specializing in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It's amazing to see how technology has changed and shaped our world - and of course, it will continue to permeate our daily lives even more so. And as it does, I think it's important that we focus on closing the gender gap - only 20% of tech workers are female. We need more women at the table and part of the building process. Diversity is so important, not just because it drives innovation, but because having fair representation will help ensure that the technology being created is relevant for women, too.
During my year as Mrs. World, I am focused on supporting organizations and programs that encourage more girls to think about tech and ultimately consider a career in tech. One of my main initiatives in this area is leading a conference for high school and college girls that will connect them to successful women in the tech industry and companies in the local area that value gender diversity."

Her passion for inspiring and propelling young women into the field of tech isn’t necessarily tied to being Mrs. World. It's simple to define who Jennifer Le is - an inspiration.

Of course, her title will give her access and a wider voice surrounding her platform, but in the years beyond her time as Mrs. World, Le intends to continue the conference. She hopes it will become an annual event and she has aspirations to grow a scholarship program through it. Hear that girls? Jennifer Le is helping pave the way for YOU to join an amazing industry - one that we interact with every single day!

Before wrapping up my conversation I couldn’t help but ask Le about some of her Seattle favorites. She listed List, Momiji, Cedars in U-district, Din Tai Fung, 8oz, and Canlis as her favorite Seattle restaurants and that the twice-baked almond croissants at Bakery Nouveau and egg tarts at Joy Palace are a perfect sweet treat!

So, next time you’re heading out for a bite, maybe pick one of these spots you just might run into Mrs. World!