What does it mean to be a modern Latina in today’s convoluted world? How hard is it for Latinas to achieve success in a corporate career, as a business owner or pursuing some interest in the non-profit or political sector?
Patricia Campos-Medina, a nationally recognized labor and political leader, will be moderating a discussion panel on this topic at the Latina Symposium to be held by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey in Lyndhurst, NJ, on May 4th.
With more than 20 years experience on grassroots and labor organizing, coalition building, electoral campaigns at the local and national level and a stellar resume, Patricia has served in several Administrations, run campaigns for high profile candidates nationally and statewide, served in transition teams for the White House and still finds the time to be a caring wife and the mother of twin boys.
“The goal of this panel discussion is to get a sense of what it takes to a modern Latina to be successful in corporate, business or the non-profit sector,” Patricia told LatinasinBusiness.us. “I will ask our guests at the Latina Symposium to share their stories of success, how they balance family and career goals and find common ground to achieve success.”
Patricia will be moderating a panel of guest speakers that includes Diana Albarracin-Chicas, In Orbit Test Director, Space Systems Loral; Jeanine Mendez, Regional Greenlight Manager at Uber; and Denise P. Laskody, Principal at USA Architects, all of them modern Latinas that juggle careers, family and personal interests.
What is the definition of success for a modern Latina?
“The definition of success might be different for each of us. For me, I feel successful when I attain a certain level of personal or professional achievement and at the same time, I’m able to take care of and nurture my family as my mother did,” Patricia said. “My parents were blue collar workers who migrated from El Salvador and worked two and three low-paying jobs to support our family,” she shared. “They still found the time to be with my siblings and me, put a roof over our heads, and send us to school. These are the models of success I cherish,” she said.
Patricia has lived by those ethical standards, reaching high levels of recognition in labor and political leadership. She conducts leadership development professional and education programming for local and national leaders in the labor and non-profit sector with the Workers Institute at Cornell University.
The President of Latinas United for Political Empowerment (LUPE) PAC of NJ, and a co-founder Board member of PODER PAC (Washington DC), two organizations focused on developing Latinas leaders run for political office and increase representation of Latinas in politics, Patricia is considered a policy expert on workers rights, Latino voting rights, trade and US immigration policy.
Because of her expertise on trade policy and worker rights, Patricia served on the Transition Team of President Barack Obama in 2008, and served as a staff member of the United States Office on Trade under Pres. Bill Clinton and Pres. George Bush.
Do modern Latinas have it rough in the United States to achieve success?
As a political consultant with her own firm Campos Strategies, Patricia has worked on the electoral campaigns of Governor Jon Corzine, Mayor and Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Mayor Wilda Diaz of Perth Amboy and many other state-wide races in NJ. She has served on national roles as both Legislative and Political Director for several major international labor unions such as SEIU, UNITEHERE and UNITE.
“As a Latina, and especially many immigrant Latinas, it is hard for us to reach high decision-making levels in different sectors. For us, it is not enough to ‘lean in’ as Sheryl Sandberg said. Sometimes we lack that network of powerful or influential people who would open doors for us or help us overcome obstacles,” she explained.
For that reason, Patricia believes one key element in achieving success is to build a network of people who would support your career goals, starting with your family, spouse or partner, and following with your network in your workplace or industry.
“Although it was a different generation, my father was always supportive of my mother in many ways. My husband shares many domestic tasks and children’s care because he understands how important my career is to me,” Patricia explained. “Women need to be careful when they choose a partner; it must be someone who understands your goals, is supportive of your dreams, and is not threatened by your success,” she said. “More and more Latino men now understand that women also have career ambitions and support them. Women, on the other hand, need to set the rules from the start so their expectations are met in the relationship.”
On May 4th, Patricia will moderate a panel with other three formidable women who will share their definition of success, and how they manage career expectations and family goals. For additional information and registration, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201 935 0035.