children leaders, leadership

Teaching leadership: Helping children become leaders and develop strong communication skills

Teaching leadership skills is something every parent hopes to instill in their children. After all, helping children become leaders has many advantages. Kids that develop into leaders generally have a strong sense of self-esteem. Self-esteem provides kids with confidence and the drive to excel.

children leaders, leadership

Kids that develop into leaders generally have a strong sense of self-esteem. (Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels)

As we gear up for the back-to-school season, parents and children alike are saying goodbye to summer and preparing for the changes ahead. After over a year of virtual learning and hybrid classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have announced the return to in person learning. Returning to the in-person classroom will be a change for many, especially children who were young or new to school when the pandemic began.

However, many children are also eager to return to school. Sure, it’s bittersweet saying goodbye to summer, but being around peers again and having daily structure is something many children secretly miss, especially after such turbulent and unpredictable times. In addition to the structure and social aspects of in person learning, school also provides children with the opportunity to take on leadership roles, from leading class discussions and projects to taking on roles in extracurricular clubs and sports, these activities help strengthen and develop those crucial leadership skills. However, school is only one of the many avenues through which children can develop these skills. Perhaps more crucial, is what they are learning at home.

Nurturing and developing leadership skills at home

Many people may wonder: what makes some kids grow up to become great leaders while others grow into adulthood lacking the ability to organize a game of kickball?

Experts argue that certain children are natural born leaders. Some kids are born with an innate ability to take charge and execute on a vision they conceive in their minds. But those same experts also agree that leadership skills can be learned and need not be reserved for the lucky few born with the leadership gene. It is possible to develop leadership skills within all kids – and the earlier the lessons begin, the earlier they develop their leadership style.

teaching leadership, parenting,

You don’t have to wait for a certain age to begin teaching leadership. In fact, the earlier the lessons start, the earlier children will develop leadership skills. (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

Helping children become leaders has many advantages. Kids that develop into leaders generally have a strong sense of self-esteem. Self-esteem provides kids with confidence and the drive to excel.

Leaders also develop strong communication skills. As these young leaders accept greater and greater responsibility, they are required to interact with others. These interactions develop within them stronger-than-average communication abilities that assist them in other aspects of their lives.

teaching leadership

Children become leaders by learning from example. (Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels)

Finally, developing leaders acquire the skill of negotiation and learn how to work with others. As these emerging leaders increase their leadership activity they are placed into situations that require collaboration and compromise – skills that are greatly valued.

  1. Make Leadership Part of Your Child’s Vocabulary: “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter Drucker

If you’re going to help your child develop as a leader you need to describe what a leader is and does. The best way to do that is to make leadership a term that is used frequently to describe favorable traits. Conversations about leadership can originate when talking about the things other students did at school, the traits of characters in their favorite television shows, or the examples described in books they read or had read to them. Highlight leadership traits such as honesty, perseverance, kindness, creativity, intelligence, etc.

  1. Give Your Child Opportunities to Learn and Exercise Leadership: “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” – Albert Einstein

Leadership opportunities begin the moment at which your child begins to interact with other children. Beginning with preschool, through Boys Scouts/Girl Scouts to AYSO and Little League, and into cheerleading and science club – every day provides a venue for your child to put to use your leadership lessons. Be sure to observe as much as possible and provide feedback one-on-one. Remember to praise your child for exercising leadership.

  1. Set a Leadership Example: “Example is leadership.” – Albert Schweitzer

Leadership is best taught by example. Be sure to share your leadership experiences with your child. When possible, bring your child along to view you in action! If you volunteer at the local library, belong to the local Rotary Club or serve as an elected official, share your leadership experiences with your child to give your child something that links your conversations to the real world.

  1. Go Easy on Your Child: “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” – Soren Kierkegaard

As your child gets older, peer pressure increases. While all parents wish that children would avoid any form of peer pressure, the reality is that they live in a very difficult world. As a parent developing a leader, what is most important is to monitor your child, communicate openly and describe their actions that may be inconsistent with the acts of a leader. Refer to your conversations regarding the traits of leaders. These conversations may become more difficult as your child grows and becomes more independent. Have faith and trust that your child will respond appropriately when outside of your influence.

You might be interested: How MiLegasi’s founder deals with resilience in children during COVID-19

NJ Latina leaders announce launch of Latina Civic PAC 

Statewide Latina leaders Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, Laura Matos and Andrea Martinez-Mejia recently announced the launching of a newly formed organization – Latina Civic. 

On Twitter, the organization announced that Latina Civic will be a rebrand / spin-off of LUPE PAC, an organization that began in 1999 in collaboration with the Hispanic National Bar Association to organize a national training event for Latinas interested in running for public office. This initial event led to the official launch of LUPE in 2001. 

Latina Civic

NJ Latina Leaders announce launch of LUPE PAC rebrand / spin-off, Latina Civic PAC. (Image source)

For years, LUPE helped Latinas through training and networking opportunities. Then, after successfully graduating many Latinas from campaign training, it became clear that LUPE needed to expand its work beyond training and networking opportunities, and in 2009 LUPE PAC was launched. The  non-partisan political action committee, focused solely on providing financial support to progressive Latinas who make the leap and run for office, is now launching a rebrand / spin-off, Latina Civic PAC, which will work to continue the mission of supporting Latinas’ pursuits in civic life and leadership. 

With an eye on the growing Latina engagement in civic and electoral activities in the state of New Jersey, Latina Civic forms three separate entities that creates diverse opportunities for participation and engagement of Latinas in all aspects of the political process. From education and training to issue advocacy & electoral candidate support the ultimate goal is getting Latinas’ voices heard at the ballot box and in the public sphere.

Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, LUPE PAC board member and Latina Civic Action President. (Image Source)

“Supporting women will continue to be at the forefront of our organization’s mission. New Jersey is a state with so much opportunity and potential for Latinas; our growing numbers as a population also means that we must enhance our capacity to generate policy ideas, advocate on behalf of our families and engage voters to vote for our issues and our candidates. We look forward to working with our partners to increase equity of opportunity and political power for Latinas across the state,” said Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina.

“We are very excited that this incredible group of women will continue to collectively address the dire need for increased representation in all levels of elected and appointed office in New Jersey,” adds Laura Matos. “This continued effort and coordinated approach will be fundamental in making tangible change in the demographics of our elected and appointed officials.” 

Increasing numbers of Latinas in civic leadership

As a non-partisan political action committee, Latina Civic PAC’s mission is to increase the number of Latinas in elected and appointed office in the State of New Jersey. The committee promotes and supports progressive leaders who stand up for an agenda that invests in Latina political leadership and advances critical issues that matter to Latinas in New Jersey. The PAC will also continue to distribute tens of thousands of dollars every election cycle to endorsed Latinas throughout the state.

“Many of us have worked for over twenty years to empower Latinas across the state to be civically engaged. Our community represents over 19% of the population in New Jersey, and we look forward to the day that our representation in elected offices is reflective of that number,” said Arlene Quinones Perez, who will serve as General Counsel.

LUPEPAC’s fact sheet reports that there are over 831,000 Latino eligible voters in New Jersey–the seventh largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally, and 52% of eligible Latino voters in NJ are Latinas.

Additionally, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, Latina representation in New Jersey’s government is as follows: 

NJ driver's licenses, Senator Teresa Ruiz

Senator Teresa Ruiz (L) with Susana G Baumann, Latinas in Business Inc. at the 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo.

Out of 120 seats in the legislature, only 8 Latinas occupy those seats:

Out of 137 County Freeholder seats, only 4 Latinas occupy those seats:

  • Germaine Ortiz (D-Bergen)
  • Carmen Rodriguez (D-Camden)
  • Caridad Rodriguez (D-Hudson)
  • Blanquita Valenti (D-Middlesex)

Out of 65 County Constitutional Officers in NJ, only one Latina serves in those seats: Bernice Toledo (D-Passaic). Out 74 cities with population over 30,000 residents, only one Latina serves as Mayor: Wilda Diaz, Perth Amboy. No Latina from New Jersey has ever served as a U.S. Congresswoman or US Senator.

You might be interested: “I’m tired of waiting”: Latina Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz runs for Mass. Governor 

Latina Civic’s mission will be to increase these numbers through education and training. 

“Educating and training Latinas to be civically engaged will be paramount in all that we do at the Foundation. We will work hard to ensure that Latinas receive the necessary tools to be competitive in New Jersey, which has been a difficult process thus far,” added Andrea Martinez-Mejia.

Sonia Chang-Díaz

“I’m tired of waiting”: Latina Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz runs for Mass. Governor 

Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, the only woman of color currently serving in the Massachusetts Senate and the first Latina elected to the state’s Senate, announced via Twitter that she will be running for governor in 2022. 

Sonia Chang-Díaz

Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz announces bid for Mass. Governor. (Image via Twitter)

Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz wastes no time in doing good

Sonia Chang-Díaz, a former public school teacher, was first sworn into office in 2009 and represents the 2nd Suffolk District. From a young age, she was instilled with the values of justice and equity and taught the importance of taking action. 

In her campaign announcement video, published on Twitter, Sonia shares her family background, saying her mother was a social worker and her father was an immigrant from Costa Rica who came to the U.S. with only $50 in his pocket and went on to become NASA’s first Latino astronaut, Franklin Chang-Díaz. 

“If my mom can spend a lifetime helping kids escape poverty, surely Massachusetts can pass a Millionaires Tax to help more children get a better start in life,” she says in the video. “If America can send a poor kid from Costa Rica to space, surely Massachusetts can green our infrastructure and close the racial wealth divide.

Sonia Chang-Díaz’s father, Franklin Chang-Díaz, NASA’s first Latino astronaut in space. (Image via Twitter

Since she was a child, Sonia’s family taught her there is no time to waste in doing good. And she has proven that since her election into office in 2008; she has wasted no time in leading a movement to make bold, transformational change for working families in Massachusetts. 

In her career thus far, Sonia has made a name for herself surrounding the issues of education funding and criminal justice reform. One landmark win in education funding reform was her work in securing $1.5 billion in new aid to K-12 districts across the state. She wrote and championed for this funding, ultimately securing the groundbreaking win. In the area of criminal justice, she has led the charge for criminal justice reform and repealing racist sentencing rules and serves as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights and Inclusion. Additionally she has helped negotiate an overhaul of policing oversight and accountability laws last year in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

“I’m running for Governor because I’m tired of waiting” 

As someone who has never wasted time in doing what needs to be done and fighting for the people’s rights, Sonia is taking the next step to ensure that Massachusetts working families are being cared for and getting what they need to thrive. 

In her Tweet announcing her bid for Massachusetts Governor, she declares: 

“I’ve spent my life listening to powerful people tell me to slow down. To think smaller. To wait,” Sonia says in her campaign video. “Voters didn’t send me to the State Senate to wait….Every day it gets harder for working families to live here. Health care and housing costs get higher, Black and brown kids face yawning opportunity gaps. If we don’t act now, we’ll be having the same conversation about the same problems in another 10 years.”

In her video, she continues by vowing to push back against “Beacon Hill insiders” who have “dragged their feet every step of the way, saying, ‘Think smaller.’” 

But Sonia has never been one to think small or hold back. “Instead, we fought unapologetically for the things working families actually need,” she says. “The trouble is, that kind of urgency in our state government is still the exception rather than the rule. Too many leaders are more interested in keeping power than doing something with it. I’m running to change that.”

You might be interested: Dr. Marlene Orozco demystifies misconceptions about Latinas through data

In addition to education and criminal justice reform, Sonia has been a leading champion for fair taxation, affordable housing, reliable and green public transportation, protections for immigrants, increased assistance for small and local entrepreneurs, capped fare increases for public transportation, advanced environmental justice reforms, and expanded voting rights. 

With her bid for Governor, Sonia Chang-Díaz joins Harvard University professor Danielle Allen–the first Black woman to run for governor in a major political party in the state’s history, and former state Sen. Ben Downing in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn supports Latina entrepreneurs at 2021 WEES 

Latinas in Business is honored to welcome Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn as a guest speaker at tonight’s 2020 – 2021 Latina Leaders Awards Ceremony as part of the THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit. 

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit

Assemblywoman, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn is the Assemblymember and State Committee Woman/District Leader for New York State’s 42nd Assembly District representing Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood and Ditmas Park in Brooklyn. She is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs), which serves to promote economic diversity in New York State.

A champion for small minority and women owned businesses

Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn is an accomplished leader, a former Wall Street banker, engineer and small business owner who has leveraged her experience in the free market to push public-private partnership initiatives across the state. She has sponsored legislation in the Assembly which reauthorized the MWBE program for five more years under article 15-A; raised the personal net worth cap for MWBE applicants from $3.5 million to $15 million, making more businesses eligible for the MWBE program; increased discretionary purchasing thresholds from $200,000 to $500,000; and created mentorship/workforce development programs as well as a pilot program that expands contracting opportunities for small/MWBE businesses with a total value of up to $20 million. Bichotte Hermelyn has established relationships with the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC), School Construction Authority (SCA) and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY); and all have set MWBE hiring goals. 

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, surrounded by fellow Assemblymembers and members of the Women’s Builders Council, speaks about MWBE legislation and opportunities that exist for women. December 6, 2017 (Image source)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she championed bills to jump start the economy and improve equity for minority and women-owned small business owners. Bichotte Hermelyn hosted a webinar and participated in several panels with MWBE stakeholders to help them navigate the Coronavirus crisis and access resources, including grants and loans, and helped with strategies to reduce the spread of the virus. She provides annually, a platform that promotes networking, education, and resources for existing or potential MWBEs through a series of workshops at the National Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Conference. Under her leadership, the number of certified MWBE firms in New York State has more than doubled. The state has also set a goal of utilizing MWBEs for 30% of all state contracts, the highest rate in the nation. 

Her lifelong commitment to public service

Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn is also incredibly committed to public service. Since her election in 2010 as District Leader, she has used her position to facilitate and sponsor a number of community events in Flatbush, such as the first voter’s forum, which promoted fair elections, voters rights and voting demonstrations with the Board of Elections; the largest candidate forum in Brooklyn; annual senior luncheons; safe streets initiatives; and the largest Brooklyn funding forum to help non-profits learn how to access government funding.

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn and other community members gather together for a food distribution at the Flatbush Garden Community Center, June 12, 2020. (Image source)

Her advocacy centers on providing resources on affordable housing and home ownership, financial literacy of her communities, public safety initiatives and better relationships with law enforcement, affordable healthcare, high-quality public and private education, and economic development, especially for individuals seeking to open small businesses. She has lobbied in New York City, Albany and Washington as a District Leader for affordable housing and healthcare, against cuts for special education programs, an increase in the minimum wage, and growth in the small businesses and tech sector.

Now in her fourth term, it is Bichotte Hermelyn’s mission to continue to help those underrepresented and underserved in the business world recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, gain access to capital, access mentorship programs and business networks, and get opportunities to develop their business skills.

2021 WEES

Last chance to REGISTER for today’s must-attend event for all entrepreneurs, business owners, and career oriented professionals. Get the tools you need to THRIVE! post-pandemic.

Professionally, Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn has worked in a number of different capacities such as a New York Math teacher in the public school education system; an engineer in the telecommunications industry where she traveled to Japan and China on assignments; and an investment banker in the financial services industry structuring corporate finance deals. Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn was an MIT Fellow: Mel King Co-Lab Project. She earned and holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, a BS in Electrical Engineering from SUNY Buffalo, a BS in Mathematics in Secondary Education and a BT in Electrical Engineering both from Buffalo State College.

Jennifer Cortez, Dallas District 2,

Latina immigration reform activist Jennifer Cortez promises bold change as Dallas City Council candidate 

Jennifer Cortez is a third generation Tejana, immigration reform activist, grassroots community organizer, and Latina entrepreneur running for Dallas City Council’s District 2 seat. 

A leader for the people

Jennifer Cortez, Dallas District 2,

Jennifer Cortez, immigration reform activist Dallas District 2 City Council candidate. (Image Source)

For over 15 years, Jennifer Cortez has been a servant leader and avid reform activist in her community of Dallas, Texas. As a leader, she is committed to creating innovative solutions that are inclusive and welcoming to all. Throughout her career as an activist, Jennifer has worked to uplift the voices of marginalized groups. 

In 2006, as a student Jennifer helped lead a 500,000 people march for immigration reform, the largest protest in Dallas’ history. She then co-founded the North Texas Dream Team, the first immigration reform group in the area, connecting students nationwide to form United We Dream. 

Jennifer’s activism also contributed to the creation of the Black & Brown/Latinx majority serving Congressional District 33 in 2010 when she and other leaders collaborated to increase voter turnout. 

Most recently, Jennifer helped establish Dallas’ first-ever Community Police Oversight board after the police brutality protests last year. The issue of community safety and police accountability is close to Jennifer’s heart after her apartment neighbor, Botham Jean, was shot and killed in his living room by a Dallas Police Officer. 

“Dallas needs a voice who isn’t afraid to strive for bold changes. I’ll tackle criminal justice reform and fight poverty head on,” said Jennifer. 

Jennifer is committed to being the change the community needs. She hopes to use her power, if elected, to bring about positive, inclusive, transformative change.

Bold change for a better future

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light many deep societal issues, including the effects of systemic racism. Black and Latino communities have disproportionately suffered through pandemic related hardships more than other groups. From being more likely to contract the virus due to health disparities and poor access to healthcare, to unemployment and business closures, the pandemic has made very clear the need for reform is now. 

Jennifer herself was inspired to run after her own experience with COVID-19. In an article by Kera News, Jennifer said she decided to run for council while laying on her couch, sick with COVID-19, and unable to move. She described the moment as “spiritual.” 

“I was like, ‘OK, if I live, I will do something.’ I’ll use this privilege to do something bigger and to see what happens if we do the experiment of the people versus the money in the city of Dallas,” Jennifer told Kera News

You might be interested: Change is HER: Inspire women to run for public office 

Now she is running for Dallas City Council District 2 in an effort to finally make the big strides in progress that the people deserve. 

Four key priority areas of Jennifer’s campaign are Housing, Access & Relief, Public Safety, and Mobility & Sustainability. 

Jennifer Cortez, Dallas City Council election,

A leader for Bold Change. Jennifer Cortez’s priorities as District 2 City Council candidate. (Image Source)

If elected to Dallas City Council, Jennifer will work to ensure housing rights for all, equitable access to basic needs and resources, a holistic approach to public safety, mobility solutions, and environmental justice. 

Election day for Dallas City Council is May 1st.

Dr. Harbeen Arora

Dr. Harbeen Arora on Sisterhood, Spirituality, and Success

Thought Leader, Global Icon & Visionary for Women, Businesswoman, Philanthropist, Humanitarian, Author, Spiritual Seeker and Compelling Speaker, Dr. Harbeen Arora manifests multifaceted leadership with strength & simplicity.

Dr. Harbeen Arora

At Annual Women Economic Forum (WEF) 2018, India (Photo courtesy Dr. Harbeen Arora)

Dr. Harbeen Arora is the Founder and Global Chairperson of the ALL Ladies League (ALL) and Women Economic Forum (WEF). With a powerful global network of 200,000 women worldwide and growing toward ‘Mission Million’, ALL and WEF are among the largest communities of women entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide offering platforms and ecosystems for personal and professional growth. 

Born in New Delhi, Arora grew up with a great focus on education, values, and the spirit of service. Both her parents worked so growing up she always knew a woman to be independent.

“At home, I saw them both share the household chores. So we saw that balance in action, and we too, my brother and I, learned about responsibility, independence and teamwork from an early age. We were both treated equally without any one of us feeling any gender bias. We had the same rules to follow at home and same opportunities for education and growth,” says Arora. 

It was due to this great foundation of equality in her household that it took her a while to understand the depths of discriminatory biases that held women back in the economy and society. However, once she saw them she could not stop seeing them everywhere. Realizing that her upbringing was unfortunately not the norm for most women drove Arora to pursue various avenues to help better the lives of women and push toward gender equality.

Self-fulfillment and following seeking your life’s path

Additionally, the values learned in childhood – hard work, team spirit, responsibility, service; have served her immensely in her career and in life. 

“I also learned en route about the importance of having endless reserves of positive energy and resilience,” she says. “My spiritual path greatly opened up that possibility for me.”  

Always a seeker, the core of Dr. Harbeen Arora’s pursuits, both personal and professional, is self-fulfillment.   Learning, evolution, expansion and self-transformation are important life goals for her, and these goals guide and drive most of her pursuits. 

Dr. Harbeen Arora

At Women Economic Forum (WEF) 2018 Los Angeles (Photo courtesy Dr. Harbeen Arora)

“The path reveals itself to the seeker. No matter where you are in your journey, if you have an open mind and pure heart, life will place you on the track you are supposed to be on for your own growth and awakening. When we listen to our inner voice, follow our intuitive guidance, take actions and steps forward on our path, we also meet our destiny en route,” says Arora. 

“I have always been most passionate about working and learning. Goals and dreams may change, but what I enjoy most is the learning part of it. Learning, working and walking in purpose greatly uplifts you as a human being. That constant opening up of the mind, broadening of horizons, change of perspective, spiritual expansion and blossoming of the energy – all these are very important to me and drive me as a person,” she adds. 

Empowering a worldwide network of women 

Dr. Harbeen Arora’s passion for learning drove her to pursue degrees in multiple fields. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Delhi University, a Masters from King’s College, London University and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), and PhD from Sorbonne Nouvelle, University of Paris III. 

Throughout her years pursuing her education and later in her career, Arora again and again experienced great revelations about the strengths we each hold. 

“In 2000, going to Paris for my M.Phil and PhD, without knowing a word of French, and then writing my doctoral theses in French, was a revelation to me of the immense inner strength we hold to accomplish whatever we set our heart and mind on. It greatly built my self-belief, spirit of risk-taking, and self-reliance,” she shares. 

Receiving Award for Women Empowerment from the H.E President of Egypt. (Photo courtesy Dr. Harbeen Arora)

“Then again, in 2011, we sowed the seeds of a dream to unite ALL the women of the world as a worldwide web of women. We started the ALL Ladies League (ALL), that forms the backbone of our now famous conference platform, the Women Economic Forum (WEF), and then instituted business and industry chamber Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (WICCI) that gives policy recommendations to the government from time to time, and now our global e-commerce marketplace for our global community, SHEconomy.” 

As of 2020, the Women Economic Forum (WEF) completed 41 global editions across 25 countries. Their last annual event was in March 2020 in Egypt. Since the lockdown the WEF has held their events virtually, which has given them the opportunity to expand their digital reach. 

“We have a Mission Million for 2022 and the digital outreach is, now more than ever, integral to the realisation of that vision. Our completely free e-commerce platform for women entrepreneurs worldwide, SHEconomy, is a game changer in this direction,” says Arora. 

You might be interested: Stacie de Armas on breaking stereotypes and advocating for Latinas

In ALL’s decade-long engagement, they have fostered a worldwide ecosystem of “sisterhood,” for empowering support networks and safe spaces where women can come together to help one another. Arora says, “Empowering women’s social and economic leadership is at the heart of ALL what we do. We are non political, non religious and non dogmatic.” 

Sisterhood, Spirituality, and Success 

With a massive network of 250,000 women and supporters connected worldwide including in Latin America, the WEF are surely and steadily on their way toward realizing their “Mission Million” dream. 

“It helps that we are founded and headquartered in India, the cradle of civilization that has forever welcomed and embraced ALL, with a most inclusive vision for humanity and the world as ‘One Divine Family,’ as said in the Vedic phrase ‘Vasudeva Kutumbkam’,” says Arora. “Our guiding spiritual mantra is ‘Love ALL, Serve ALL.’ I’m a devotee of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and I strongly feel a divine hand and guidance. I’m in absolute awe of what is unfolding for I know the divine feminine is manifesting through this bond of sisterhood, through each one of us who carries a piece and part of the greater feminine.” 

Fostering the spirit of sisterhood is a crucial step toward closing the gender gap, according to Dr. Arora. “We believe that in order to close the He/She gender gap (and by extension, education gap, security gap, respect gap, opportunity gap, wage gap …), we absolutely need to first close the She/She gender gap,” says Arora. “Thus ours is a She-for-She movement, with outreach toward She-for-He and She-for-All. Ours is a movement of Gender Equality without Gender Divisiveness; from a place of Positivity (of attitude/approach/conduct), Power (of self-belief) and Purpose (of the collective aspiration).” 

At Women Economic Forum (WEF) Tunisia 2019, with Nobel Peace Laureate 2015, Ouided Bouchamaoui (right), and then Minister Neziha Labidi (left). (Photo courtesy Dr. Harbeen Arora)

Through the various platforms– ALL, WEF, WICCI, and SHEconomy–Dr. Arora has helped women come together and create a solidarity of “sisters beyond borders.” In this process of pursuing Oneness as sisters Dr. Arora has been spiritually uplifted by a vision of Equality, spirit of Equanimity, and surrender to Eternity. 

“We all have our challenges, and everyone is fighting their own battles. My humble learning over the years while facing challenges big and small is this – our Self-Belief and “Atma-Vishwas,” viz. our faith in the eternity and infinity of our own Soul and Self is the source of tremendous inner strength. By tapping into this inner (divine) strength, one can face all kinds of challenges with courage and resilience. This is the education of the heart and spirit.”

Throughout life, Arora says her greatest challenge has always been understanding herself and her purpose in life and how to implement her highest vibration in her day to day work. This is especially true for many who may think that one’s highest spiritual goals are incompatible with the pursuits of business and real life challenges. However, Dr. Arora says she has learned throughout her journey that it is possible to match both and lead a happy, fulfilling, balanced and successful life. She defines success as awakening. 

“Success is about awakenings and openings, about finding doors so to say, and we indeed hold the key to that. We succeed every moment by simply holding up the attitudes of ‘never say die’, not quitting, and always doing whatever we can to the best of our abilities even in the worst of our circumstances.”

Healing Leadership

Healing Leadership: A conversation with Dr. Ginny Baro about the need for great leaders

Author of the #1 Bestseller, Fearless Women at Work, delivers her second book, Healing Leadership, that explores the secrets of healing leadership and recommends high-performance habits for improving self-leadership and developing a growth mindset and resilience. 

Ginny Baro

Dr. Ginny Baro, #1 bestselling author, award-winning international motivational speaker, certified leadership coach, and career strategist

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning international motivational speaker, certified leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. Named one of the Top 100 Global Thought Leaders, she delivers coaching programs, trainings, and keynotes to global audiences to develop individual women and leaders and helps Fortune 500 companies build inclusive leadership dream teams. Prior to starting ExecutiveBound®, Baro, who holds a Ph.D. in information systems, an MS in computer science, an MBA in management and a BA in Computer Science and Economics, was a director at Lord, Abbett & Co., LLC. She also worked for Alliance Bernstein and Prudential. She immigrated to the U.S. at age 14 from the Dominican Republic and speaks fluent Spanish. Healing Leadership (Bavaro Press) is her second book.

You might be interested: Changing leadership after #METOO a conversation with executive coach Dr. Ginny Baro

The genesis behind Healing Leadership: A conversation with Susana Baumann and Dr. Ginny Baro

Latinas in Business CEO and President, Susana G Baumann, sat down with Dr. Baro to discuss her upcoming book, Healing Leadership, which comes out April 14th, 2021. 

The highly anticipated book did not start out as a book at all. Originally it began as a series of interviews with five leaders that Ginny conducted for her Fearless Leaders Challenge, a five day training event for Fearless Women At Work, back in the middle of the pandemic during May 2020. The focus of the interviews was to explore three main questions: What are the critical skills that leaders need right now in the middle of a pandemic, where there’s so much uncertainty? What can companies do to develop their leaders and their talent during this time when people are virtual? And what can leaders do to develop a unique edge?

Healing Leadership

Dr. Ginny Baro’s upcoming book, Healing Leadership. Out April 14th.

Ginny Baro 

Those were the three questions that I was very curious about. So I went through the five interviews. And when I finished, I started to write out a framework for the Fearless Leaders Challenge….Well, what I realized is that intuitively, what I wrote out was the table of contents for a new book, not for a five day challenge. There were way too many subjects to be covered in five days. And that was the genesis of Healing Leadership….I know the last 30 years that I’ve been around working, I have been exposed to so many different types of leaders and I knew  from that experience that leaders make or break an organization, and that so many of us leaders never received a manual of how to be great leaders. And so this became my goal to not only talk about my experiences, but also bring other leaders’ experiences to be part of this project. And that’s how you got involved in this book and 40 other leaders along with you.

Susana G Baumann  15:29  

Yes. And I thank you very much for the opportunity. It was fun to do the podcast and then to read the result of the interview was really very, very humbling. Now, Ginny, what is the core topic of healing leaders leadership? What do you think leadership needs to be healed?

Ginny Baro  15:54  

So yes, by the title Healing Leadership, it implies that there’s healing to be done. So that the healing to be done, from my perspective, is that there dis-ease, disease in leadership today. And like I mentioned, there, we were never taught, we were never trained to be good or great leaders and inclusive leaders. If we’re lucky to have a good role model, then we lucked out. But if we don’t have a good role model that we can emulate, we end up doing a lot of things that create the toxic work cultures that marginalize people at work. And that, quite frankly, doesn’t do justice to the talent that we are leading. And so that is really the core of all the topics that I discussed in the book have to do with: how do we show up as leaders in a way that, rather than create a toxic culture, it cultivates the type of inclusive culture that allows all of our talent to flourish based on their qualities and their abilities? How can we as leaders cultivate those talents, so that we can coach, mentor, and develop them and so that those that have what it takes can rise to the top and continue the leading legacy and be able to lead our teams to higher productivity, to be more cohesive, to collaborate, to innovate, and do all the things that we need our businesses to do to survive and thrive.

Susana G Baumann  17:35  

Very, very interesting. Now, you mentioned that you started with five interviews, right? And then you ended having 41. So how did you select the people who were going to be part of your book number one? And second, what was the reaction when you extended the invitation?

Ginny Baro  18:00  

So number one, I just want to say that if you have any project where you’re thinking of involving other people, people, I think, by nature, meet their need for contribution when they say yes to you. And so number one is I made sure that the topic was interesting, “healing leadership”, everybody said, ‘I’ll talk about that.’ Right? Everybody has an opinion about what critical skills leaders need. Everybody has an opinion as to how they should be developing leaders. And everyone has an opinion about how to develop a unique edge, because the leaders that I asked, they had all done all of those things. So I went out with the goal of finding diversity. I wanted to include the voices of leaders who were just emerging, and leaders who had retired. So I speak to Nicole who’s only been in business for four years out of college. And I speak to Jerome and Nick Donofrio who ran IBM, and who also were the CEO of Sealed Air, the inventor of bubble wrap. So everything in-between, including Susana Baumann, the leader of Latinas in Business, of course, and Pilar Avila, who as we know, or everybody who knows Pilar, she’s running Renovad, and she is really transforming how women show up as leaders in business. And so when you get such a beautiful array of people from different sectors, profit, nonprofit, from different industries, from financial services to pharma, all over the place, I believed that that was going to give the book nice texture and background and speaks to the value of diversity and inclusion.

experiential retreats

Pilar Avila, Founder and CEO, InterDUCTUS and Renovad

Susana G Baumann  20:21  

Which gives you a fantastic opportunity to showcase like you said, a very, very wide range of opinions and attitudes towards leadership, and also different modalities and different styles of leadership, which is important for people to be able to choose, ‘Well, this is my my type of leadership that I can follow and service.’ 

Ginny Baro 20:45

Absolutely. Yeah. 

Susana G Baumann 20:47

So Ginny, tell me, just to end this interview: What is the main takeaway? Why do I have to buy the book? 

Ginny Baro  21:16  

For me, it’s really about what I mentioned, we did not get a leadership manual when we became leaders. And I believe that leadership is a skill that can be developed, like anything when it comes to self development, when we take ourselves and our development seriously, and we identify what are those leadership skills are: communication, empathy, empowering our team, setting the vision, being the conduit for change and transformation, leading with flexibility, all those skills that are so important as leaders, that once we know what they are, we can become that type of leader.

Dr. Ginny Baro on leadership: “I believe that leadership is a skill that can be developed…and when we identify what are those leadership skills are: communication, empathy, empowering our team, [etc]…we can become that type of leader.”

And if we’re not leading in our business roles, right now, guess what? We are all leaders in our own life. So my biggest takeaway and desire for this book is for people to have this roadmap. And they can assess, ‘how am I doing against these critical leadership skills?’ And if they don’t have one of those skills, they now know and they have the tools in the book to acquire the skills, and the resources, because I’m also creating a wonderful community of leaders, where they can reach out to any of the 41 leaders, including myself, and learn more, and continue to expand their network. And this is one of the topics that I discussed at length in the book: How to build an inclusive network of allies and supporters that will support your career and that will help you reach your full potential, because we cannot do this alone. And if we even try, we will find out that we will fail really fast.

Susana G Baumann  22:58  

Correct. Yes, we have to create these networks of collaboration among leaders, among businesses, among women, among all the qualifiers and labels that you can imagine, because that’s when you get the momentum that is necessary to develop the type of leadership that we want for our children, for our employees, for our communities. That’s the attitude of service that you have had for many, many years. And I commend you extremely for that. I think you’re a really brilliant professional in what you do. And congratulations on the new book.

Ginny Baro  23:51  

Thank you, Susana, and I’m always so grateful to you.

To get your copy of Healing Leadership, out April 14th, and access everything related to the book from bonuses to downloads and become part of the Healing Leadership community, visit HealingLeadership.com

Stacie de Armas on breaking stereotypes and advocating for Latinas

Stacie de Armas is the Senior Vice President of Diversity Insights & Initiatives at Nielsen, where she conducts data harvesting, narrative development, and socialization of inclusive insights that cascade across multiple diverse identity groups—storytelling with a purpose. She is passionate about equity and advocacy for Latinos. 

Breaking stereotypes and advocating for equity

Stacie de Armas describes herself as “a Latina, a Cubana, a daughter, granddaughter, a sister, a tia, a mother, a seeker, and a teller of truth, ” and says being a Latinas has been her “superpower” in her work. At Nielsen, her position sits in a unique space that allows her to use Nielsen’s resources to uncover diverse community insights that empower and educate. Growing up, she never imagined she could do this job or have an extensive background as a consumer researcher, behaviorist, and thought leader in diverse communities. 

“I never knew I could be a researcher. Growing up, stereotypes surrounded me on television, if I saw myself at all. And I didn’t realize that I could be more,” says Stacie. “I didn’t see myself on screen, and when I did, I didn’t see a doctor, or a scientist, or a strong woman. I often saw Latinas presented in a light that I didn’t recognize and wasn’t my truth. In my job, I get to change that stereotype for all women.”  

Now, she’s breaking stereotypes for herself and others to show Latinas their power and potential. Looking back on her career, she notes a strong common thread of a passion for equity that has woven through all her experiences. 

“From the outside, my career seems like a series of opportunities that built on previous ones, but upon closer evaluation, you can see early signs of my passion for equity. At the time, however,  I didn’t quite see it like that. I thought all the advances I made were happenstance or serendipitous,” says Stacie. 

In one of her earliest working experiences, Stacie worked as a waitress throughout college. She was one of the few waitresses who spoke Spanish and soon formed fond friendships with the back-of-the-house staff. 

“I felt aligned and had common experiences with our Spanish-speaking team, and I really enjoyed those friendships. They were authentic. I felt like I belonged with them, and we had shared backgrounds,” Stacie says. “I found myself advocating for them in small ways.  As it happened, I saw early on there was inequity in how they were treated, and I found it hard to stand by and watch it unfold.”   

Later in college, Stacie began working at a bank, where she quickly fell into a role where she supported Latino clients. Again, because of her Latina background and ability to speak Spanish, Stacie found herself advocating for them. She transitioned from bank teller to supporting loan signings and new accounts, explaining the various documents that were not in Spanish at the time. Rather than just filling quotas, Stacie worked to help her Latino clients learn the inner workings of the U.S. banking system. 

advocacy for Latinos, breaking stereotypes, Stacie de Armas

On breaking stereotypes: “I never knew I could be a researcher. Growing up, stereotypes surrounded me on television if I saw myself at all. And I didn’t realize that I could be more.” (Photo courtesy Stacie de Armas)

“Naturally, I focused on this client base and found ways to meet their current needs without exorbitant fees. My clients would bring their friends and family, and others to bank with me. It was such an honor at the time, and I felt mutual respect.” 

After college, Stacie moved on from banking to work at an ad agency. Again, a similar situation presented itself. 

“I was an assistant buyer, and we worked primarily in English-speaking markets, but we did handle some Spanish language broadcast and cable network advertising buying for a few clients.  I noticed we didn’t have a good understanding of the offerings, the audience, or the value of the outlets we worked with. Our conversations and negotiations with our English language broadcasters were more detailed. The data was there, but evaluating our Spanish Language networks wasn’t a priority,” Stacie explains. 

So Stacie took the initiative and asked to focus on the Spanish market. She then began meeting with the agency’s Spanish language media companies and advocating for a new strategy that had more equity for Spanish media companies. And from there, she began handling most of the agency’s Spanish language buying and planning. 

“And so the story goes,” she says. “ Everywhere I ever went, as a white presenting Latina, I felt an obligation to stand with, beside, and for my comunidad. And it shone through in my work. My career grew in the space of consumer advocacy, specifically for the Latino consumer.  This passion for equity had presented itself early in my life, and I have carried it with me throughout my career.”  

You might be interested: A National Conversation with Latina Leaders to address Latina Small Business recovery in Post-Covid19 economic crisis

Be bold and do not let yourself be ignored

Now, Stacie is committed to breaking down barriers for other Latinas and empowering them to break through stereotypes, as she did, and made their dreams a reality. 

To other aspiring Latina professionals, Stacie says her best advice is to be bold. 

“I think we are often not taught about the value of being bold.  We confuse being bold for being aggressive. Being bold is assertive but not aggressive. It is a learned skill. The advantage of being bold is you don’t have to bring it up again,” she says. “My strengths are my bold but kind approach, empathy, and listening. They have served me throughout my career and allowed me to grow and serve.”  

advocacy for Latinos, breaking stereotypes

“We confuse being bold for being aggressive. Being bold is assertive, but not aggressive. It is a learned skill.” (Photo courtesy Stacie de Armas)

Look beyond your core experience and follow your passion

Another important lesson learned along the way is: Look beyond your core experience for professional involvement and follow your passion.

“When Nielsen acquired Arbitron in 2013, I was given the opportunity to stay on the commercial side of the business or grow my career in an area of community outreach and advocacy,” says Stacie. 

Until then, Stacie had focused mostly on the US Hispanic consumer, working specifically with ad agencies and radio stations to help them craft and shape their narratives to serve the Hispanic communities better. She had no real experience in grassroots community outreach and advocacy though she figured she could pivot her business advocacy skills for consumers into community advocacy. 

“Even though my heart was on the commercial side, I decided to accept the position in the community and consumer outreach group and extend my experiences.  I didn’t know it at the time, but this would be by far the most significant career-impacting decision that I would ever make,” says Stacie. “I never anticipated how my passion for diversity business issues would flourish or the professional opportunities that I would have as a result.” 

Throughout her career, she has faced some obstacles, one of which was the challenge of imparting her passion for and value of the community to those in decision-making roles. She found that oftentimes her passion was not transferable or understandable. However, data is universal and hard to refute. 

“Supporting your story, advocacy, or plan with data is paramount and makes your point unignorable.” 

So go out there and be bold, assertive, and passionate about your story, project, or mission. Make things happen, and don’t let limiting stereotypes stop you from reaching your highest potential.

National Conversation with Latina Leaders, Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery,

Announcing speakers for must-attend National Conversation with Latina Leaders event

Announcing nationally recognized speakers for the “Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery: Resources and Trends” virtual event, to discuss what’s next for Latinas and other minority owned small businesses who have experienced extreme hardship during the Post-Covid economic crisis. 

Latinas in Business Inc. announces an extraordinary group of speakers from around the country for their second virtual National Conversation with Latina Leaders event titled “Latina Small Business Post-Covid: Recovery Resources and Trends”. 

National Conversation with Latina Leaders, Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery,

Join us for our second virtual National Conversation with Latina Leaders event,“Latina Small Business Post-Covid: Recovery Resources and Trends.”

The event takes place Friday, March 19 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST – 9:00 am to 11:00 am PST on Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook. For free registration to this event visit https://latina-small-business-recovery.eventbrite.com. The event is open to all entrepreneurs regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. 

The President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc, Susana G Bauman states, “After this very challenging year, it is important to regroup and think strategically about how to recover and take charge of our businesses. I am very grateful for the response of these amazing Latina business leaders that will provide the knowledge and resources needed for businesses not only to survive, but to excel.”

Panel 1. Funding and Resources for Latina Small Business Recovery

Guest speaker: Jennifer Garcia

From CA, Jennifer Garcia, Interim CEO at Latino Business Action (LBAN). LBAN’s mission is to strengthen the United States by empowering Latino business owners to grow. Under her leadership, she oversaw four successful cohorts of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education (SLEI-Ed) Scaling Program empowering nearly 300 Latino and Latina entrepreneurs to complete this prestigious program. 

Guest speaker: Wendy Garcia

From NY, Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer at the Office of the NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, is another confirmed panelist. Wendy Garcia is responsible for increasing contracting opportunities for Women and Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and managing diversity related projects across all bureaus of the agency. 

Guest speaker: Christina Fuentes

From NJ, Christina Fuentes, Managing Director – Community Development within the Community Development Division at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Christina is responsible for developing, coordinating, and managing initiatives that support community development,  such as incentives and loans along with brownfield redevelopment, historic preservation, and small business services including traditional financing, technical assistance, partnering with Community Development Financial Institutions Fund’s (CDFI)  and COVID-19 recovery programs.

Panel 2.  Trends Impacting Growth in Post-COVID “New Normal”

Guest speaker: Rosario B Casas

From Bogota-Colombia, Rosario B Casas, a Colombian born serial entrepreneur and award-winning women-in-tech advocate has been confirmed as one of the panelists for the event. She is the Co-founder of XR Americas, a NYC headquartered software company, using spatial computing for workforce skills development, as well as the Co-Founder of Business Creative Partners (BCPartnersTech) leading digital adoption and transformation for Hispanic owned businesses. Additionally, she is self-admittedly obsessed with finding more women and Hispanics using technology to solve key global challenges.

Guest speaker: Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon

From NY, Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon, the Managing Partner of Avante Capital, is currently responsible for identifying, executing, and managing investment opportunities. Ivelisse is a longtime advocate and champion for women, minorities, and the underserved and underrepresented. She holds leadership roles in several local and national non-profit organizations and even launched a philanthropic organization called We Will with her two sisters, to support and empower underserved women and minorities in the areas of healthcare, education, and financial literacy. 

Guest speaker: Lucy Pinto

From NY, Lucy Pinto, Grow with Google Program Manager, works to level the playing field for communities who face digital divides and barriers to resources needed to grow. She manages the Grow with Google Digital Coaches Program which delivers free digital skills training for U.S. Black & Latino small businesses. The program has trained over 60,000 businesses on digital tools. work on initiatives that invest in communities that are underrepresented online to untap their potential, help them succeed, and drive bottom line impact. 

“Although it is evident that throughout the United States, Latino entrepreneurs have encountered extreme difficulty, it is important to note that they have been extremely resilient and have adapted their businesses to navigate these ever-changing conditions,” Baumann continued. 

Join us and all our supporting organizations in bringing solutions to America’s backbone, small businesses, and especially minority women and Latina-owned businesses, their talent, innovation and their constant sense of purpose to support their communities. 

Click HERE for registration. You won’t want to miss this event!