corporate responsibility latina entrepreneur

First impressions count and how hiring companies can help

“Substantial research has affirmed the importance of first impressions while exploring a variety of factors that contribute to their formation,” an article by Mark Rowh of the American Psychological Association affirms.  “For example,” it continues, “a 2009 study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that factors ranging from clothing style to posture play a role in how impressions are formed.”

corporate responsibility latina entrepreneur first impressions

While significant money and energy has been invested in job training, resume preparation, and job creation, little has been done to address the most nuanced yet important aspect of job hunting – the interview suit. Despite the fact that prospects bring enhanced resumes and skills, they remain ill-prepared if they lack the proper attire.

The nonprofit Dress for Success describes the dilemma of Emerging Employees as a catch-22. Emerging Employees are preparing themselves to enter the workforce but without a job they cannot afford a suit. And without a suit they struggle to obtain a new job. In an effort to assist, Dress for Success has activated chapters throughout the U.S. to assist women with training and interview attire.

But nonprofits are not the only organizations lending a hand to Emerging Employees. For seven years Men’s Wearhouse, a national men’s apparel retailer, has coordinated a July clothing drive at over 1,100 Men’s Wearhouse locations. Men’s Wearhouse calls its annual clothing drive the National Suit Drive.

In an effort to encourage donations the retailer exchanges 50% discount certificates for donated suits, ties, jackets, shirts, pants, belts, and shoes. This smart incentive not only encourages donations, but also promotes new sales. Donated apparel is distributed to nonprofits throughout the country that provide job ready skills and training to unemployed and underemployed men.

LATINAS IN THE WORKFORCE first impressionsIn the post-Great Recession period Men’s Wearhouse has done a good job of listening to the masses. Today’s consumer expects more than just a product or service. In the post-recession era the business community is expected to reinvest into the communities from which it is earning its profits.

While many may dismiss the National Suit Drive campaign as merely a public relations tactic, the reality is that social responsibility is no longer an option – it is a requirement. In our social media-enabled society where every consumer is a potential influencer, corporations have learned that maintaining and maximizing profits requires a social responsibility strategy.

You might be interested: 5 Steps to a successful interview

In the case of Dress for Success and Men’s Wearhouse, these acts of charity can be the difference between getting the job and spending another week on unemployment. And of course, there should never be anything wrong with doing good business by doing good.

 

 

Robinson Cano, Félix Hernández, Pablo Sandoval y Yasiel Puig. Latino diversity

Latino managers discrimination is not a “corporate exclusive” practice

The “glass ceiling” or better yet “the brown ceiling” as it has been called when it refers to Latino managers discrimination in the workplace is not exclusive of Corporate America. Barriers to Latinos reaching high paying jobs also runs deep in sports as it is eloquently explained in this article written by Allen Barra and published on Truthdig under the title Latinos Still Face ‘Brown Ceiling’ for Big League Baseball Managers. 

Robinson Cano, Félix Hernández, Pablo Sandoval y Yasiel Puig. Latino diversity

Robinson Cano, Félix Hernández, Pablo Sandoval y Yasiel Puig. MBL and Getty Images from About.com/Hispanos

“Hi, America,” beamed George Lopez on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” in an August 2015 segment. “In case you haven’t heard, we’re taking all your jobs. At least the ones in your national pastime. Like the grass in California, your national pastime is getting browner and browner each year.”

Lopez was straighter than a José Altuve line drive. Since the rise of Roberto Clemente in the early 1960s, Latino players have come increasingly to dominate the game of Major League Baseball (MLB). Fifty years ago, there were three Latinos on the American League (AL) and five on the National League (NL) All-Star rosters (out of 55 players in total). According to Latinobaseball.com, 22 players on this year’s AL and NL All-Star rosterswere Latino, a full 35 percent.

That reflects the overall percentage in baseball today. According to Dr. Richard Lapchick (in his yearly Racial and Gender Report Card for the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport), just under 32 percent of MLB players on 2017 Opening Day rosters were Hispanic. That’s up from 28.5 percent the previous season, and that’s up from 14 percent in 1991, when Dr. Lapchick began publishing the Report Card.

One Latino country dominates the game. This season started out with 83 players from the Dominican Republic alone. Key and Peele had some fun with this in their “Slap-Ass” routine, when a player who is acting out tries to spin a sad story, “I’m from the Dominican Republic.” The entire locker room looks at him and responds, “We’re all from the Dominican Republic!”

“Any more of us come in,” quipped Lopez, “and Donald Trump is going to demand higher home run walls in the outfield.”

You might be interested: No country for Latinos and the American Dream

Latino domination of baseball is complete in just about every way but one. As Lopez explains: “There’s a brown ceiling we can’t crack. For all the jobs we’re supposedly taking, there’s one we can’t get. … They’ll let us hit, they’ll let us pitch. Hell, they’ll even let us perform as ball boys. … They’ll let us do almost any job—almost—but when it’s time to get promoted to be head honcho—‘el jefe’—apparently we don’t have what it takes.”

That was two years ago. Last year, the Atlanta Braves fired Cuban-born Fredi González, a 10-year veteran of the managerial ranks who was in his sixth season managing the Braves, after a 9-28 start. Much was made of the rudeness displayed by the Braves in his firing. During a road trip, he was informed of his dismissal—not in person or even by a phone call from the front office—but by an email from an airline confirming his return flight to Atlanta, which meant he wasn’t going on the team plane. That left the big leagues with exactly zero Latino managers.

The question is not why or how Gonzalez was fired, but why there aren’t more Latino managers in the big leagues. This season, there is only one. In October, 2016, the Chicago White Sox announced that Rick Renteria, born and raised in California and of Mexican-American descent, would be their new skipper.

You might be interested: 5 Ways to leverage Latino talent in your organization to its full potential

The dearth of Latino managers in baseball is an ongoing disgrace. After Gonzalez was fired, journalist George Diaz talked to Dr. Lapchick for an Associated Press story entitled “Manfred.” “For me, our sports team and the people who run sports teams should look like America. … The commissioner has to take a more rigorous role.” (In his 2017 Report Card, Lapchick gave MLB an F for diversity in managers.)

The response from the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred, was tepid. In an address to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in July 2016, he said, “The absence of a Latino manager is glaring. … There are 30 jobs, and there are 30 high-turnover jobs when you’re talking about field managers, and you’re going to have an ebb and flow in terms of diversity, given that there is no central authority sitting above the 30 clubs saying, ‘Look, we want to have this makeup among these employees.’ ”

No central authority? The commissioner of baseball is regularly referred to as baseball’s “czar.” Would the czar of Russia have responded to an accusation about the lack of diversity in his government by saying “Gee, you think somebody could do something about this”?

The commissioner, though, is not the “czar” of baseball, no matter how many sportswriters and commentators sling that title around. He serves, like all previous commissioners, under a personal services contract to team owners. Which means that the obvious bias against hiring Latinos for managerial positions comes from the team owners, and the commissioner probably isn’t going to take much action on the subject.

Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers; Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox; David Américo Ortiz Arias, Boston Red Sox Latino managers

Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers; Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox; David Américo Ortiz Arias, Boston Red Sox. MBL and Getty Images.

In 2013, MLB did adopt “The Selig Rule,” which mandates each club to “consider” minorities for executive positions and managerial and director openings. But George Diaz was right when he called it “window dressing.”

All of which means that the impetus has got to come from the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). Managers aren’t represented by the union, but the MLBPA has a definite stake in the hiring of managers because so many players will be looking for management and coaching jobs when their playing days are over.

“I firmly believe that having as diverse a system as possible from top to bottom is beneficial to the industry, so not just on the field, off it as well,” MLBPA executive director and 15-year veteran of the big leagues, Tony Clark, said. “And to be in a position where we don’t have those that reflect our membership in positions of leadership is disappointing.”

Detroit Tigers outfielder Miguel Cabrera, a Venezuelan-born future Hall of Famer (459 home runs and a .318 batting average in 15 seasons) said last summer, before Renteria was hired by the White Sox, “How can it be possible? It appears strange to me that there are so many Latino players and not a single manager. Maybe something needs to be done in order to give them more opportunities.”

Juan Marichal, a 243-game winner in the bigs and the first Dominican-born player elected to the Hall of Fame, says that language was often cited as a barrier for Latino players becoming big league managers, but “They never asked any of us if we could improve our English, and I don’t recall them asking any of us to improve our English [in order to get a manager’s job]. And I don’t recall anyone ever asking managers to learn Spanish in order to better communicate with us.”

No, the job of communicating with Spanish-speaking players fell to coaches who were bilingual. And if there’s a bright spot on the horizon, it’s that fully one-third of MLB coaches are Latino (33.5 percent per the 2017 Racial and Gender Diversity Report Card). And the talent pool for managers comes from the ranks of the assistant coaches.

So, to use George Lopez’s phrase, we’ll see if the rank of baseball’s jefes gets a little browner.

 

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This article was first published on Truthdig on August 10, 2017 under the title: Latinos Still Face ‘Brown Ceiling’ for Big League Baseball Managers

Allen Barra writes about sports for The Wall Street Journal and regularly contributes to TheAtlantic.com and Salon.com. Barra has authored many books including “Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, The Parallel Lives of Baseball’s Golden Age” (2014), “Rickwood Field: A Century in America’s Oldest Ballpark” (2014), and “Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee” (2009) .

female leadership feature

Renown guest speakers at female leadership Power Lunch

Guest speakers will participate at “The 3 Pillars of Effective Female Leadership” 2017 Business Retreat including Guest Panelists  at Power Lunch  Michele Meyer-Shipp, Esq., VP and Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer at Prudential Financial and Patricia Campos-Medina, Co-Director & Extension Associate, The Worker Institute, Cornell University. Also, Fireside Chat with Adelcida “Adel” Wilson, Speaker, Coach and Author. 

For additional information and to register, please visit: http://retreat.latinasinbusiness.us// or call 848 238 6090

female leadership

Michele C. Meyer-Shipp Bio

Chief Diversity Officer, Corporate Human Resources

Prudential Financial, Inc

Michele-Meyer Shipp, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Prudential Financial Guest Panelist Female Leadership

Michele C Meyer-Shipp, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Prudential Financial

Michele C. Meyer-Shipp is vice president and Chief Diversity Officer at Prudential. She is responsible for leading and supporting all diversity and inclusion efforts for the company, and for ensuring ongoing compliance with federal and state equal employment opportunity/affirmative action laws.

Meyer-Shipp joined Prudential in April 2010 as vice president and counsel in the Employment and Labor Law Group. In this role, she provided legal advice, counsel, training and investigative support to several lines of business on a variety of employment and human resources related matters.

Prior to joining Prudential, Meyer-Shipp served as General Counsel of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, and spent four years at Merrill Lynch, where she served as employment counsel and lead of its diversity and inclusion efforts in the Global Wealth Management business.

Meyer-Shipp served as Director of New Jersey’s Division of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action. Prior to joining the ranks of public service, Meyer-Shipp was in private practice with the law firms of Collier, Jacob & Mills, P.C. and Lowenstein, Sandler, P.C., both in Roseland, N.J. She also served as an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law, her alma mater.  She served as Law Clerk to the Honorable James H. Coleman, Jr. of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Meyer-Shipp is on the Boards of GLSEN, Inc. (The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), the National Organization on Disability, Women Presidents’ Organization and the American Conference on Diversity.  She is an active member of several professional associations and is a Co-Chair of the Asia Society Global Talent and Diversity Council.

Meyer-Shipp has been named a “Diverse Attorney of the Year” by the New Jersey Law Journal, and has received numerous honors including the Oliver Randolph Award from the Garden State Bar Association, the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association’s Women’s Initiative and Leaders in Law (WILL) Platinum Award for the Corporate Sector, and was recently inducted into the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance Hall of Fame. She has made the Black Enterprise list of Top Executives in Corporate Diversity for three consecutive years, and has also been named one of the “Most Powerful & Influential Women of the Tri-State Area” by The Tri-State Diversity Council.

In 2017, Meyer-Shipp was honored with the Winds of Change Award in the individual category by The Forum on Workplace Inclusion, and has been recognized by Seton Hall Law School for her work in advancing diversity in the New Jersey legal community.  In her free time, Michele enjoys spending time with her husband and their three sons.

 

Patricia Campos-Medina Bio

Patricia Campos-Medina modern Latina female leadership

Patricia Campos-Medina,  Co-Director and Extension Associate, Workers Institute at Cornell University and President, Latinas United for Political Empowerment PAC of NJ

Patricia Campos-Medina is a nationally recognized labor and political leader with more than 20 years experience on grassroots and labor organizing, coalition building, electoral campaigns at the local and national level.

She is a leadership development professional with the Workers Institute at Cornell University, leading leadership development and education programming for Local and National leaders in the labor and non-profit sector.  She is the President of Latinas United for Political Empowerment PAC of NJ, and a co-founder Board member of PODER PAC (Washington DC), two organizations focused on developing Latinas leaders to run for political office and increase representation of Latinas in politics.

She 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.  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.

Patricia holds a BS and MS from Cornell University and is currently pursuing at PhD from the Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University-Newark. She is the proud wife of Robert Medina and the mother of twin boys Diego and Enrique.

 

Adelcida “Adel” Wilson Bio

Adel Wilson female leadership

Adel Wilson is a Best-selling author, Territory Sales Business Manager, Speaker and Coach

Adel Wilson, is a Territory Business Sales Manager in NYC for a leading international Pharmaceutical company.  She is the bestselling author of  Pharma Success Secrets: 12 Winning Strategies to Get your Foot in the Door and Launch a Successful Career in Pharmaceutical Sales.

She earned her Master’s degree in Psychology from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree in Social Sciences from New York University, graduating from both with honors.  Adel is fluent in Spanish and conversational Italian.  She has an eclectic professional background, having started as an Actress and Host and then moving into corporate training and healthcare.  As an actress she has appeared in countless productions, including commercials, voiceovers, print ads, film and television.  She had a recurring role on ABC-TV’s daytime drama, “One Life to Live” and has also appeared on “All My Children”.

Prior to working in Pharma, she had a career at one of the top academic medical centers in New York City, as a Physician Relations Manager, where she was responsible for the overall business growth, promotional marketing of hospital services, special events, medical conferences, fundraising, as well as Physician recruitment. She is a former board member and Gala Chair of the Dominican Women’s Development Center and is a Telly Award-recipient for “Best Marketing” in a Corporate Video.

As a Corporate Trainer, Speaker and Coach, Adel specializes in soft skill training. Some of her seminars include:  Public Speaking and Presentation Skills, Leadership, Image, Spanish for Business, Diversity and Teambuilding, to name but a few.  Having taught over 50 topics to over 14,000 students from all walks of life, from CEOs and Physicians to Educators and Finance Professionals, Adel has a strong grasp on what it takes to succeed in business.  Adel’s leadership skills combined with her background in training, entertainment, healthcare, and marketing have opened up opportunities and allowed her to move her career forward, and in her most recent book, she reveals her personal success strategies.  Adel resides in New Jersey.

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Clarisa Romero mindfulness

Clarisa Romero Mindfulness a must-have skill in today’s work environment

Clarisa Romero, Founder and CEO Mindful Consultants LLC

Is your mind full or are you mindful? Clarisa Romero, Founder and CEO of Mindful Consultants, aims at guiding people through mindfulness and neuroscience techniques to reset, re-train and revive their senses, which will enable them to focus, lead, and perform with clarity instead of operating from a reactive default state of mind.

Life in today’s day and age can be summarized in two words, bustling activity! Owing to the fast paced lifestyles, most of us go through life mechanically, performing one task after the other, ‘mindlessly’, without actually being truly aware of the present. In other words, we live our lives on ‘autopilot’.

Instead, why not take control of our own thoughts and actions? What if there was a way to make significant changes and create opportunities in our lives rather than just letting ‘life happen’ to us. What if you could lead your life mindfully?

Defined as a state of mind achieved by concentrating one’s consciousness on the present, mindfulness is observation without criticism; being compassionate while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

“When unhappiness or stress projects a shadow in your work or personal life, mindfulness allows you to observe your thoughts and reactions without taking them in or personally. In essence, mindfulness allows you to catch negative thought patterns before they drag you down,” Clarisa explained. “It begins the process of putting you back in control of your life.”

What led Clarisa Romero on the path of mindfulness?

Clarisa Romero mindfulness

Intelligent Influence published author, Dale Caldwell; Mindful Consultants, Founder & CEO, Clarisa Romero & Brain Fit Institute Founder and Neurologist, Dr. Philippe Douyon

Clarisa has always been passionate about educational issues and therapeutic work, working with children and adults facing adversity. She has a background in early childhood education, family and child studies, and psychology. She has also been involved in working with children discharged from the Psychiatric Unit at a local hospital and working with children, adolescents, and families under the supervision of the State of New Jersey.

When Clarisa started suffering from elevated stress levels and depression because of major changes and losses in both her personal and professional life, she began to explore mindfulness practices and neuroscience.

“For many years, I worked in stressful environments that were not rewarding. I lived on autopilot and did not understand or believed I could change my circumstances.   Until I reached a breaking point; I went through a series of traumatic events from losing my father to cancer, to getting divorced, losing my job and selling my home, all within a year. When I discovered mindfulness I was able to see right away its power both on a personal and professional level “, she recounts.

She underwent formal training at the LinkedIn Conscious Business Academy led by Philosopher and Vice President at LinkedIn Fred Kofman, and became a Certified Mindfulness Practitioner. This program taught her how to constantly bring consciousness and alertness in every situation. Through this, she re-discovered herself and it improved her quality of life and productivity tremendously. She combined this training, and the training she received from the Oakland-based Mindful Schools in California, with her experiences and background in mental health and education, and started Mindful Consultants to introduce her techniques of mindful living to a wider audience.

She teaches, trains and creates customized programs for corporations, small businesses, non-profit organizations, individuals and schools focusing on the science of mindfulness and leadership.

Clarisa Romero mindfulness

Clarisa training small business owners at the SHCCNJ Hispanic Entrepreneurship Training Program Monthly Seminar & Networking on August 2016

The purpose of these programs is to help people increase self-awareness and emotional regulation, as well as assist in developing a conscious business environment, which helps give them a competitive advantage. She finds that helping others achieve greater success in life, by harnessing their true potential, is a truly enriching and fulfilling experience.

Clarisa, in partnership with To Be Mindful, LLC has also founded the New York Open Mindful Living Event and the Newark Mindful Living Festival to further engage, promote and build stronger and conscious communities.

Latinas who want to achieve success in their profession or business

“Sometimes Latina women lack the self-confidence and fail to realize that they have the power to make remarkable changes in their lives. It took a lot of introspection, self-realization and conscious effort for me to get rid of what was holding me back from believing in myself, and discover my true potential and entrepreneurial spirit,” Clarisa said.

Mindfulness, once acquired, is like a superpower and it can radically transform your brain and your life! She believes a “Healthy mind = Successful Life”.

“I had to overcome fear, doubt and limited belief in my capacity to have my own business”, said Clarisa. “I can help you believe in yourself, overcome your fears, live consciously in the present and take charge of your live!,” she concluded.

 

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Most Powerful Latinas

ALPFA Yvonne Garcia, the impact of Latino leadership on global markets

 

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman of ALPFA

I first contacted Yvonne Garcia to write her profile in 2007 as the Experto de Hispanos for About.com, . She impressed me with her assertiveness and dedication to her career, which has grown and blossomed into national exposure. Yvonne is the National Chairwoman for the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), a 48,000-member organization that thrives to empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation in every sector of the global economy.

This year, over 3000 ALPFA members gathered in the Big Apple to advance the role of Latinos not only in the national stage but also in the world markets. “We had a record-breaking convention this year in New York,” she shared with LIBizus. “Not only has it been the largest convention ever but the one with the most memorable highlights,” she affirmed.

Among the memorable programs was the Women of ALPFA Day, which featured an invitation-only breakfast with guest speakers discussing the global gender gap; panel discussions and workshops focused on soft skill development for Latina leaders; and the Women of ALPFA Luncheon where the accomplishments of Latinas were highlighted and celebrated.

“Our honoree this year for the Latina Excellence Award was Nina Vacca, Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Technical Resources, and Chair Emeritus of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” Yvonne said. “She talked about her journey to over 2000 attendees during the Women of ALPFA Luncheon,” she said.

According to the ALPFA National Chairwoman, Latinas in corporate are making headways and preparing for landing leadership roles. Knowing the personal sacrifices Yvonne made to build her professional career, a topic of our first conversation back in 2007, I was curious to know if the path has become somewhat easier for the upcoming Hispanic women eager to climb the corporate ladder.

“If anything, I believe it is harder now,” she said. “Although we are more aware of the importance of supporting Latinas to ensure more diversity in the workplace, they are now demanded to make even more sacrifices, working longer hours not only in their day jobs but also contributing to professional organizations,” she said.

ALPFA is committed to lead the support for Latinas through a more concerted effort in finding the right mentors to help those in the pipelines. “This is the commitment we ask from top corporate management; there must be a mandate from CEOs to mentor and train our women in order to build not only technical skills but also to develop leadership strength and charisma,” she added.

At her day job, Garcia, presently the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Client Solutions and PMO of the Investment Manager Services group for State Street Corporation, has global responsibility for developing new client relationships, deploying cutting-edge technology and operational processes, and delivering complex consulting engagements for existing and potential State Street clients.

Nina Vacca, Yvonne Garcia, Josefina Bonilla at the Women of ALPFA Luncheon.

Josefina Bonilla, Nina Vacca, Yvonne Garcia at the Women of ALPFA Luncheon.

She was born in Queens, New York, from the marriage of a Lebanese mother and a Dominican father, who came from the Dominican Republic in 1961. Yvonne had diverse experiences growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood but spending the summer months at her father’s country of origin. She learned Spanish as her first language.

Since she was a child, she was interested in the concept of money. At age six she organized a book sale in front of her house. She played with stamps making believe the papers she stamped were bank transactions. Always a saver, even when her brothers asked her to borrow money she would charge them interest.

Yvonne graduated with an MBA from Boston University in finance and marketing and a BA from the Sorbonne in Paris, France, where she lived while studying its economy and culture.

Beginning at the very bottom in sales in 1995, answering calls from customers in Spanish for a small community bank, she was promoted to the department of international staff given her fluency in English and French.

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Chairwoman Closing Remarks

Yvonne Garcia ALPFA Chairwoman Closing Remarks

She then moved on to Merrill Lynch as a Financial Adviser and decided to continue her studies obtaining a master’s degree in business administration from Boston University, focusing her career in Finance and Marketing. By that time, she had also started a family and had a small baby. Yvonne found a new passion in marketing that, despite being also demanding, allowed her to manage her time in a more flexible manner.

Yvonne was appointed as Vice President of strategic assistance of the Construction Bank of China in America. In this role, Yvonne and her team were responsible for the creation and implementation of sales processes and service within the bank’s capitalization centers, which included implementation of roles, responsibilities, and tools for the sales force and the management team.

In the midst of her travels to China, Yvonne also spent more than seven weeks in North Carolina, where she acquired her certifications as Six Sigma Green and Black Belts.

She recalls China as the largest professional sacrifice because she had to leave her son to travel to China for three weeks in a row, but was also her greatest professional achievement.

She was then offered a position at Liberty Mutual as the VP and Director of Marketing to consumer market segments. In this role, Yvonne was responsible for the creation and implementation of integrated marketing strategies that resulted in the penetration of selected consumption targets throughout the country.

Student of the Year Award ALPFA Convention 2015

Student of the Year Award ALPFA Convention 2015

“I found this role through my network of ALPFA, which opened the doors for this opportunity,” she recalls. ALPFA’s is committed to grow aggressively to 100,000 members within the next two years. Anybody who is seriously devoted to their professional career must consider joining this national organization,” she added.

And she concluded, “Moreover, as the ALPFA Chairwoman in this year’s convention, all the sacrifices I made were well-rewarded when I saw the happy faces of over 40 students who received scholarships in recognition and celebration of their academic achievement and demonstrated leadership skills. We witnessed the talent of Latino students from across the country; they work hard through the year to deserve such important recognition.”

Dr Davidds negotiation skills a must for Latina economic empowerment (video)

YazminDavidds_high_res

Dr. Yamin Davidds, Founder and CEO Women’s Negotiation Institute

Here you are now at the negotiation table, in front of your potential future boss who is offering you the position of your dreams; or in front of your current boss, feeling you deserve a long-awaited promotion; or about to close a deal with a major client that will take your company to the next level.

A different million thoughts come to mind, you start to panic –butterflies in your stomach or quick breathing. It is negotiation time. What to do?

As many of you, I can share a funny story that came out OK but could have gone very wrong. I was working in New York at a multicultural advertising agency in a no-way-out leave-your life-here type of job making little money and with a horrible commute. A dear friend offered me a contact opportunity to work for the State of New Jersey.

The job didn’t really interest me –at the time, it seemed a side path in my career– but tired of 12-hour long days, I decided to look into it. I was called to an interview with a very pleasant man –who would end up being my boss– and other management.

I showed up with a number in mind. If I was to sell my soul, it was going to be for a good price. The interview went extremely well and I was offered the position on the spot. I was even able to negotiate my title –State jobs have sometimes weird titles– to look closer to my professional objective. However, when the numbers came up, I was offered $5K less a year than I had in mind. I heard myself say YES.

Driving back home, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was happy that I had aced the interview and the job seemed particularly suitable for my skills with great benefits. On the other, I was extremely furious with myself for not having negotiated my salary. It was not a great difference but why haven’t I spoken up? I tried to appease myself thinking it was not such a big difference, that it still was good money and way more than I was making now, the commute was easier, and the job was fine. But the principle of not speaking up for myself made me mad!

When I got home and told my son the good and the bad news, in his naivety –he was a teenager at the time– he suggested I called them back and ask for more money. I did the next day, and the answer was YES! (Do not try this at home). As I said, it was a once in a lifetime miracle, and I could easily have lost the job.USC NEGotiation FOR WOMEN ALUMNI EVENT_102914

“Women –and especially Latinas– are raised in this culture of being agreeable and making other people happy,” said Dr. Yasmin Davidds, Founder and CEO of the Women’s Institute of Negotiation. “We need to teach and train them in the art of negotiation, which is not a feminist position. Study after study coming out of Harvard and Stanford universities has proven that women and men brains really work differently, with very different approaches in ways of negotiating and communicating with and between each other,” she said.

An international best-selling author and negotiation expert, Dr. Davidds is one of the top leading female negotiation experts in the U.S. and Latin America. She has trained and consulted thousands of corporate leaders in over 200 blue chip companies throughout 22 countries in the art and skill of negotiation. A propos of her first-ever live-streamed virtual presentation “Negotiating for Women” sponsored by the USC Career Center, USC Alumni Association and the USC Society of Trojan Women, she spoke exclusively with LIBizus.

“The fact is, nobody likes aggressive women, especially men, because they feel it is a challenge to their manhood. Maybe they will negotiate with you once but hardly would they want you on their team,” she affirmed. “Many men and women believe aggressive women are difficult to work with.”

So the true concept of negotiation, according to Dr. Davidds, involves using the feminine power and grace. “Being compassionate, gracious, assertive and empathetic helps you understand where the other person is coming from. Egos might get in the middle; being aware and acknowledging the other person’s goals make them feel safe enough to open up,” she suggested.

This world-renowned leader has worked with global companies such as Proctor and Gamble, General Electric, Wal-Mart, Coca Cola, American Express, Johnson and Johnson, Microsoft and Apple among many others. She has conducted hundreds of presentations in some of the most prestigious universities including Stanford and Harvard, and is a regular speaker at USC.

Testimonials at USC event

Testimonials at USC event

“I have trained women in both, the organizational or corporate and the entrepreneurial environments. There are differences in every aspect of the negotiation process. In a corporation, the organizational culture designates how a woman can use her power, what is acceptable and what is not, and how much –or little- the organization is open to be questioned, so I always recommend being very cautious. Less evolved organizations have less appreciation for women and for that, they present a higher risk.”

In that kind of corporate environment, Dr. Davidds recommends:

  1. Have your exit strategy in place. In order to play the game, you need to be very strategic, including having an alternative in case your move is not successful; you always want to have options.
  2. Find allies within the organization, powerful people who know you, your work, and your professionalism; they will speak up for you when and if the time comes.
  3. Understand the rules of the game so you have choices: you play by them, you challenge them or you look for an organization that is more aligned with your career goals.
  4. Find –if there exists– a women’s group, formal or informal– within the organization so you feel you are not doing it alone.

When the environment changes to the entrepreneur or the small business owner, the rules are different, according to Dr. Davidds. “Entrepreneurs and small business owners are, in a way, free to take more risks. If their main clients are large corporations, then it is mandatory that they understand their clients’ negotiation style, and the politics around their organizational culture. However, they can live by different rules,” she said.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners must:

  1. Take bigger risks. You need to jump in first, be proactive and then figure out how to accomplish the task at hand.
  2. You must have a personality. Show your clients who you are and how your company is their best option to service their needs. You are freer to be yourself, so prove it!
  3. Try everything to see what works. You have more opportunities to experiment with different options and look for the best solution possible. Clients appreciate innovators!

While Latina entrepreneurs have more freedom in taking these risks, corporate Latinas must be more cautious in saying YES right away when asked to take over a task or challenge. They need to push back a little and figure out a way to respond to the situation that would be beneficial to all the parties, including herself!

“Latinas are so happy to get promoted that we don’t realize we need resources and funding to learn how to be strategic, and even find someone who represents our interest and be able to push back without hurting the negotiation. Seeking to establish themselves in executive or leadership roles, Latinas must negotiate their way through a number of obstacles and challenges that their male colleagues often bypass,” she said.

“Today’s Latina leaders must be equipped with more than just a traditional leadership skill set; they must be able to negotiate in complex, multi-party situations where relationships are of the utmost importance and substance cannot be sacrificed. I believe the Women’s Institute of Negotiation has begun to make a difference,” she concluded.

Watch the complete session “Negotiating for Women” on our LatinainBusiness.us YouTube Channel here!

corporate responsibility latina entrepreneur

Successful corporations choose social responsibility

corporate responsibilityBy Jesse Torres

While significant money and energy has been invested in job training, resume preparation, and job creation, little has been done to address the most nuanced yet important aspect of job hunting – the interview suit. Despite the fact that prospects bring enhanced resumes and skills, they remain ill-prepared if they lack the proper attire.

The nonprofit Dress for Success describes the dilemma of Emerging Employees as a catch-22. Emerging Employees are preparing themselves to enter the workforce but without a job they cannot afford a suit. And without a suit they struggle to obtain a new job. In an effort to assist, Dress for Success has activated chapters throughout the U.S. to assist women with training and interview attire.

But nonprofits are not the only organizations lending a hand to Emerging Employees. For seven years Men’s Wearhouse, a national men’s apparel retailer, has coordinated a July clothing drive at over 1,100 Men’s Wearhouse locations. Men’s Wearhouse calls its annual clothing drive the National Suit Drive.

In an effort to encourage donations the retailer exchanges 50% discount certificates for donated suits, ties, jackets, shirts, pants, belts, and shoes. This smart incentive not only encourages donations, but also promotes new sales. Donated apparel is distributed to nonprofits throughout the country that provide job ready skills and training to unemployed and underemployed men.

In the post-Great Recession period Men’s Wearhouse has done a good job of listening to the masses. Today’s consumer expects more than just a product or service. In the post-recession era the business community is expected to reinvest into the communities from which it is earning its profits.

While many may dismiss the National Suit Drive campaign as merely a public relations tactic, the reality is that social responsibility is no longer an option – it is a requirement. In our social media-enabled society where every consumer is a potential influencer, corporations have learned that maintaining and maximizing profits requires a social responsibility strategy.

In the case of Dress for Success and Men’s Wearhouse, these acts of charity can be the difference between getting the job and spending another week on unemployment. And of course, there should never be anything wrong with doing good business by doing good.

 

 About Jesse TorresJesse_Torres

Jesse Torres has spent nearly 20 years in leadership and executive management posts, including executive management roles at financial institutions. In 2013 the Independent Community Bankers of America named him a top community banker influencer on social media. He is a frequent speaker at financial services and leadership conferences and has written several books. He hosts an NBC News Radio show called Money Talk with Jesse Torres.
Follow @jstorres or contact  Jesse@JesseTorres.com