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.

 

 

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