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2021 Latinas in Business highlights

2021 Latinas in Business highlights and most-read articles 

Our 2021 Latinas in Business Highlights and Most Read Articles are here!

Another year comes to an end and we close another chapter. Before we jump into the new year, first let us take a look back at some 2021 highlights and reflect on the stories we have shared here. 

Throughout everything, we as a community have risen to challenges and collaborated together to uplift each other throughout pandemic hardships.

Each year we strive to set the bar higher and this year was no different here at Latinas in Business Inc. We are so blessed and honored to have such an amazing community of readers, supporters, and collaborators. We thank you so much! Gracias! 

Now, here are the 2021 Latinas in Business highlights and most-read articles on LatinasinBusiness.us, our dedicated editorial platform that promotes and empowers Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs.

2021 Latinas in Business most-read articles 

Latinas Equal Pay Day, gender wage gap

Latinas are among the most adversely affected by the gender pay gap. They are paid just 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. (Source: latinaequalpay.org)

In March, we celebrated Equal Pay Day and learned that the gender wage gap for Latinas may take more than two centuries to close if we continue to do nothing.

Women working full-time, year-round are typically paid just 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. That is just the statistic for women in general, but the gender wage gap is much wider for minority women, especially Latinas who only make 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. To put it another way, a Latina woman must work 23 months to earn what white men earn in just 12 months.

To learn more about the wage gap for Latinas and what we can do to close the wage gap, see our full article.

Later the year, Key Insights from the 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report showed us how Latino entrepreneurs are succeeding and advancing, and also where we can work to improve.

According to the report, released by Stanford Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Latino Business Action Network,  Latino-owned businesses are becoming the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. small business ecosystem.

Additionally, the number of Latino-owned businesses has grown 34% over the last 10 years compared to just 1% for all other small businesses. Were it not for the growth in the number of Latino-owned firms, the total number of small businesses in the U.S. would actually have declined between 2007 and 2012.

We also learned that Latina-led companies have struggled the most during the pandemic, experiencing more closures and lay-offs compared to Latino-led companies (30% versus 16%). See here to read the full report.

translation services, Unida Translation

Ivana and the Unida team.

This year readers enjoyed learning how Ivana Sedia is working to help connect people and transcend borders through her language translation service, Unida Translation. Her company delivers both spoken and written word translation services in over 125 languages for projects in the certified, legal, government, medical, and technical fields.

Ivana’s business grew out of a hobby and passion for translation and language learning. With experience with writing in Spanish and English and working for the government by assisting non-English speaking immigrants, an MBA in management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, International Relations and Diplomacy with a minor in Italian, Ivana taught Spanish and Italian lessons. She then decided to use her language skills to help transcend borders for businesses and organizations in need of translation services.

Read her full story here!

Latina researcher and founder of Stratified Insights, Dr. Marlene Orozco, shares the importance of data in demystifying misconceptions about Latinas.

In July, Latina researcher, Dr. Marlene Orozco shared the importance of data in demystifying misconceptions and biases about Latinas.

As mixed methods researcher by training, Marlene has over 250 hours of in-depth interview experience and quantitative expertise in big data.

Throughout her years of education training in the field of research, Marlene has used her research as a tool to make a real-world impact, especially for minority small business owners and entrepreneurs. Her research is guided by her passion for education and economic equity and exploring pathways of mobility for immigrants, women, and entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds.

Latinas are often misrepresented, undervalued, and unappreciated in the professional world. These unfair biases have an impact on the rate of success for Latinas and other minority groups. Through hard data, showing the successes of Latina women in the professional world, Marlene is working to end these biases and misconceptions. Learn more here! 

Jennifer Garcia, founder of Fluential Leadership. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Garcia)

Finally, readers were eager to learn from Jennifer Garcia’s inspiring story where she shared how she left her secure job to launch her dream business.

A multi-faceted business professional and leadership coach with a passion for empowering people and transforming businesses, Jennifer founded Fluential Leadership, a business and leadership consulting firm focused on elevating small-to-medium-sized business performance through developing and executing growth strategies, recruitment, and retaining talent.

Like many entrepreneurs, Jennifer was driven to start her own business out of a desire to pursue her passion and make an impact. For fourteen years, Jennifer worked in the finance industry and in a variety of leadership roles at Bloomberg, a global financial data provider. However, she wanted to make a greater impact and use her expertise as a leader and consulting coach to help others achieve their own career goals and dreams.

Following her dream, Jennifer launched her company, stepping into the unknown leaving the comfort, certainty, and stability of her career. Continue reading about her full journey into entrepreneurship here.

THRIVE! 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit highlights 

Another huge 2021 Latinas in Business highlight for us was our annual empowerment event. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and industry leaders gathered in June to THRIVE! for the third annual Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit, a unique conference that year after year gathers successful Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs to Learn. Connect. Succeed!   

Latinas in Business Inc. CEO and President Susana G. Baumann with board members.

This year, the summit focused on key areas of growth to connect and empower women business owners with tools and insights to propel them forward in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic so they can grow their businesses to the next level. 

This amazing event featured stellar guest speakers, inspiring panels with industry leaders, and motivating deep-dive workshops and group discussions that connected and inspired Latina and other minority women entrepreneurs, empowering them to take the next step in achieving their business goals and turn their dreams into actionable business plans. 

We ended the 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit with the Latina Leaders Award Ceremony, broadcasted live from New York City. It was a beautiful and touching moment where we saw 12 influential Latina Leaders from the past year honored for their success as entrepreneurs and community leaders. 

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn alongside Daneida Polanco of Univision.

The stunning Daneida Polanco of Univision presented the awards alongside Latinas in Business’s CEO and President, Susana G Baumann in a heartwarming ceremony that gathered and celebrated not only our Latina Leaders but Latina entrepreneurs everywhere. 

The 2021 Women Entrepreneurs Empowerment Summit was certainly a night to remember and we cannot wait for the events to come in the new year! 

Thank You! 

Looking back on our 2021 Latinas in Business highlights and most read articles reminds us of what an amazing and inspiring community we have here. Once again, we are so very grateful for all the support from sponsors, hosts, supporters, collaborators, and reades that allowed us to continue our mission to advocate for the economic empowerment of Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs.

Thanks for your support and Happy Holidays to all from us! See you in the New Year!

Latinas in Business Inc. Team

How translation services can help combat human trafficking

Translation services are a crucial tool for healthcare professionals in identifying and aiding victims of human trafficking. 

Healthcare providers may not realize they are a crucial partner in combating and preventing human trafficking, particularly during and after emergency events. Human trafficking affects every community in the United States across age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds. It is a market-driven criminal industry that is based on the principles of supply and demand, like drugs or arms trafficking. In the United States alone, 50,000 persons are trafficked into the country every year, and there are approximately 400,000 domestic minors involved in trafficking. 

Health care providers are often the only professionals to interact with trafficking victims who are still in captivity. According to the Polaris Project, up to 88% of trafficking victims access health care during their trafficking situation. Health care providers are in a unique position to identify victims of trafficking and provide aid. 

unida translation, translation services,Below is an article from Latinas in Business Member, Ivana Sedia’s blog on how translation services can help healthcare professionals combat human trafficking. Ivana is the CEO and founder of Unida Translations, a translation company that delivers both spoken and written word translation services in over 125 languages for projects in the certified, legal, government, medical, and technical fields. 

You might be interested: Ivana Sedia is helping people connect and transcend borders through language translation services

help, victim, human trafficking

Many victims do not speak English, which makes translation services all the more  crucial. (Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels)

How Translation Services Can Help Healthcare Professionals Combat Human Trafficking

John, a 41-year-old male is brought to your walk-in clinic by his friend because he’s having trouble walking due to a nasty rash on his foot. Jane, a 19-year-old female arrives at your walk-in clinic about an hour later. She is brought in by her mother because Jane is suffering from intense stomach pain. Is John a patient or a victim of human trafficking? Is Jane a patient or another victim of human trafficking? There’s a decent chance that either or both are actually victims of human trafficking.

The good news is that your organization can actually do something to combat human trafficking. Did you know human trafficking is currently an extensive form of slavery throughout the United States? Victims of human trafficking can be of any gender, race, religion, or nationality. Human trafficking includes domestic labor, industrial labor, and farm labor. It also includes sex labor. In fact, over 85% of human trafficking victims in the United States are involved in the sex trade.

For many victims, the only opportunity to find help is when they see a healthcare professional. (Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels)

For many of these victims, the only opportunity to find help is when they see a healthcare professional. In essence, health care providers are often the only professionals to interact with trafficking victims who are still in captivity. The expert assessment and interview skills of providers contribute to their readiness to identify victims of trafficking. However, a great deal of the human trafficking victims do not speak English. That means your organization will need the help of a professional translation service to discover if the patient is truly a victim of human trafficking.

Effective communication between a patient and a healthcare professional is a much-needed tool. In fact, it can make the difference between helping free the victim or simply watching them walk out the door with their captor. If the patient has a companion who refuses to leave the examination room it’s a key red flag that something is wrong. If the companion insists on translating for the patient it’s another red flag that the patient may be a victim of human trafficking.

This is also a key area where a professional translation service can help. If the patient speaks a language that nobody else in the clinic speaks, the professional translation service can determine whether or not the patient’s companion is actually telling the truth. Ultimately, if the companion attempts to control the information during the examination, the patient may very well be a victim of human trafficking. Effective translation is the critical element to discovering that.


This article was originally published on Unida Translation’s blog.

Ivana Sedia is helping people connect and transcend borders through language translation services

Ivana Sedia is the founder of Unida Translation, which delivers both spoken and written word translation services in over 125 languages for projects in the certified, legal, government, medical, and technical fields. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ivana moved to the U.S. with her family in 1989. In addition to her Argentinian roots, Ivana is also Italian and Macedonian and is fluent in Spanish, Italian, and English with knowledge of Macedonian.

Ivana Sedia,  Unida Translation

Ivana Sedia, founder of Unida Translation. (Photo courtesy Ivana Sedia)

A passion for language-learning sparks business 

Ivana Sedia, founder of Unida Translation. (Photo courtesy Ivana Sedia)

Ivana’s interest in languages began when she was a little girl and only continued to grow throughout her life. She is passionate about helping people and cultures transcend borders and find understanding and commonality through language. With experience with writing in Spanish and English for Latino Social Magazine and working for the government by assisting non-English speaking immigrants, an MBA in management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, International Relations and Diplomacy with a minor in Italian, Ivana decided to open her own translation service business, Unida Translation.

The idea for her business was born after the birth of Ivana’s first child. 

Ivana recounts, “The idea of trekking from home in Indiana to Chicago downtown every day, with my new baby on my hip, was less than ideal and with the exuberant cost of daycare close to home, I chose to leave the Illinois Secretary of State and step into my new role as a full-time mom.” 

While at home, Ivana kept herself updated with the “working world” by translating documents and hosting Spanish and Italian lessons. These hobbies would eventually turn into her very own translation service business. However, like many entrepreneurs and business owners know, the road was not without some struggles. 

Ivana with her husband and two children. (Photo courtesy Ivana Sedia)

“Teaching Italian and Spanish is my passion, but I was advised by so many individuals that my classes were not going to be enough to grow my business,” said Ivana. “Then COVID-19 hit, and my clients were too afraid to come to my classes. Contracts that I had were canceled. Halfway through 2020, I thought my business was over, but then I received a surprise call and found out that I had won the Indiana Technical Assistance Program (INTAP) grant. Thanks to this grant, I was able to launch a new brand to refresh and become Unida Translation.” 

This experience taught her not to lose faith as the grant came just when she needed it most. 

“Do not lose your faith in applying for help and God,” she says to other entrepreneurs. “I applied for this grant twice and failed the first time, but then the grant came at the right time.” 

You might be interested: Popular English ESL YouTuber launches innovative new language learning app 

Connecting and transcending across borders 

Ivana cites her knowledge of cultures and languages as one of her greatest strengths. It is through these strengths that she is able to help people understand each other and connect and transcend across borders. Her connections with people across the world have also helped her in her business and in the business world. Another crucial strength for Ivana was growing up in a family of entrepreneurs which gave her early life experience in business. 

“Nothing beats experience!” she says. “Even if it is experience from watching your parents sell while you were playing with your Barbies.” 

translation services, Unida Translation

Ivana and the Unida Translation team. (Photo courtesy Ivana Sedia) 

For Ivana, success is achieved whenever she is able to help people communicate and connect better. She shares with us one of her favorite stories of a time she helped someone through her translation services. 

“It is no secret to the people who really know me that I am always a hopeless romantic! Still, my favorite story about my business was when a client from the government approached me and asked me to translate a letter from English to Spanish because he wanted to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. It was such a romantic and respectful letter and I really enjoyed translating it! It is translation jobs like that sort that keep me going so that I can continue to help people communicate and in turn, achieve success.” 

To other minority women who are thinking of starting their own venture, Ivana shares a few words of wisdom that she has learned along her own journey as a Latina entrepreneur and business owner. 

“Just do it. Do not be afraid because you never know what your business will be, and you will always wonder ‘what-if.’ Of course, do not go crazy! Have limits especially on how money is spent. Also, be open to interacting with others, put all your insecurities and judgement aside. Lock it up! Ask questions and mingle with others so get off your phone. To the women who want to be successful in their professions or careers and I think the same applies to entrepreneurs, remember that learning is never enough. Go get that degree or take that course to get certified. After all, like my mom always said to me, ‘They can take away your car, house, man, friends, ideas, but no one can take away your degree or certification!’”