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Celebrating International Women’s Day 2021

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day is also a call-to-action, bringing awareness to women’s issues and fighting for gender equality worldwide. 

International Women's Day

Empowered women, empower women.

Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women’s achievements
  • raise awareness about women’s equality
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities

The history of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since the early 1900’s. The first official International Women’s Day was celebrated over 100 years ago on March 19, 1911 has been celebrated each year ever since. 

The first International Women’s Day came about when, in 1910 at the second International Convention of Working Women in Copenhagen, a woman named Clara Zetkin proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands and bring attention to women’s issues. 

The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, responded to Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval, thus creating International Women’s Day. Then, the following year, in 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland where more than one million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, and hold public office. 

In the years and decades that followed, International Women’s Day continued to bring to light pressing issues that women faced, and fight for gender equality and rights. Finally, in 1975, International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations and in 1996 the UN announced their first annual Women’s Day theme, “Celebrating the past, Planning for the future.” Since then each International Women’s Day has had a focus theme. 

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world“, which celebrates the tremendous efforts of women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some influential Latinas who have made history

Ellen Ochoa 

NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On April 8, 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go into space. Aboard the Discovery shuttle for a total of nine days, Ochoa conducted important research about the Earth’s ozone layers. Since then, she has gone on three space flights, and spent a total of 1,000 hours in space. 

In 2013, Ochoa went on to become the first Hispanic director, and second female director, of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas–another huge achievement for women and Latinas. 

Dolores Huerta 

Jay Godwin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Doing back-breaking work under the unforgiving sun, sleeping in rough shacks with dozens of men to a room, all for below-poverty-level wages; farm workers in the early 20th Century, most of whom were immigrants from Central America, had a hard, painful, unjust life. That is, until Dolores Huerta and others like her came along. In 1965, Huerta created the United Farm Workers, and organization that worked tirelessly to improve the working conditions for farm workers. By leading boycotts, picketing, protesting and lobbying, Huerta was instrumental in bringing about legislation that protects some of the most vulnerable people in our society. 

Selena 

Known to the world as simply “Selena,” the pop superstar brought Mexican Tejano music to the masses. Selena, along with Rita Moreno and Gloria Estefan, was one of the few Latin pop stars who crossed over into the mainstream. She is known and one of the most influential Latin artists of all time, winning a Grammy award in 1993 and a gold record in 1994 with Amor Prohibido. Her music is loved by millions and it is said she would have become the next Madonna had her career not been tragically cut short. Still, Selena lives on as a cultural icon for Latinas, a successful artist, and a beloved celebrity. 

Julia de Burgos 

Bust of Julia de Burgos. (Ir2409, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Julia de Burgos was a successful published poet in her native Puerto Rico, though she struggled to get the recognition she deserved after moving to the U.S. in the 1930s. Her poems centered on themes that some considered ahead of their time, such as feminism and social justice. She also celebrated her identity as an black, immigrant Latina in her writing–all things that were outside the mainstream in early 20th-century poetry circles. 

Her bold and daring writing has inspired readers for decades and helped set the stage for many Latino writers to come. 

Maria Elena Salinas 

Maria Elena Salinas

Award-winning journalist, Maria Elena Salinas (Photo Credit: Gio Alma)

Maria Elena Salinas is the longest running female news anchor on U.S. television, and is the first Latina to receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. Dubbed the “Voice of Hispanic America” by The New York Times, Salinas has become a figurehead for the Latino community. 

She has always used her platform to cover issues that affect Latinos today, as well as being an active philanthropist, working to increase voter registration in the Latino community and helping Latino youth get into journalism. 

Sources: 

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

https://artsandculture.google.com

12 latina leaders

12 Latina leaders honored in 2020

This past year has been challenging like no other but among the turbulent times, powerful Latinas rose up as inspirational leaders. As we look back on this year here at Latinas In Business, let us take a moment to honor and celebrate our Latina Leaders of 2020 and reflect on their inspirational journeys and the wisdom they have shared with us. 

Our 2020 Latina Leaders

Latina Leader of January: Judy Justin 

professional photography

Judy Justin, founder at Judy Justin Photography

In January,  U.S. Navy veteran, mother, and a professional photographer, Judy Justin taught us all about the power of confidence and the importance of our images in personal branding. What began as a hobby for Judy soon became her flourishing business, Judy Justin Photography. Judy shared how she was drawn to portrait photography especially, because it allows her to connect with her clients on a more personal level. Through that personal connection, her clients become more relaxed and confident during their sessions, and that confidence is key to creating the perfect image. 

For the fellow entrepreneurs, Judy suggested that we all especially take care of our images. Images are everything in branding. 

“A good set of professional portraits or pictures can say so much about you. It is sad when you see people in high positions -especially on social media- with pictures cropped from a wedding or social pictures, or worst yet, no picture at all! Your image is your first business card, and it speaks volumes about you and your business.” 

As we head into a new January, let us be mindful of our images and infuse them with confidence and authenticity. 

Latina Leader of February: Jacqueline Camacho 

Visionary social entrepreneur and Latina leader, Jacqueline Camacho.

In February, visionary social entrepreneur, Jacqueline Camacho taught us to be fearless and go for our dreams. Her life motto: “Taking off is optional, landing on your dreams is mandatory.” Leading by example, Jacqueline has soared for her own dreams and achieved so much in a short time. At only 36, she has founded two award-winning companies, established two nonprofit organizations, published sixteen books, created over ten products, and held dozens of events around the world. She also achieved her personal dream of becoming a sports airplane pilot! 

Jacqueline showed us all that anything is possible. Often referred to as a “dream catcher,” Jacqueline uses her strategies as a speaker, author, and entrepreneur to support thousands of women to live a life of significance. Additionally, she created the anthology book series,  Today’s Inspired Latina to share the success stories of Latinas and inspire hope and motivation “for anyone sitting on a dream and thinking it can’t come true.” 

Latina Leader of March: Sara Peña

community empowerment

Sara Pena, Director, Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development at NJ Department of State.

In March, professional and community, Sara Peña, shared with us the many lessons she has learned about community empowerment, self-empowerment, and success. As a Newark native and daughter of immigrant parents, she has strived in her career to empower Latinos, especially the youth, through advocacy, legislature, and mentorship. 

Currently she is the Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development in the NJ Department of State, as well as the founder of the Boys to Leaders Foundation. Through her work as a community leader, Sara has created opportunities for young Latinos and provided  leadership training, educational programs, and positive personal and professional development. 

Sara also shared with us her 5 best tips for self-empowerment and success: Understand Finances, Grow Personally, Build and Nurture Relationships, and Self-Care. You can read all about them and more in Sara’s feature article

Latina Leader of April:  Wendy Garcia

resources for women

Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer of the NYC Office of the Comptroller

In April, as the COVID pandemic hit, Latinas In Business hosted a Virtual Meeting: COVID-19: NY Resources for Minority and Women Small Businesses (Public and Private), to share financial assistance and other resources from federal, state, and City government, and the private sector. Here, guest speaker Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer from the Office of the New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, provided crucial information on resources for minorities, women, and all small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

As Chief Diversity Officer, Wendy Garcia is responsible for increasing contracting opportunities for Women- and Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and managing the Comptroller Office’s internal supplier diversity initiative, as well as other diversity related projects across all bureaus of the agency. Ms. Garcia also leads the Comptroller’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth through Diversity and Inclusion – a group comprised of national, local, corporate, and government experts seeking to increase supplier diversity in the public and private sectors.

Latina Leader of May: Alicia Puig 

Alicia Puig, Co-founder of PxP Contemporary.

In May, Alicia Puig introduced us to the world of digital art galleries as the COVID pandemic kept us stuck at home. Alicia co-founded  PxP Contemporary with artist Ekaterina Popova. The platform was founded as a fully digital art gallery that connects collectors with high-quality, affordable artworks. Alicia and Ekaterina created PxP as a way to challenge the traditional art gallery model and make the process of buying art a more accessible, digital-friendly experience. And it came at the perfect time too! 

As we all became confined to our homes, the PxP gallery provided an escape from our boredom. The digital gallery, even in non-COVID times, is also a great way to make art more accessible to everyone. 

“It was a deliberate choice that we embraced being fully digital from the beginning, and I’m glad we did,” Alicia said. Additionally, PxP strived for inclusivity of all identities in the artists they represent. “Being a minority and understanding what it’s like to not have certain advantages helped Kat and I identify a gap in our industry and seek to address it via our gallery.” 

Looking back, we are so glad to have had PxP brighten our lockdown with beautiful, diverse art. 

Latina Leader of June: Albania Rosario

Albania Rosario, founder and CEO, Fashion Designers of Latin America.

In June, Albania showed us the power of innovation and adapting to our new post-COVID world. As more and more events were being canceled due to the pandemic, Albania and her team at Fashion Designers of Latin America (FDLA) were innovating and crafting new ways to bring their fashion show to New York Fashion Week. They decided to go virtual, creating a digital experience for audiences across the world. 

We were inspired by Albania’s perseverance during these tough times. Through FDLA, she helped support other struggling artists and designers, shining a spotlight on their stories and fundraising through her project “Las Caras Detrás De La Moda En Latino América.” The campaign features hundreds of video clips from designers across the globe telling their stories and testimonies about how the pandemic has affected their businesses and what they are doing to help.

“I strongly believe that every bad situation comes with a new opportunity but we must be ready to see it,” says Albania. “If we focus only on the negative, it will be impossible to find new opportunities. We have to face the obstacles that come across our path. This is what life is about.” 

Latina Leader of July: Jessica Asencio 

Jessica K Asencio

Jessica K Asencio (RIP) (Photo Courtesy of Jessica’s friends)

In July, we remembered and celebrated the life of Latina leader, Jessica Asencio.  Born in Ecuador and raised in Brooklyn, NYC, Jessica dedicated her life to supporting Latino-Hispanic causes and uplifting their voices in the workplace. Jessica became a D&I leader, and was recognized as a Diversity Champion at JPMorgan Chase.

She also served on the Global Adelante Board–JPMorgan Chase’s Latino/Hispanic Business Resource Group– and founded the Latino Networks Coalition (LNC), originally inaugurated in 2010 by JPMorgan Chase, Deloitte and Thomson Reuters. The coalition was launched with additional partners including American Express, Bank of America, Citibank, Credit Suisse and The New York Times.

Jessica was remembered by friends, family, and colleagues as an extraordinary and passionate leader who left a lasting impact on everyone she met.

“Jessica Asencio was an incredible diversity and inclusion leader and a leader in Hispanic causes, but most importantly she was an incredible friend,” said Patricia Pacheco de Baez, Bank of America HOLA NY Executive Advisory Board Emeritus Chair.

“Jessica made everyone feel we were part of something bigger than ourselves, even before knowing what we were a part of,” said friend and colleague Frank D. Sanchez. 

“She was a leader who led by example with optimism, strength, devotion, and focus,” says Alicia Garcia, friend, and Latino Networks Coalition’s Leader.

Latina Leader of September: Beth Marmolejos

In September, Beth Marmolejos was a champion for change. As a business leader, activist and advocate, Beth made her 2020 a time for collaboration. Some of her personal highlights of 2020 included community driven projects such as co-founding the FLAG (Front Line Appreciation Group) of Greater Wayne and advocated for the opening of the 1st Inclusion Playground in Wayne, NJ. Later in the year, Beth also co-hosted Latina In Business’  first Virtual 2020 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit which gathered national and international speakers for an inspirational event focused on promoting “The Power of Collaborations in a Post-COVID World.”  

“Collaborations are vital to achieve success and soar! ‘The Power of Collaboration’ created a nеw energy that I felt was ‘bіggеr than our individual efforts.’ We effесtіvеlу put together resources, energy, tаlеntѕ and gоаlѕ to раvеѕ thе wау for thе ѕuссеѕѕ that we had рlаnned tоgеthеr achieving unexpected benefits,” said Beth. 

Beth’s personal mottos for getting through this year has been #RiseUpTogether. Together, we are all more powerful and successful. 

Latina Leader of October: Maria Elena Salinas

Maria Elena Salinas

Maria Elena Salinas, award-winning journalist and speaker.

In October, Latinas In Business hosted the Regain Our Latino Power event and we were honored to have award-winning journalist Maria Elena Salinas as keynote speaker. The event brought together influential Latino leaders to discuss important topics such as Latinxs essential workers, Latinxs and the economy, Immigration Reform, Deportations and Incarceration of Latino Children.

In a career that spans nearly four decades, Salinas has interviewed world leaders and covered virtually every major national and international news event of our time. Her work has earned the top awards presented in broadcasting, including multiple Emmys, a Peabody, Gracie Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.

While at CBS News, Salinas has contributed to the network’s coverage of the 2020 election including primetime coverage of Super Tuesday and the Democratic and Republican national conventions. Salinas also anchored the poignant CBS News documentary “Pandemia: Latinos In Crisis,” an hour-long, sweeping look at the Latinx community, along with other communities of color, who continues to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic while fulfilling essential roles across the country.

Her tremendous drive, talent, and success is truly an inspiration to us all. 

Latina Leader of November: Maria Piastre

In November Maria Piastre reminded us that success is possible, even in traditionally male-dominated industries such as the metal industry. President of  Metallix Refining Inc. Maria said, “The only limits are the ones you set yourself.” 

When Maria first joined Metallix in 2006, she never thought she would one day be President. However, through perseverance and hard-work, she climbed the ladder and found herself in that very position today. Her story reminds us all that nothing is impossible. 

Throughout her early career, Maria’s tenacity for success and recognition became her armor against the many inequalities she would encounter. Later these inequalities would form the foundation for future campaigns and ultimately help her achieve her goals and dreams.

She shared with Latinas In Business, “As an immigrant to the US, I know only too well the challenges we all will encounter, especially for minority groups. The road will not always be smooth, and regardless of your cultural background, you should believe in yourself, your self-worth, your ability to succeed and that your qualities will always shine through to achieve rewards.” 

Latina Leader of December: Mariela Dabbah

Mariela Dabbah, TEDx and International speaker, award-winning, best-selling author and go-to corporate authority for Fortune 500 companies. 

Finally, this month, TEDx and International speaker, award-winning, best-selling author, Mariela Dabbah, showed us that the fight for gender equality in the workplace is far from over. The pandemic unfortunately has had adverse effects on working women. Mariela shared some of these insights with us, speaking on how many women and minorities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 

Recent research shows women have been much more affected by the pandemic, with one in four considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce. 

“This is connected to the fact that women and particularly women with diverse backgrounds and with disabilities have less resources needed to support them at this time. Primarily, reasons include women tending to be the person in charge of childcare, but also, they generally make less than their male counterparts. When a decision needs to be made of who in the household will quit their job, it’s usually women,” said Mariela. 

Amid these statistics, Mariela and her team rose to help women struggling through this time.

“We launched the #InclusionIsNotOnPause initiative to remind everyone that we needed to keep our eyes on the gender-inclusion ball or we’d lose a lot of our hard-earned gains of the past few decades. This initiative provides a set of tactics that organizations can implement to openly show their support for inclusion of all its talent.”

As we enter the new year, let us all remember the lessons and wisdom we have learned from our Latina leaders and carry these insights into the new year. We can’t wait to see what more we will learn in 2021. Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year! 

Leading Ladies of Entertainment

Latina Leading Ladies of Entertainment to be honored in virtual ceremony

The Latin Recording Academy will honor four Latina leaders in entertainment in tonight’s virtual 2020 Leading Ladies of Entertainment ceremony. The Leading Ladies of Entertainment is an initiative that has become part of the Latin GRAMMY Week celebrations — which honors and recognizes professional and socially conscious women within the arts and entertainment fields who have made significant  contributions, inspiring the next generation of female leaders.

This year’s event will be hosted by two-time Latin GRAMMY winner and GRAMMY nominee, singer, songwriter and actress Erika Ender, who was also one of the 2017 Leading Ladies of Entertainment. 

“Every year, not only am I amazed at the group selected to receive the Leading Ladies of Entertainment distinction, but also proud to celebrate and honor such distinguished leaders who have forged paths for so many,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., Latin Recording Academy President/CEO. “These four successful women are passionate, driven and extraordinarily inspirational. We are grateful for the positive impact they have on our communities and the example they set for the next generation of leaders, demonstrating that anything is possible.”

The 2020 Leading Ladies of Entertainment recipients

 

 

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SELENA GOMEZ

Selena Gomez is a singer, actress and producer. As a pop vocalist and recording artist, Gomez has achieved tremendous commercial success, selling more than 145 million singles worldwide and garnering over 25 billion global streams. “Lose You to Love Me,” the first single off her critically acclaimed album Rare, available via Interscope Records, marked a historic moment for the singer as she landed her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As an actress, she starred in Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers,” the Academy Award-nominated film “The Big Short” opposite Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling, and “Fundamentals of Caring” alongside Paul Rudd. Gomez also serves as an executive producer of the hit Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why.” She has used her platform to speak out on social causes throughout her career and went on to executive produce the critically acclaimed Netflix docu-series “Living Undocumented,” which created much-needed exposure and discussion regarding the polarizing issue of undocumented people living in the United States. In addition, Gomez serves as executive producer of the new HBO Max cooking show “Selena + Chef” as well as the recently released feature film “Broken Hearts Gallery.” She will also be the executive producer and will star, along with comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short, in the upcoming Hulu series “Only Murders in the Building.”

 

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GLORIA “GOYO” MARTÍNEZ

As the passionate, soulful voice of Colombias Latin GRAMMY-winning and GRAMMY-nominated trio ChocQuibTown, Gloria “Goyo” Martínez has become one of the most rousing and conscious lyricists in Latin music. The Afro-Colombian singer, rapper and composer has also been championing more inclusivity and equality since the start of her career. Born in Chocó, a department in Colombia nestled along the Pacific coast, Martínez grew up in a vibrant, musical household. Her favorite track growing up was “Goyito Sabater” by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, which endearingly earned her the nickname Goyo. With ChocQuibTown, Goyo has navigated spaces in urban, alternative and tropical genres, while always representing their love of Colombian folklore. This ability to maneuver seamlessly across musical styles has linked them to noteworthy collaborations with artists such as Tego Calderón, Farruko, Carlos Santana, Carlos Vives and Zion & Lennox.

ANGELA N. MARTINEZ, ESQ.

Miami native Angela “Angie” Martinez has been working in the music business for the past 20 years. She has garnered experience working in-house at BMG US Latin, Universal Music Publishing Group and EMI Music Latin America. In addition to her corporate experience, she has worked independently with top artists, songwriters and producers such as Mike Bahía, Claudia Brant, Camilo, Mau y Ricky, Luis Fonsi, Ricardo Montaner, Pitbull and Ozuna, to mention a few. Billboard magazine has recognized Martinez as a “Top Music Attorney” for two consecutive years and she recently received the 2020 “Wonder Woman of Latin Music” award from the Latin Alternative Music Conference.

 

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MARÍA ELENA SALINAS

María Elena Salinas is an award-winning journalist and author. She joined CBS News as a contributor in 2019 and previously served as co-anchor of Univision’s evening news program for more than 30 years. Her work has earned the top awards presented in broadcasting, including multiple Emmys, a Peabody, Gracie Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism. A versatile and bilingual journalist, Salinas has interviewed every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter. She was one of the first female journalists in wartime Baghdad, participated in the 2004 bilingual debate on Hispanic issues and in 2007 co-hosted the first Democratic and Republican presidential candidate forums in Spanish for Univision. Salinas is a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and for over two decades has provided dozens of journalism students with a scholarship in her name.

About the event

The 2020 Leading Ladies of Entertainment ceremony will take place virtually tonight, Nov. 17. The annual event is not only an opportunity for The Latin Recording Academy to recognize and highlight the work of incredible women, but also serves as a platform to raise funds for the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation.  A portion of the proceeds earned from corporate sponsorships will go toward a scholarship for a young woman interested in studying music.

To help support the event, TURESPAÑA and Mastercard will join forces with The Latin Recording Academy as sponsors to honor outstanding women. Following the event, Mastercard will host curated content on priceless.com recapping the Leading Ladies celebration and the importance of womens success in the entertainment industry.  

Maria Elena Salinas

Maria Elena Salinas to be Keynote Speaker at Regain Our Latino Power virtual event

Award-winning journalist and author, Maria Elena Salinas, will be joining the conversation at virtual event, Regain Our Latino Power, as Keynote Speaker. The event will bring together influential Latino leaders and discuss important topics such as Latinxs essential workers, Latinxs and the economy, Immigration Reform, Deportations and Incarceration of Latino Children.

Salinas joined CBS News as a contributor in 2019, a role in which she reports across multiple CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Salinas is one of the most recognizable and respected journalists in the country, most notably having served as co-anchor of Univision’s evening news program for more than 30 years.

Maria Elena Salinas

Award-winning journalist, Maria Elena Salinas (Photo Credit: Gio Alma)

In a career that spans nearly four decades, Salinas has interviewed world leaders and covered virtually every major national and international news event of our time. Her work has earned the top awards presented in broadcasting, including multiple Emmys, a Peabody, Gracie Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.

While at CBS News, Salinas has contributed to the network’s coverage of the 2020 election including primetime coverage of Super Tuesday and the Democratic and Republican national conventions. Salinas also anchored the poignant CBS News documentary “Pandemia: Latinos In Crisis,” an hour-long, sweeping look at the Latinx community, along with other communities of color, who continues to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic while fulfilling essential roles across the country. For “48 Hours,” Salinas investigated the death of a college student and the international search for her killer. Salinas also contributed to a special edition of CBS News’ investigative series “Eye on America,” which examined how families throughout communities across the country and once lived paycheck to paycheck, fell through the cracks and found themselves homeless.

Most recently, Salinas was the host of “The Real Story with Maria Elena Salinas,” a crime series for Investigation Discovery. She also covered the 2018 presidential election in Mexico for Telemundo.

Salinas contributed to CBS News in 2016, when she reported on the role Hispanics would play in the election for “CBS Sunday Morning.” While at Univision, she was co-host of “Noticiero Univision” and co-host of “Aquí y Ahora,” a newsmagazine program for Univision.

A versatile and bilingual journalist, Salinas has interviewed every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter. She is at ease interviewing newsmakers such as Manuel Noriega, the former dictator of Panama and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, as she is sitting down with Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan.

Salinas was one of the first female journalists in wartime Baghdad. She participated in the 2004 bilingual debate on Hispanic issues and in 2007 co-hosted the first Democratic and Republican presidential candidate forums in Spanish for Univision.

From 2001-2011, Salinas wrote a weekly syndicated column in both English and Spanish. She is also the author of the 2006 autobiography, “I Am My Father’s Daughter, Living a Life Without Secrets.”

Salinas is a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and for over two decades has provided dozens of students with a scholarship under her name. She also serves on the board of Hispanic Scholarship Board.

Salinas began her journalism career in 1981 as a reporter, anchor and public affairs host for KMEX-TV, Univision’s affiliate in Los Angeles.

Mariela Dabbah, Red Shoe Movement

Q&A with Red Shoe Movement founder on the Signature Event at MetLife

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event in NYC

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event in NYC

Have you heard of the Red Shoe Movement (RSM)? It is the only women empowerment platform born from a movement and sustained by a movement. Mariela Dabbah, its founder and leader, is a world-renowned thought-leader, international speaker, corporate consultant, and best-selling author who has been helping Latinos and women connect the dots to achieve success for twenty years.

Now, she is getting ready to launch her Signature Event of the year at MetLife, a gathering that nobody interested in personal and professional growth can miss. Seriously!

This year 2015 has been an important one for Mariela, when she was selected as one of the “25 Most Powerful Women” by People en Español. Her “madrina” was Maria Elena Salinas, another powerful Latina in media.

We asked Mariela to talk about the event, about her and her future plans. These are her answers.

Mariela Dabbah, Founder of the Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah, Founder of the Red Shoe Movement with her Lola Ramona shoes

Q: What is the goal of this new event happening November 9 at MetLife? What impact do you expect to create in the participants?

Mariela: This is our annual RSM Signature Event, an event unlike anything you’ve seen. And not only because 90 percent of the people show up with red shoes and ties, but also because of the goals and format. The goal is to provide women with a space to discover what they want professionally for themselves, to experience an “aha” moment that will guide the next steps in their careers. We attain this by inviting them to actively participate in six conversations about topics that are very relevant for career growth. Topics include how to discover your passion, engaging men to propel your career forward, what is executive presence and how to develop it, winning negotiation strategies, embracing assertiveness, and how to be the CEO of your own career

During these conversations, facilitated by senior executives trained in our methodology, women have a sense of how much they have to offer and how much there is to learn. And of course, they become part of a powerful community of likeminded women who support their objectives.

Q: What is the driving force of the Red Shoe Movement now that is has become an international movement? Why do you think it is so successful –in addition to your dedication and passion for empowering women? What does it “awake” in women?

Mariela: We only started three years ago and we now have fans in over 130 countries and work with companies across the US and Latin America helping them develop and promote their female employees.

The 7 Red Shoe Movement Principles along with our #RedShoeTuesday campaign give women a sense of ownership and purpose. Something concrete they can do to fulfill their career goals while helping others to fulfill theirs. The message around defining your own success so you may align your aspirations with your career objectives is very powerful. It all came out of my book Find Your Inner Red Shoe (Penguin 2013). And of course the fact that, as a leadership development company focused on diverse women, we offer year-round coaching and resources to help them move to the next level in their careers. Because both large corporations and individual women can subscribe to our Step Up program it has made it very easy for people to jump on board.

Q: Can you explain a little bit the Red Shoe Tuesday campaign?

Mariela: The Red Shoe Tuesday is a campaign we launched from the very beginning. We encourage people to wear red shoes and ties to go to work every Tuesday to show support for the career advancement of women. This action helps to keep up the conversation about the value of having more women in leadership positions and about what women and organizations can do to make it happen.

L to R: Mariela Dabbah, Maria Salinas Adamari Lopez

L to R: Adamari Lopez, Mariela Dabbah, Maria Elena Salinas

Q: What is important for Mariela Dabbah now that you have achieved recognition as one of People en Español “25 Most Powerful Women”? What is not important anymore? What is next?

Mariela: I was honored to be nominated by Maria Elena Salinas for this powerful list. It’s a great milestone because it gives me and the RSM more visibility so that more women can benefit from being part of our community.

It has also been an important year as we developed amazing relationships with Lola Ramona and Farylrobin, our shoe sponsors. They have enabled us to take our work to the next level by helping us make our events, webinars and programs that much more fun with lots of shoe giveaways!

Nothing has changed much in terms of what’s important to me, though. I still work hard to create and deliver the best quality content across everything I do. I still value each one of my relationships. I still underpromise and overdeliver. So far, my strategy seems to be working well.

Q: Where can people register for the event on November 9 in NYC?

Mariela: Readers can register here for the event. As fans and readers of LatinasinBusiness.us, you can get a 20 percent discount using this coupon rsmsepa2015 at checkout.

 

We also wanted to get the views of our friend and fantastic leader Ali Curi, President and Founder of Hispanic Professionals Networking Group (HPNG), who will be the MC and interviewer for the Signature event.

Ali Curi, President and Founder Hispanic Professional Networking Group

Ali Curi, President and Founder Hispanic Professional Networking Group

Q: What is the added value that Hispanic Professionals bring to the table to the Red Shoe Movement?

Ali: HPNG has had a long history of creating a platform for Latino leaders to share their experiences with other Hispanic professionals. We’re honored to be able to contribute to the RSM Signature Event by inviting HPNG members to learn from Red Shoe Movement members and for them to share their own insight for a well-rounded experience for everyone.

Q: What it means personally and professionally to you to be part of this event?

Ali: Personally, to be involved in great endeavors that service Latino professionals such as this one is part of my DNA. I have always maintained a mission of collaboration with my peers and other organizations to better our Hispanic community as a whole. Am I’m thrilled that I can personally contribute by leading the Lunch Keynote Interview that day.

With Christie and Piera from Latino Mom Bloggers

Hispanicize 2015 reaching new heights in Latino events (photo gallery)

Welcome to Miami

Finally I arrived at Newark airport on Saturday night at around 8pm, despite my fear of cancellations after the Northeast snow storm on Friday. It was over, now back to reality.

During the week I did not have a lot of opportunity to think about the event itself; you just live it, inhale it, and enjoy it as much as you can. Needless to say, now that it has come to an end, tiredness sinks in and voila, you start recalling.

First, kudos to the Hispanicize 2015 team for a very professionally run conference! Managing an event this large and this long, moving people, hosting celebrities, finding venues, and having a Latino event running on time and on schedule for a week? That is almost a Superhero achievement!

I guess you need a grandiose mind –in a good sense- to imagine and then make such an experience tangible for hundreds of people who only attend the event to be pampered and indulged. Every little detail was taking care of, from device chargers to great food and fantastic entertainment, every day, all week.

Starting with the venue, the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, the place was not only large and comfortable enough but also serviced with excellence. (How did they perfectly cook those fillet mignons for at least 500 people, all served at the same time?)

Intercontinental Hotel rooftop

Intercontinental Hotel rooftop

Sound, lights, technology, all worked seamlessly every time. You expect something to go wrong and that would be perfectly OK in such a large event but al least in what I was able to see or hear –I couldn’t clone myself to be in every session or every show-, I did not hear major complaints. And if problems were encountered or mistakes were made, a casual observer like me was left totally unaware.

Sessions and panel discussions deserve a separate paragraph. Although most sessions were well attended, I found that content was uneven and there was no way to know ahead of time. Maybe making attendees aware that discussion would be generic or for newbie bloggers could help –but I’m not sure if such warning is possible.

Discussions around monetization and working with brands, for instance, were pretty generic and lacked specificity. For new bloggers who are just starting, I would have preferred a little more guidance. Yes, you could pick something here and there but guidance to devise a strategy on working with agencies or brands would have been really helpful. After all, attendees were paying a lot of money to acquire solid knowledge, so brands should really make an effort to openly discuss those strategies.

Looking for Latinas in business, I attended a few panels and I found some discussions really interesting, such as the Public Roundtable with the Nation’s Most Powerful Latina Journalists moderated by Mercedes Soler, News anchor, CNN en español. They spoke about their trajectory as women and as Latinas in media, and how they broke glass ceiling and became a media professional in their own right. A very inspiring session of some of my favorite media Latinas –Maria Elena Salinas, Co-anchor, Noticiero Univision, Shirley Vazquez, Latina magazine Executive Editor, Cynthia Hudson, Sr VP CNN en español, and the friendly Myriam Marquez, Ex Editor at El Nuevo Herald, with whom I shared lunch right before the panel. Kudos to these magnificent ladies who opened doors for all of the rest!

Hispanicize 2015 Latina Journalist panel 2

Hispanicize 2015 Latina Journalist panel

Another excellent panel was the Uncap Your Happiness (presented by Coca-Cola) with Sonja Lyubormisky, University of California, Maria Celeste, Telemundo, Nataly Arias, Colombian National Team, Alba Adamo, Group Director of Hispanic Markets at Coca-Cola, and the extraordinary Nelly Galan, from The Adelante Movement. They all brought an insight of what it means to be happy and how each person can become the true maker of their own happiness.

My favorite time of each day? Latinnovators awards was a special moment when the conference stopped to play tribute to the big ones, those who have made it through hard work and persistence. If there is a value our Latino community should never leave behind is the care for others. We are a caring community, and the words of wisdom from Don Francisco, Arturo Guzman or Ciurana talking about their total commitment with their careers and their communities was not only inspiring but bello, muy bello!

Regrets? So sorry I missed Lori Ruff @loriruff, the Chief Brand Evangelist for ALPFA.org and LinkedIn Diva. I was really looking forward to meeting her!

Thanks for MacDonalds Cruise @MeEncanta

Thanks for MacDonalds Cruise @MeEncanta

A shout out to all my fabulous Latina Twitter friends who I finally met in person –they looked so familiar I swear it seemed I have known them forever: Elianne Ramos, the incredible and laureate @ergeekgoddess; Lynn Ponder, @ponderful –who won three, yes, three TECLA Awards–; Melanie La Bloguera, @melaniegonzalez; Elaine de Valle, @newschica, who won TECLA with Political Cortadito –and with whom we share some journalistic history–;  Cathy Cano-Murillo, @craftychica; Liza Monet Morales, @xoxoLiza; and Jeannette Kaplun, @jeannettekaplun.

The incredible Latina Mom Bloggers, @latinamombloggers, Piera Jolly, CEO and co-founder of Latina Mom Bloggers Network;  Cristy Clavijo-Kish and her twin daughters; and Angela Sustaita-Ruiz announced their new venture, DiMe Media Inc. to conduct customized digital campaigns and expand the relationship between bloggers and brands.

In my view, Hispanicize has raised the bar for every Latino event from now on; I would even dare to say, for every event period. It has reached the levels of excellence that all of us should aspire to achieve in our every day activity. Many generations of Latinos have worked very hard to get here, and Hispanicize is another proof that Latinos  we deserve the place we have earned on the national stage.

Click on any picture to see the photo gallery!