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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! 

gender inclusion in the workplace

Mariela Dabbah, the perils of a global pandemic for gender inclusion in the workplace

As 2020 draws to a close, Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, reflects on the Covid-19 pandemic impact for gender inclusion in the workplace. The pandemic has touched all communities and industries across the globe but most importantly, it has affected the lives of women. The consequential economic crisis is now being called the “she-cession” because women, especially those working full-time jobs, have been mostly affected by having to keep up with their jobs remotely AND managing children and their schooling at home. 

Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

Mariela Dabbah, founder of a leadership development company powered by a global community of women and men allies who support each other for career success, is working to give women the support they need amid these challenging times. 

The TEDx and International speaker, award-winning, best-selling author and go-to corporate authority for Fortune 500 companies interested in inclusive cultures sat for an interview with LatinasinBusiness.us on this very specific and concerning topic. 

How the pandemic has affected women in the workplace

Despite much progress over the years in regards to the issue of gender equity in the workplace, women are still under-represented in higher level positions, with only 7% of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. “And while many organizations boast of having a higher percentage of women than men at lower levels of the pyramid, it continues to be very lonely at the top,” Mariela says. 

In the post-Covid landscape, some of this small progress is now being dialed back. The most recent research shows how women have been much more affected by the pandemic, with one in four considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce. Many organizations are now losing their female and diverse talent at higher rates than before. 

“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,” says Mariela. 

As the primary caregivers in most households, women were already in charge of the many hours of unpaid work related to raising a family and keeping a home. This past year they have had to shoulder even more of these responsibilities as lockdowns caused children to become homeschooled through distance learning. The struggle of juggling their careers while being a hands-on parent and maintaining their household has forced many women to compromise, step back or quit all together. 

Foreseeing a negative pandemic effect on women in the workplace early on, Mariela and her team developed programs and initiatives to support them. 

The pandemic shock first, the impact later 

“It’s been a very tough year for all of us,” says Mariela. “The first few weeks of the pandemic, I felt as lost as everyone else. It wasn’t so much the change of working from home rather than going to the office. I’ve been working mostly virtually for the last decade. It was more a feeling of unease. Feeling drained. Having no willpower, having not one spark of creativity. As if everything had literally been put on pause, even my brain.” 

This same feeling has been felt by many women struggling to adjust to this new post-Covid reality. It’s hard to figure out what to do next when the future feels uncertain, with no access to resources and support systems to help them navigate these tumultuous changes. 

Women across the globe coming together virtually in solidarity for gender inclusion in the workplace (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

“It wasn’t long before we started hearing horrible stories of women being overwhelmed by trying to juggle all the new responsibilities. For instance, stories of bosses micromanaging their teams to the point of asking associates to have their cameras on during the 8 to 10-hour workday so they could check on them,” Mariela shares. 

Mariela and her team immediately created a program to address this sense of impotence and being overwhelmed to provide women with a support system that helps them avoid making rash decisions. Additionally, they have launched an initiative that continues to propel the fight for gender inclusion in the workplace. 

 

gender inclusion in the workplace

#InclusionIsNotOnPause initiative (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

“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.”

Continuing the fight for gender inclusion 

Join the #RedShoeTuesday campaign! (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

Despite the pandemic and the struggles this past year, 2020 has also been a time of growth for many, Mariela included. This strange year has had its ups and downs, and for many the “break” from our traditional routines has led to inspiration and sparked new ideas for innovation. 

“I’ve been very lucky this year just by staying healthy.  Also, the fact that we’ve been delivering our programs virtually for so long played to our advantage; we made tweaks and improvements to everything we offer. My team and I kept coming up with new ways to better serve our clients now that they are all working from home,” says Mariela.

One personal highlight of 2020 that stands out to her is her invitation to present at TEDx Deer Park Women

“It was an amazing opportunity to share my vision for promoting a Global Leap of Consciousness in gender equity with our #RedShoeTuesday campaign.”

What’s next in women equity in the workplace?

“As the pandemic has proven, it’s impossible to predict what will happen five years from now. But our mission is to level the playing field for women and we will continue to do whatever we can to achieve it,” says Mariela. 

The Red Shoe Movement continues to develop new programs to address the needs of its clients and communication campaigns that keep raising awareness to reach gender equity. One of their latest programs is the Allyship Circles to help people talk about problematic issues in a safe environment. “The goal is to foster a culture of inclusion as quickly as possible so that all associates feel like they belong and that they are valued for their contributions,” Mariela explains.  

gender inclusion in the workplace

Wear your red shoes too for gender inclusion in the workplace! #RedShoeTuesday (Photo courtesy Mariela Dabbah)

We have seen many women step into leadership positions this past year, especially in politics. Each time a woman rises in leadership, it shows others that this too is possible for them. That kind of mentality is what Mariela hopes to continue to foster moving forward. 

You may be interested: Gender diversity in the C-suite, where Latinas stand

“The ‘seeing is believing’ kind of effect really works,” she said. “But progress inside corporations continues to be very slow. At the higher levels, there tends to be more women in roles such as HR, Communications and Marketing and many less in other areas of the business. However, since #BlackLivesMatter, the country seems to have experienced an awakening and as a result, organizations seem to be honestly committed to real change. We’ll have to wait and see if these changes stick. For now, we are seeing a wave of companies looking for real solutions to the inequity situation and this will have an impact not only on Black associates but on all under-represented groups, including women.” 

The future ahead is still uncertain, but as we head into the new year, Mariela and the Red Shoe Movement are more focused than ever in ensuring that she and her team continue to help women prosper and thrive in their careers.

red shoe movement gender equality

Red Shoe Movement and Celebrity Cruises to ring the bell for gender equality

In partnership with the Red Shoe Movement Gender Equality Global Initiative, Celebrity Cruises had the privilege to ‘Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas’ in honor of International Women’s Day, March 8.

gender equality red shoe movement

Mariela Dabbah, founder and CEO, Red Shoe Movement, and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, at the “Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas” ceremony for gender equality on International Women’s Day.

Celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, the entire fleet of Celebrity Cruises ships positioned around the world – from the Caribbean to Australia, and in all global offices – will held a special bell ringing ceremony hosted by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises, on Celebrity Summit, with the ship’s executive team and the Founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, Mariela Dabbah. Each Celebrity ship and the global offices will then follow with their own ceremony.

red shoe movement gender equality

Celebrity Cruises ceremony in partnership with Red Shoe Movement for gender equality

“On International Women’s Day millions of people around the world will celebrate the accomplishments of women, and the men who support their efforts,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “I’m proud to stand with the Red Shoe Movement as gender equality is an ongoing commitment for all of us at Celebrity.”

Lutoff-Perlo added: “Women are breaking glass ceilings in every country and industry – and there are many, many success stories for gender parity. Yet we have to push for even more progress, and it takes all of us working together to show the world the power of unity.”

red shoe movement celebrity cruises gender equality

Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas ceremony

Dabbah, Founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, said: “I am proud for Red Shoe Movement, whose mission is to accelerate the representation of women at the top, to partner with Celebrity Cruises to ‘Ring the Bell on the 7 Seas’ especially as Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is a CEO who walks her talk in everything she does. The thousands of crew members and guests around the world on a Celebrity ship or in any of their global offices will unite to take a stand on gender equality. This is a historic moment in this industry and for women worldwide.”

To learn more about the ceremony and Celebrity’s commitment to gender equality, follow along on social media using “#CelebratingWomen”, “#IWDleader”, “#IWD2018”, and “#GenderBell”.

Latina entrepreneurs

Red Shoe Movement interviews Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us

Latina entrepreneurs are a rare species, not in numbers but in quality. Once they find their life purpose, they dedicate their lives to it. Mariela Dabbah is one of them. I met Mariela, founder of the Red Shoe Movement, a few years ago and we connected, maybe because we have similar backgrounds -in country of origin, as immigrants and in many other aspects of our lives. Mariela has become a great supporter of LatinasinBusiness.us, and I’m eternally grateful for it. 

Susana G Baumann with Red Shoe Movement leader Mariela Dabbah Latina entrepreneurs

Susana G Baumann with Red Shoe Movement leader Mariela Dabbah

For Latina entrepreneurs interested in growing their business, there are few people as focused on their challenges as Susana Baumann. Inspiring, generous and connected, her organization is making a difference for small women-owned businesses and the communities they serve. Get to know her!

A multicultural expert, award-winning business writer, public speaker and published author, Susana Baumann is the Founder and Director of LCSWorldwide, a Multicultural Marketing Communications consulting firm located in New Jersey. Susana is the Editor-in-Chief of her company’s new initiative, LatinasinBusiness.us, an online platform dedicated to the economic empowerment of the Latina working woman.

The platform has received the attention and support of Latina leaders around the country including the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the New America Alliance (NAA), and the National Latina Business Women Association (NLBWA). She has received the Latina Excellence Award, the TECLA Award for Best Business Blog at Hispanicize 2015, and was invited to become a media member of the NAA American Latina Leadership Caucus. In 2017, Susana Baumann was named a 2017 Latina of Influence by Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine.

Most importantly, Susana Baumann is a constant presence in initiatives that matter to Latina entrepreneurs, always ready to provide insights, support and visibility to those who need it most.

Susana Baumann supporting Latina entrepreneurs

Susana Baumann supporting Latina entrepreneurs

RSM— How does someone with your background in architecture and marketing communications decide to focus on Latina entrepreneurs?

Susana G Baumann (SB) — The beauty of moving to another country is the opportunity to find who you really are and what your purpose is. I studied Architecture in Argentina because my father chose that career for me. I had some inclination for the arts but he considered Architecture a more profitable career. I only worked as an architect for a few years and then I became a college professor.

When I had the opportunity to move to the US, I decided a professional accreditation would allow me to work here in something that I always loved, writing and publishing. So I went back to the student’s seat and finished a second Masters degree. My knowledge of English was also an advantage to find work as a bridge between Americans and a burgeoning Latino market that was still growing. I immediately recognized the opportunity to become the voice of many Latinos who didn’t or couldn’t speak for themselves.

After several jobs in corporate and public service, in 1996 I started a home-based, side business. I started as a small translation company but many of my clients had little understanding of the Latino market cultural nuances. A simple translation would not deliver their message. The business took a life of its own and we became a Multicultural Marketing Communications agency.

The focus on Latina entrepreneurs came later, only three years ago, as a result of my experience as a Latina small business owner, and the need to “pay it forward.” I launched LatinasinBusiness.us as my legacy to those young Latinas starting their own struggle as entrepreneurs, to help them overcome the obstacles I had to conquer on my own. Nobody needs to do this alone; there are many resources out there to help Latina entrepreneurs and small businesses if they reach out and show up.

The Role of Latina Entrepreneurs in the U.S. Economy

RSM— Why are Latina entrepreneurs a key segment of the U.S. economy?

SB— Latinas are, as everybody knows by now, the fastest growing demographic opening businesses in the U.S. Not everybody knows, however, that they have a high rate of failure as well. And their revenue growth is not as relevant as their white female counterparts –that extends to Latino male-owned businesses as well.

By helping them grow and sustain their businesses, not only we help them. We also help close a gap in the US economy (a gap that runs in the billions of dollars,) of missed revenue and job creation opportunities. This could help the communities that Latina entrepreneurs serve, grow. Latina small businesses are American businesses. They represent almost 20% of 4.3M Latino-owned business across the country and these are big numbers!

RSM— What do you think are some advantages that Latina entrepreneurs have in this VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) business environment?

SB— The same advantages small business owners always have to hone! I will bring you another acronym, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). As a small business owner, you have to be constantly vigilant about everything that is happening around you, locally, nationally and internationally, so you can make the best decisions for your business. This principle allowed me to survive for over 20 years and constantly reinvent myself according to the circumstances and opportunities that presented themselves. An entrepreneur is a person who is constantly looking for innovation, improvement and to size up new opportunities!

Susana G Baumann, Editor-in-Chief LIBizus Latina entrepreneurs

Susana G Baumann, Editor-in-Chief LIBizus

Learning From Failure and What Can Latina Entrepreneurs Do Better

RSM— Understanding we are generalizing here, are there any particular areas where Latina entrepreneurs could make some adjustments to better reach their business goals?

SB— I speak about this all the time: Break out of your isolation and support each other. We work hard but tend to stay isolated, make our own decisions without bouncing off ideas of other entrepreneurs or business people. And sometimes, being your own advisor might not be the best advice!

Another important issue is that women need to support each other, something men do very well. Women tend to be more judgmental with each other –again, generalizing- and decide in the first three minutes of meeting someone if they like them or not. This judgment is usually made as a response to the other person’s appearance. We need to stop those behaviors, become more socially adept and find good in every person we meet. They might have qualities we don’t have that can help us grow as a person and as a business!

RSM— What have you learned from your own failures as a Latina entrepreneur?

SB— Looking back, when I started my business I had the idea that I was invincible and I was never going to fail. HA! I was hit hard many times. Some situations were of my own making –such as when we had to fold our beautiful bilingual newspaper Periódico Latino, because we couldn’t sustain it. Others were circumstances out of my control –such as the Great Recession of 2008-2010. In both instances, I stayed in the pity-pot for a while, and then I picked up myself and reinvented my business. Once at the bottom, I didn’t feel I had a choice other than going up. I just had to work smarter and even harder, be very persistent. Having a business involves a lot of sacrifices, long hours, lost vacation opportunities, little social life, plus being constantly on the look out for opportunities and for those who can provide them.

Latina entrepreneurs with Susana Baumann

Latina entrepreneurs with Susana G Baumann at 2016 Pitch your Business Competition

RSM— You offer a wonderful opportunity for Latina entrepreneurs to pitch their business and learn a ton of insights from leaders in the field. Tell us about the Latina Small Business Expo.

SB— After two successful years of conducting our “Pitch Your Business to the Media” competition, we have added the Latina SmallBiz Expo to this annual event. We want to celebrate and showcase the power of Latina entrepreneurs in the region, the driving force of many markets such as beauty, retail, clothing, telephone services, food and beverage, financial services and many more.

As I said before, Latina entrepreneurs and small businesses work in isolation. We need to get them out of that isolation and help them find the resources they need to succeed. This is another reason we have the Latina SmallBiz Expo: To bring resources such as IFundWomen, a national organization that runs crowfunding campaigns only for women’s businesses, and the Union County Economic Development Corporation (UCEDC), which is offering a discounted rate business loan through the Tory Burch Foundation. Both organizations will take applications at our event so I encourage those who are looking for funding not to miss this unique opportunity.

One last comment: We encourage the general public to attend this great event and choose LSBEPuertoRico General Admission ($10) at online registration ($15 at the door). Those tickets will be donated in full to Puerto Rico Disaster Relief. To register and for information: https://latinasbizexpo.eventbrite.com/

You can connect with Susana Baumann via social media on Twitter: @LIBizus

Facebook: LatinasinBusiness.us  FB Discussion group: We are LatinasinBusiness.us

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanabaumann/      LinkedIn Page: LatinasinBusiness.us Discussion Group

This article was published originally on the Red Shoe Movement site. 

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Win with LatinasinBusiness.us at the Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

How would you like to attend the Sixth Annual Signature Event of the Red Shoe Movement on Friday November 17, 2017 in New York City as my guest? And win a pair of red shoes? (Then keep reading until the end!)

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Mariela Dabbah , Founder and CEO Red Shoe Movement, embracing the world

The Red Shoe Movement Signature Event is bringing together around 200 professional women and men from the business and corporate worlds for another experiential conference. Participants will have a chance to discuss key career advancement topics such as:  Discover Your Passion, How to Have Difficult Conversations, and Proven Negotiation Strategies, among others.

“Attendees walk away equipped with actionable plans and the know-how to identify those who can help them achieve their career goals. It’s a high-powered, high-energy event that has proven to inspire participants to engage in their careers at a deeper level,” said Mariela Dabbah, CEO and founder of the Red Shoe Movement.

What’s happening this year at the RSM Signature Event?

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

RSM Hall of Fame Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO Celebrity Cruises

This year the RSM is honored to welcome Celebrity Cruises’ President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo as the guest Keynote

Interviewee. One of six leaders distinguished by the RSM 2017 Hall of Fame, Lisa will share her trailblazing career for which she was honored.

Also, and for the first time this year, the RSM is launching an Executive Circle where a group of senior level professionals will give and receive career advice to each other in front of the entire audience on the topic of The Power of Learning from Failure. The Executive Circles follow the core format of the RSM Mutual Mentoring Circles, which are facilitated by a team of star executives especially trained in the RSM methodology.

“We are thrilled to count Susana G Baumann, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LatinasinBusiness.us, as one of our media and strategic partners for our upcoming Red Shoe Movement Signature Event. They serve the community of Latina entrepreneurs in a way nobody else does in this area. Their work helps small business owners turn their dreams into reality, a mission that is close to my heart being an entrepreneur myself. I’m excited to meet many of these inspiring women in person at our November 17 event. If you decide to join us, come and say hello,” said  Dabbah.

You might be interested: Q&A with Red Shoe Movement founder on the Signature Event at MetLife

So are you ready for this Red Shoe Movement treat?

Mariela Dabbah, CEO and Founder, Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah, CEO and Founder, Red Shoe Movement

If you comment on this article before October 17, you will have a chance to win one of 3 ticket to this great event. The bonus? The faster you comment, the larger your chances of getting a pair of exclusive red shoes created by Farylrobin specifically for this Red Shoe Movement event. I have won pairs twice myself! So don’t miss this chance and respond now!

Don’t want to wait? Then this is your $30 off discount coupon for our LatinasinBusiness.us members  rsmse2017lib. You can enter it at checkout !

And wait, there’s more!

Given the great enthusiasm with which its followers celebrate every #RedShoeTuesday, the day when everyone wears red shoes and ties to support women’s career growth, this year the RSM will feature a #RedLookBook booth.

It’s a unique opportunity for attendees to flaunt their professional looks for a chance to win more shoes and a visit to the event’s exclusive shoe sponsor Farylrobin’s offices in December. So don’t wait! Comment on this article now and get your chance to be one of these fab winners!

Increase your chances of getting a pair of Farylrobin shoes in your size by registering before October 17. For more information on the RSM and to register for their Signature Event as our guest visit the registration page and enter discount code  rsmse2017lib. See you all there!

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Showing support for #RedShoeTuesday Red Shoe Movement event

Mariela Dabbah Red Show Movement

Red Shoe Movement welcomes Consumer Reports CEO Marta Tellado

The power of red will take over once again the MetLife Conference Center on Friday, November 4, 2016 from 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM. Yes! Red Shoe Movement (RSM) will hold its Fifth Annual Signature Event in New York, N.Y., in partnership with the Hispanic Professionals Networking Group (HPNG).

Mariela Dabbah Red Show Movement

 

This year the RSM welcomes a relevant keynote speaker, Consumer Reports CEO, Marta L. Tellado. “We are delighted to have Marta with us this year. She’s a transformational leader with an amazing track record as an advocate in a range of issues,” said Ali Curi, president of HPNG, who will conduct the interview with Ms. Tellado.

As Consumer Reports’ eighth president, since 2014 Marta leads the world’s largest and most-trusted nonprofit consumer organization. Marta has also served as Vice President for Global Communications and Board Office for the Ford Foundation in New York.

Born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey, Marta began her career in public interest leadership working alongside consumer advocates Ralph Nader and Joan Claybrook at Public Citizen. Since then, she has served as Executive Director of the Domestic Policy Group at the Aspen Institute and as Director for National Issues and Outreach for Senator Bill Bradley.

Later, and as Vice President of the Partnership for Public Service, she launched the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government and the Service to America awards.

Marta L. Tellado, Consumer Reports CEO

Marta L. Tellado, Consumer Reports CEO

Marta, who holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University, is known as a transformational leader with a talent for innovation, a lifelong commitment to social justice, and a distinguished portfolio of public policy accomplishments.

During the event, attendees will take part of the RSM Mutual Mentoring Circles facilitated by a team of star executives: Lily Benjamin, Lucía Ballas Traynor, Johanna Torres, Jola Kordowski Stephen Palacios, and Ali Curi himself.

They will discuss key career advancement topics such as: Discover Your Passion, How to Have Difficult Conversations, Proven Negotiation Strategies, and others. “Attendees walk away equipped with actionable plans and the know-how to identify those who can help them achieve their career goals. It’s a high-powered, high-energy event that has proven to inspire participants to engage in their careers at a deeper level,” said Mariela Dabbah, CEO and founder of the Red Shoe Movement.

Mariela Dabbah and the Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah is an award winning author, corporate consultant, international speaker, founder & CEO of the Red Shoe Movement (RSM), the only women empowerment platform born from a grassroots movement and sustained by a movement. Mariela Dabbah, a fearless Argentine-American red-haired whose power and determination has impacted the lives of thousands of women around the globe and counting was named one of the “25 Mujeres Poderosas” by People en Espanol in 2015.

L to R: Mariela Dabbah, Maria Salinas Adamari Lopez

Mariela Dabbah, Maria Elena Salinas, Adamari Lopez were among the Powerful Women selected by People en Espanol.

She has presented at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia University, The Conference Board, The College Board, NSHMBA, ALPFA and many other corporations, universities and professional organizations.

You might be interested: Q&A with Red Shoe Movement founder on the Signature Event at MetLife

For more information on the RSM and to register for our Signature Event visit, http://redshoemovement.com/product/rsm-signature-event-at-met-life/

 As a LatinasinBusiness.us fan, you can attend for free! Three lucky winners will be our guests at this signature event when you sign up for our weekly newsletter here:

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ahora te toca a ti Latinas in business Latina entrepreneurs

Women’s History Month Progress of Latina leadership in business and corporate

Since launching our LatinasinBusiness.us initiative, we have interviewed and were honored with the presence of highly respected Latina leadership. Here’s a list of the Latina entrepreneurs and Hispanic leaders in the business and corporate worlds who visited our pages and shared their experience and wisdom about the progress of Latinas with our readers (by date of publication).

 

Suzanna SanchezSuzanna Sanchez, National President of the National Latina Business Women Association (NLBWA).

“As women, we have a hard time juggling all our roles, as mothers, spouses, professionals and business owners. Organizations such as ours stand behind Latino women in business to help them thrive as leaders. We support policies that would simplify their lives while advancing their economic power.”

 

Angelica-Perez-Litwin_LatinasThinkBigDr. Perez-Litwin,  PhD, a tech social entrepreneur and psychologist  founder of LATINAS THINK BIG

“With 1.4 million computer specialist job openings expected in the U.S. by 2020, and Latinas as the fastest growing female population in this country, it is imperative that we support and advance Latinas in technology and across STEM fields.”

 

 

Angela Franco GWHCCAngela Franco, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.

“ Some well-educated first generation Hispanic business owners, especially from Mexico, have opened their businesses in Washington looking for opportunities to work and engage in federal and state contracts. However, they might lack the experience some contracts require, or seniority in working with the agencies. Our goal is not only helping new businesses grow but also sustain the existing ones and help them succeed.”

 

Strayer Portraits -Dr Zoppi RodriguezDr. Irene Zoppi Rodríguez, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and the first Deputy Commander in the U.S. Army Reserve in Puerto Rico.

“Every human being has a purpose in life. Many discover it at the end of their lives, when it is too late, becoming a wasted opportunity. We cannot put time in a box so it is up to us to realize our purpose in life as soon as we can. By discovering that purpose, we can fulfill our destiny within that purpose,” Dr. Zoppi said.

 

 

Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar at the 2nd American Latino National Summit

Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar, Chair of the Board of the New America Alliance (NAA) Institute

“In 1999, a Latina Supreme Court Justice seemed but a dream. Justice Sonia Sotomayor has since inspired legions of American Latinas who can now see themselves in law careers. Latinas in business can have a role model in Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and a NAA member. Her inspiring story has already impacted Latinas in banking and now she’ll show the way from a larger platform.”

 

YazminDavidds_high_resDr. Yasmin Davidds, founder and CEO of the Latina Leadership Academy

“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.”

 

Mariela Dabbah, Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah and the Red Shoe Movement

“Most women looking for empowerment usually end up trying to find a formula that worked for someone else without realizing that their characteristics and personality are likely very different from the person they are trying to emulate. The success of the Red Shoe Movement is based on providing tools for women to find their own definition of success and to follow their own style.

 

Maria_Contreras_Sweet_portraitMaria Contreras-Sweet, Head of the Small Business Administration (SBA)

“We’ve made real progress, but at the same time, Latinos have developed a special culture of entrepreneurship by starting our own enterprises. It’s remarkable to see the growth and strength of Latino-owned businesses. Latino purchasing power is expected to top $1.5 trillion by next year. This means if the American Latino market were its own country, we’d be the 11th largest economy in the world.”

 

 

vice president of research, evaluation and learning at The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Debra Joy Perez, The Annie E. Casey Foundation Vice President-Research, Evaluation and Learning Unit

“What matters to young people is to know that every one of the people they admire has had disappointments in their life. They have tried things and failed. WE have also failed. What distinguishes successful Latinas is that even after failure they try again.”

 

 

Pilar Avila, NAA

Pilar Avila CEO New America Alliance

“Less than one percent of Latinas hold high corporate and/or leadership positions. We need to build new connections, strengthen the relationships among members of the Caucus, and increase the presence of these leaders who bring particular skills to any decision table.”

 

 

Yvonne Garcia

Yvonne Garcia, National Chairwoman for the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA)

“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.”

 

 

Solange Brooks, CalSTRS

Solange Brooks, CalSTRS Portfolio Manager

“Progress over the years comes from one’s own preparation. Women in general and Latinas in particular have increased their preparation, improved their education and are achieving in many areas in the workplace. In business, Latinas cannot allow any roadblocks to stop them from fulfilling their goals. You have to go over, under or around them, but you need to be strong, do the work and get that experience you need to be successful.”

 

 

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.

Ribbon cutting ceremony

SHCCNJ raises the bar at 25th Annual Convention and Awards (photo gallery)

Once again, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey held its 25th Annual Convention and Expo on October 16 at The Brownstone in Paterson NJ.