Businesswoman during interview.
Without fear of failure, it is the attitude that every Latina entrepreneur must have. Photo: Pixabay.

'Creating Your Lasting Legacy,' powerful women who paved the way for other Latinas

The discussion during the 2022 Latina Empow(h)er Summit featured the experiences of three Latinas who achieved corporate success.


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In addition to resilience, discipline and charisma, these women managed to stand out professionally and are respected executives today thanks to their embrace of their origins and values to achieve their goals in a world without diversity.

With an entertaining hosting in Yai Vargas, from the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), and a celebrated panel made up of Ms. JoAnn Chávez, Senior VP and Chief Legal Officer at DTE Energy; Ms. Tonie Leatherberry, advisor to many from the world's largest companies in the technology, retail and manufacturing sectors; as well as Ms. Gloria Santona, Of Counsel at Baker & McKenzie, the 'Creating Your Lasting Legacy' conference was the perfect opportunity to remind new Latina entrepreneurs that their origin and skin color are powerful weapons to stand out in the new world of Corporate America.

“Always work strategically with the networks you create, both within the company and with external people, so you always seek to bring something new to the table,” said Leatherberry, who also assured that we must undertake the consequences of our decisions always as a fundamental part of the process, acting with confidence and being sure of ourselves.

For her part, Chávez highlighted the importance of first “dominate your box” to expand firmly in any organization, whether public or private. This means that, before demanding recognition from employers, it is important that they can recognize, through the work of each one, the value and projection they may have within the business strategy of a company.

It is important to highlight how today, unlike when these women began their careers, identifying as Latina, highlighting their origin and celebrating their race, is now considered an advantage and a possible strength when it comes to either obtaining a job or climbing to positions where they can be considered for executive positions or be taken into account to become members of boards of directors.

Santona highlighted perseverance as the most powerful weapon of any female entrepreneur or worker to be able to elevate her profession and reach leadership positions within any organization, without neglecting the importance of having sponsors or mentors who, voluntarily, give them a hand so they can prove to themselves that they can achieve everything they set out to do and be appreciated in a way that corresponds to their work results.

"Invest frequently in others," is one of the pieces of advice Leatherberry offered to women starting their careers and looking to stand out amid corporate dynamics, to which Chavez added that they "must have great ferocity, even if they are insecure,” to outline and develop objectives that allow the person to grow along with the company.

One of the main conclusions of the talk was that to achieve corporate success and be a relevant person for the different organizations, for-profit or non-profit, it is important to surround yourself, not only with people who help you strengthen your weaker aspects and to recognize qualities that even you are unaware of, but also to find in diversity a tool to stand out and make a difference in whatever the profession. 

Check more info about the 2022 Latina Empow(h)er Summit by clicking here.


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