20 Latina Business Influencers to Follow Today

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Originally posted on Hispanic Executive

There are countless Latina influencers out there who have cultivated passionate followings on social media, but it takes a special type of influencer to build both a brand and a business.

And here at Hispanic Executive, we love nothing better than celebrating entrepreneurship.

Meet the Latina business influencers who are transforming their communities—and the world itself.

 

 

 

Retail

1. Ada V. Rojas, CEO and Founder, Vecina Couture

Ada V. Rojas is a mission-driven entrepreneur: all of her business efforts have reflected her desire to celebrate her Dominican American heritage and uplift other ambitious women. Her latest endeavor is Vecina Couture, a luxury loungewear line that’s been spotlighted by Oprah DailyEssenceRefinery29, and other top outlets.

2. Paola Alberdi, Founder and Creative Director, Blank Itinerary

Paola Alberdi knows fashion. She’s worked with the likes of Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Coach, and Dolce & Gabbana, not to mention lifestyle and beauty brands like Sephora and Givenchy Beauty.

Today, the Mexican American serves as founder and creative director of Blank Itinerary, a bilingual fashion and lifestyle platform that’s earned Alberdi recognition from ForbesVogue México, and Harper’s Bazaar.

3. Julie Sariñana, Founder, Color Dept.

Julie Sariñana created clean nail care company Color Dept. to be a one-stop shop for nail art aficionados “who love to be different.” All Color Dept. products feature bold, vibrant colors and are made with wheat, potato, manioc, and corn rather than chemicals and plastics.

In addition to her work with Color Dept., Sariñana runs a popular fashion blog called Sincerely Jules.

4. Julissa Prado, Founder and CEO, Rizos Curls

Afro-Mexican Julissa Prado spent years fighting her curly hair. She was never happy with how it looked, and she never found any hair products that helped.

In the years since then, she’s not only embraced her hair but created a clean, high-quality line of products designed for all curl types. Prado and Rizos Curls have been featured in People en EspañolPopSugar, and Forbes.

5. Cyndi Ramirez, Founder and CEO, Chillhouse

A serial entrepreneur with a background in fashion, marketing, lifestyle branding, and hospitality, Cyndi Ramirez has been featured by Refinery29Martha Stewart Magazine, theSkimm, and Hispanic Executive.

Her latest venture, Chillhouse, is a “multi-point retail concept” that has revolutionized the spa world. Chillhouse offers a wellness-focused self-care experience that includes a workspace, nail art studio, and massage boutique—a true getaway for those in need of deep relaxation.

5. Camila Coelho, CEO and Founder, Camila Coelho Collection

Beauty and fashion influencer Camila Coelho has not one but two businesses: her eponymous clean clothing line Camila Coelho Collection and a clean beauty brand called Elaluz. Her entrepreneurial spirit has earned her features in both Elle and Forbes.

The Brazilian American is also passionate about destigmatizing neurological disorders—she’s been battling epilepsy since the age of nine.

6. Irma Martinez, Founder and Creative Director, Trendy Inc.

A true icon in the fashion world, Ima Martinez has worked with celebrities like Sofia Vergara, Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Enrique Iglesias, to name but a few. Her company, Trendy Inc., specializes in lifestyle services for the production and entertainment industries. Martinez also offers advisory and coaching services as well as courses on the business of personal shopping and styling.

Read more about her career in Hispanic ExecutivePeople en Español, the Miami New Times, and Poder magazine.

Consulting

1. Eva Hughes, Founder and CEO, Adira Consulting

Eva Hughes was a huge name in the luxury and media spaces—she served as editor-in-chief of VogueMéxico y Latinoamérica and as CEO of Condé Nast México y Latinoamérica—before she struck out on her own in January 2018. Her company, Adira Consulting, offers brand strategy advice to clients that primarily come from the luxury sector. She also offers group and individual coaching services.

As noted in her Hispanic Executive feature, Adira is Hebrew for “strong, noble, powerful.”

2. Victoria Jenn Rodriguez, Founder, Dare to Leap Academy

Victoria Jenn Rodriguez is a business coach and serial entrepreneur who left her high-powered career in the corporate world to start a company of her own.

Her newest business is called the Dare to Leap Academy: it’s an online learning platform where Rodriguez teaches other women how to leave corporate America behind to follow their passions—without giving up their financial stability. Learn more about her in her Hispanic Executive story.

Fitness and Health

1. Michelle Lewin, Founder, One0One

Venezuelan American Michelle Lewin is one of the biggest names in the fitness world: she is a model, bodybuilder, and cover star for magazines like OxygenPlayboy, and Muscle & Fitness Hers.

Lewin is also an entrepreneur. She sells health supplements, clothing, and gym accessories and equipment through her website and has her own personal training app.

Continue on to Hispanic Executive to view the full list.

Habits Highly Successful Business Managers Have (and How to Get Them)
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According to Gallup, bad managers cost businesses billions each year, and account for at least 70% of variances in employee engagement scores. Having a highly successful business manager is crucial to the overall success of a company.

The problem, however, is that not everyone knows what type of habits effective managers have. By being able to identify what those habits are, businesses can take action to find the right people to fill the position, and managers can boost their productivity and increase their efficiency.

“There is always room for improvement, no matter how great of a manager you are,” explains Leon Goren, president and chief executive officer of PEO Leadership. “The good news is that making those improvements can often be simple. It’s just a matter of taking the steps to make it happen, to incorporate new habits that will lead to better outcomes.”

When managers take action to create effective habits, they see positive results in the overall success of their business. Here are some of the habits of highly successful business managers and how to nurture them:

  • Delegation skills. Highly successful leaders know how to delegate, rather than trying to do everything on their own. It’s imperative to learn to trust the people on your team.  If this is an issue for you, start by delegating small tasks and building on them. It’s also important that you have the right people in the right jobs.
  • Building a strong team. When hiring for your team, don’t just look at the candidate’s past experience and qualifications. Make sure that they are a good fit for your team and your overall corporate culture. Do they share the same values? Will they fit into your team’s unique dynamics? Do they understand what the expectations are? When you have the most qualified people – from both a fit and skills perspective, you will not only feel comfortable delegating tasks to them, you will also know they are working toward reaching your company goals. The right employees know how to work efficiently, are engaged, and exponentially help the company succeed.
  • Commitment to learning. The best managers never stop learning and understand that they will never know it all. They are committed to their development, they collaborate and bounce ideas off others, and they have mentors and join peer advisory boards to help them create robust and innovative solutions. These leaders continue to learn from others by discussing their challenges and opportunities and leveraging the knowledge and experience of their peers to help them grow. Joining a community like PEO Leadership, through their Senior Leadership Group, is a great investment in your personal, professional, and organizational growth.
  • Moving past fear. Being afraid to act can stifle management, which holds companies back. Highly successful leaders look to the future and are not afraid to take calculated risks. If this is something you are not comfortable with, consider engaging a leadership coach or joining a peer advisory board. Sharing your challenges and opportunities and getting feedback from multiple perspectives on your intended tactics, will enable you to apply the strategic advice to your plans and implement robust solutions. Having a mentor or successful peers review your plans will give you the confidence you need to carry them out.
  • Listening to others. Learn to actively listen to others. This is a skill that many people lack, even though it can be crucial to business success. Listen to your team, colleagues, mentors, etc. Listening doesn’t mean you have to heed their advice; nonetheless, hearing their thoughts, getting multiple perspectives and being an active listener, will help make you a more effective leader.

“It may seem overwhelming for someone to start laying the foundation to create numerous new habits all at once,” says Goren. “The best way to start is by selecting one thing to work on at a time. Once you have a good handle on it, move on to the next habit you’d like to incorporate. Before you know it, you will have many of these down, and it will be smooth sailing.”

PEO Leadership offers an executive leadership community that represents over 100 business leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and top executives. Its services include peer advisory boards, executive advisors/coaches, community connections, strategic business advice, an annual world-class leadership conference, and thought leadership events including PEO Leadership’s “The Way Forward” live webcast and podcast. The company is owned by Leon Goren, who has over 25 years of leadership experience.

PEO Leadership offers leadership advisory services in six categories, including for Presidents/C-suite executives of large national and multinational organizations, entrepreneurs of large national and multinational companies, global executives, small business entrepreneurs, senior executives, and businesses in transition. There is a 60-day free trial Leadership Bootcamp available. To get more information or obtain a free trial, visit the site at: https://peo-leadership.com.

About PEO Leadership

PEO Leadership is a Canadian peer-to-peer leadership advisory firm that has been the destination for business leaders to regularly meet and discuss important issues, solve problems and explore new opportunities since 1991. The organization provides a safe and highly confidential environment, with PEO Executive Advisors, who facilitate stimulating and astute dialogue to leverage the collective experience, creativity, intellect and wisdom of the Peer Advisory Board and the PEO Leadership Community at large. They support, cultivate and accelerate business leaders’ leadership excellence to achieve great impact through the organizations they lead, the communities they serve and the lives they live. Current members include Umbra, Miele, Crayola, ThinkOn and Nestle. For more information about the company and services, visit the site at: https://peo-leadership.com.

How sustainability achieved gender parity and what it means for women in business
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Our recent report on chief sustainability officers (CSOs) in the U.S. revealed that women went from holding 28 percent in 2011 of the CSO positions to 54 percent in 2021. That’s a 94 percent increase.

Our recent report on chief sustainability officers (CSOs) in the U.S. revealed that women went from holding 28 percent in 2011 of the CSO positions to 54 percent in 2021. That’s a 94 percent increase.

It’s a positive development to see the playing field level for women in sustainability, but what’s driving this trend? And what are the implications for women’s leadership in business more broadly? Before diving into those questions, it’s interesting to look at the trends in gender and leadership in sustainability and business.

The state of women’s leadership in sustainability
When it comes to women’s leadership as CSOs, the biggest jump happened between 2013 and 2014, when the number of women went up by 11 percentage points. There was another significant increase between 2018 and 2021, around the time the #MeToo movement gained momentum. In 2020, when more companies than ever hired their first CSO, female CSOs broke the 50 percent mark to reach their current status.

Outside of sustainability, women in business have not advanced as quickly. In the C-suite, men still far outnumber women. According to a Morningstar report looking at data from 2019, women hold only 12.2 percent of named executive officer roles at companies, up just 2.8 percentage points from 2015. The report authors noted that “this reflects a rate of growth that would only deliver equal representation sometime in the second half of this century.”

So why are women advancing more quickly in sustainability?

3 reasons women in sustainability are moving up
I can surmise three reasons women are advancing faster in sustainability than they are in business more broadly.

1. There’s a robust pipeline of women vying for these roles.
According to the 2020 GreenBiz State of the Profession report, which my firm sponsors, the percentage of women holding any sustainability position has been steadily rising since 2010. Between 2011 and 2020, the percentage of women holding a vice president role grew from 31 percent to 51 percent. The pool of female directors grew by 18 percentage points, from 37 percent to 55 percent. And the percentage of female managers in sustainability roles has gone up the most, from 39 percent to 63 percent. By contrast, the Morningstar authors pointed to the “broken rung” at major corporations, in which “women are systematically passed over being offered their first and crucial career promotion.”

Based on the GreenBiz data and my experience as a recruiter, I believe this is not happening in sustainable business roles, where there’s a deep talent pool of women, starting at the manager level and steadily making their way up the ranks.

2. Women excel in these roles.
As I have written about before, research suggests that women are well-suited to succeed in sustainability roles. A 2018 Business and Sustainable Development Commission report argued that women have the necessary leadership qualities to take on sustainable development, and they have the desire to address social and environmental challenges.

In my work, I have also found the “feminine” traits such as the ability to collaborate, translate complex issues and demonstrate humility help CSOs succeed. CSOs are not in it for the ego boost; they find it more fulfilling to champion others, praise generously and inspire others to support a vision for the future that benefits all.

3. The path to sustainability leadership is inclusive.
Unlike other C-suite positions, there’s no specific set of credentials that CSOs are required to have, so the path to leadership can be more varied. Moreover, sustainability is, by nature, an inclusive field. The job requires engagement with diverse stakeholders, so it makes sense that hiring managers would seek out people with diverse experience and backgrounds. However, while this has led to gender diversity, it has not yet supported racial diversity: Only 16 percent of U.S.-based sustainability professionals today identify as a race other than white.

Is this trend good or bad for women?
I have many anecdotes pointing to executive leadership clarifying their preference for a woman to hold their CSO position. It made me wonder: Is this trend going to create a pathway for female leadership in business? Or are women being pigeonholed in sustainability?

While the Morningstar report authors noted that women in business face a “glass wall” blocking them from career tracks with room for advancement and higher pay, it’s my belief that gender parity in the CSO role is a good thing. With the growing importance of ESG at global companies, the women in the CSO role have great potential to influence the future of business.

Moreover, women have the skills to excel in these roles. Whereas in business generally there’s the “glass cliff” phenomenon — whereby women are promoted into leadership positions during a crisis and then blamed when they fail — my sense is that women’s aptitude with communication, influence and agility will help them succeed in the CSO role.

Click here to read the full article on Green Biz.

10 Women Scientists Leading the Fight Against the Climate Crisis
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Rose Mutiso speaks at TEDSummit: A Community Beyond Borders. July 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED | Flickr/TED Conference

By Tshiamo Mobe, Global Citizen

Climate change is an issue that affects everyone on the planet but women and girls are the ones suffering its effects the most. Why? Because women and girls have less access to quality education and later, job opportunities. These structural disadvantages keep them in poverty. In fact, women make up 70% of the world’s poor. In a nutshell, climate change impacts the poor the most and the poor are mostly women.

Poverty is driven by and made worse by climate change also makes girls more susceptible to child marriage, because it drives hunger and girls getting married often means one less mouth to feed for their parents. Climate change also leads to geopolitical instability which, in turn, results in greater instances of violence — which we know disproportionately impacts women and girls.

Ironically, saving the planet has been made to seem a “women’s job”. This phenomenon, dubbed the “eco gender gap”, sees the burden of climate responsibility placed squarely on women’s shoulders through “green” campaigns and products that are overwhelmingly marketed to women.

There are several hypotheses for why this is. Firstly, women are the more powerful consumers (they drive 70-80% of all purchasing decisions). Secondly, they are disproportionately responsible, still, for the domestic sphere. And finally, going green is seen as a women’s job because women’s personalities are supposedly more nurturing and socially responsible.

Women should be involved in fighting the climate crisis at every level — from the kitchen to the science lab to the boardroom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained it best when she said: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” However, women are underrepresented in the science field (including climate science), with just 30% of research positions held by women and fewer still holding senior positions. The Reuters Hot List of 1,000 scientists features just 122 women.

Click here to read the full article on Global Citizen.

Angela Bassett Wins Golden Globe for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ as First Actor to Earn Major Award for Marvel Movie
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Angela Bassett in sparkling silver dress talking on stage

Angela Bassett won the Golden Globe award Tuesday for her performance as Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” making the 64-year-old the first actor ever to win a major individual acting award for a movie based on Marvel Comics.

The evening marked Bassett’s second win (and second nomination) at the Globes; she took home the trophy for best actress in a musical or comedy for 1993’s Tina Turner biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

“I got to find my words. I’m so nervous. My heart is just beating,” Bassett began, taking the stage to accept the award. “The late Tony Morrison said that your life is already a miracle of chance just waiting for you to order its destiny. But in order for that destiny to manifest, I think that it requires courage to have faith. It requires patience, as we just heard. And it requires a true sense of yourself. It’s not easy because the past is circuitous and it has many unexpected detours, but, by the grace of God, I stand here. I stand here grateful.”

Bassett took the space to thank her husband, fellow actor Courtney B. Vance, her family and her Marvel collaborators, “Wakanda Forever” director Ryan Coogler, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito. Bassett also acknowledged the death of “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, who died of colon cancer in 2020. Boseman’s death casts a shadow over the plot of “Wakanda Forever.”

“We embarked on this journey together with love. We mourned, we loved, we healed. We were surrounded each and every day by the light and the spirit of Chadwick Boseman,” Bassett said. “We have joy in knowing that with this historic ‘Black Panther’ series, it is a part of his legacy that he helped to lead us. We showed the world what Black unity, leadership and love looks like, behind and in front of the camera. To the Marvel fans, thank you for embracing these characters and showing us so much love.”

Backstage, Bassett was characteristically composed as she was asked if she had any hesitation about attending the show given the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s recent controversary over the lack of Black members in the press organization.

“The HFPA has made strides,” Bassett said. “They know what needs to be done.”

Prior to Bassett’s win for “Wakanda Forever,” only four actors, and no women, had even been nominated for a Golden Globe for acting in a superhero movie: Nominees Ryan Reynolds for 2016’s “Deadpool” (actor in musical/comedy) and Jack Nicholson for 1989’s “Batman” (actor in musical/comedy), as well as winners Joaquin Phoenix for 2019’s “Joker” (actor in drama) and Heath Ledger for 2008’s “The Dark Knight” (supporting actor). Phoenix and Ledger, who both played variations on the DC Comics villain the Joker, were the major winners in their respective years across awards season, taking home the SAG Awards and the Oscars as well (Ledger’s wins were posthumous).

This isn’t the first time Bassett has earned a top award for playing Queen Ramonda, however: She was also part of the group of actors from 2018’s “Black Panther” who won best ensemble at the SAG Awards.

Photo Credit: NBC via Getty Images

Read the complete article on Variety.

Should Your Company Invest in Supplier Diversity Programs? The Answer is Yes.
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By Yvette Montoya

When we consider the state of the United States in 2022 both socially and economically, it’s clear that our demographic is shifting and that Americans believe that social responsibility is more important than ever.

Companies that want to stay relevant in this economy need to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs and initiatives. A 2017 Cone Communications CSR study stated that 87 percent of consumers would purchase a product that aligned with their own values, and 76 percent would boycott a brand if it supported an issue that went against their beliefs. So, it’s a good time for companies to evaluate what their corporate social responsibility (CSR) looks like and where it needs improvement.

There are four types of corporate social responsibility: Environmental, philanthropic, ethical and economic responsibility– and supplier diversity programs have the potential to achieve all four categories. In a world that’s increasingly looking to employers to create stability and treat employees fairly, supplier diversity programs not only give companies a competitive edge but also make them more likely to maintain high standards of ethics. Implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) positions businesses to create a positive experience for employees, vendors and the community at large.

Here are three reasons why every company should take supplier diversity programs seriously:

  1. You Get to Be a Leader in Social Responsibility

Companies that choose to focus intentionally on investing in Black and Latinx, women-owned, and LGBTQ+ businesses build trust with their customer base and inspire other business leaders to examine their own company practices. When we create transparency related to how products are sourced and/or hiring and management practices, we put our money where our mouth is, and so will your customers. According to Cone Communications, three out of five Americans believe that companies should spearhead social and environmental change. And eighty-seven percent of Americans said they’d buy a product because a company advocated for an issue they care about.

Although there may be some challenges in finding minority-owned vendors that comply with a buyer’s procurement requirements, there are two solutions to this. One being creating mentoring and training programs for diverse suppliers to help them meet the standards of the certification process. The other is to partner with relevant councils and chambers of commerce that provide these support systems. When value is created through tangible solutions, everyone wins.

  1. Investing in DEI will Foster Innovation and Sales

Treating DEI like an option or something that isn’t deserving of attention means that customers will see that you’re not taking your CSR seriously. Corporate social responsibility initiatives can be the best public relations — as well as marketing — tool. Gen Z and Millennials are experts at spotting inauthenticity. A company that positions authentically with real company-wide efforts and accountability will be viewed favorably in the eyes of consumers, investors and regulators. Honest initiatives attract opportunities and employees that match an organization’s convictions.

CSR initiatives can also improve employee engagement and satisfaction — key measures that drive retention. Finally, corporate social responsibility initiatives by nature force business leaders to examine practices related to how they hire and manage employees, source products or components and deliver value to customers. All of these things create happy employees and customers, which lead to innovation, sales and a good reputation.

  1. You Get to Make an Impact on Structural Inequality in America

Supplier diversity programs are a catalyst for true social impact because thriving small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. Strong local businesses create jobs and higher wages, which put money back into the community and drive economic growth. Another plus of supplier diversity is the impact it will have on the company at large and the economy overall. Supplier diversity promotes healthy competition by increasing the pool of possible suppliers. This can lead to potentially lower costs and a better product quality. Not only that, bringing in people from different backgrounds or from backgrounds that reflect the community your company serves can result in better marketing, unique solutions to old problems, as well as innovative ways to meet your customer’s needs.

With midterm elections underway, it’s a good idea for businesses to be on the right side of key issues, including racial and gender equality and environmental sustainability. This gives corporations the opportunity to work collaboratively with businesses in a way that combats racial discrimination, all while empowering the public, creating economic opportunity and enhancing their business.

Yvette Montoya is a Los Angeles native and journalist who is equal parts content creator and writer. She covers everything from issues of spirituality and politics to beauty and entertainment. Her journalistic work has been featured on Refinery29, Teen Vogue, ArtBound, HipLatina, Mitu, and she’s a regular contributor for POPSUGAR.

5 High-Paying & Fast-Growing Careers for Women
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In a world that’s constantly changing, finding a career that offers job security and steady finances in a growing market can be tremendously comforting. If you’re looking for the best field to pursue, here are some top jobs offering high salaries and exceeding the expectations of the job market. Note: The average growth percentage for any career is eight percent.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Description: Computer and information systems managers, often called information technology (IT) managers or IT project managers, plan, coordinate and direct computer-related activities in an organization. They help determine the information technology goals of an organization and are responsible for implementing computer systems to meet those goals. Typical job duties associated with this position are analyzing technology needs within companies, computer maintenance, cyber-security and keeping up to date with the latest technology trends.

Education Requirements: Computer and information systems managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field, such as engineering technologies. Many organizations also require their computer and information systems managers to have a graduate degree. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is common and takes two years beyond the undergraduate level to complete.

Average Annual Salary: $159,010 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 11 percent

Human Resources Managers

Description: Human resources managers plan, coordinate and direct the administrative functions of an organization. They manage the recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new staff, consult with top executives on strategic planning and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees. Their duties can entail coordinating an organization’s workforce to best suit employees, designing and overseeing employee benefit programs and handling staffing issues, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures.

Education Requirements: Human resources managers typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation. The degree may be in human resources or another field, such as business, communications or psychology. Courses in subjects such as conflict management may be helpful.

Average Annual Salary: $126,230 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 9 percent

Nurse Practitioners

Description: Nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. Their duties could also include operating and monitoring medical equipment, diagnoses, research, running tests and creating patient care plans. The scope of practice varies from state to state.

Education: Nurse practitioners must have a master’s degree in their specialty. APRNs also must be licensed registered nurses in their state, pass a national certification exam and have a state APRN license.

Average Annual Salary: $123,780 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 45 percent

Physician Assistant

Description: Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine in teams with physicians, surgeons and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose and treat patients. Physician assistants may also research new treatments, conduct health-centered outreach programs and speak on health and wellness.

Education Requirement: Physician assistants typically need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. Earning that degree usually takes at least two years of full-time postgraduate study. PA graduate school applicants usually have experience caring directly for patients. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.

Average Annual Salary: $121,530 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 31 percent

Software Developers

Description: Software developers create computer applications that allow users to do specific tasks and the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. They may also analyze clients’ design needs, have a strong understanding of ADA compliancy online, recommend software upgrades and perform software maintenance.

Education Requirements: Software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a related field. Some employers prefer to hire developers who have a master’s degree.

Average Annual Salary: $110,140 per year

Job Growth Outlook: 22 percent

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Balance Careers

Women break ceilings and conventions in the workplace and beyond
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Motion blurred shot of two business people talking through modern office hallway. People walking in office entrance hall.

Open, candid conversations about diversity and inclusion in our society and workplace must continue in order to support the fight for equality. Thankfully, these conversations continue to take place across Bloomberg, in various forms and forums.

One of the goals of these exchanges is to explore different facets of identity and experience from the first-hand perspectives of employees across the firm.

In this edition, we delve into the lived experiences of our colleagues as they have persisted in breaking glass ceilings and bucking conventions, and shows us how we can best support progress for women in the workplace.

Nayla Razzouk, Dubai

“Bring a new perspective, don’t try to blend in, embrace your differences. Learn something new every day. And most of all, be productive.”

Nayla Razzouk
Nayla with the UK Royal Marines while covering the Iraq War in 2003

Nayla grew up during the civil war in Lebanon, and naturally ended up covering these conflicts across the Middle East. She joined Bloomberg in 2010 to cover Iraq and energy/OPEC news, and recently took on the role of Managing Editor for the Middle East and North Africa.

In what way have you broken glass ceilings or conventions? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

Working as a journalist can have its challenges as a woman, and there are additional challenges in this part of the world, where the circles of power are dominated by men. Often, you’re the only woman in the room or at the front, so it can be intimidating and even dangerous. I’ve encountered situations where people I wanted to interview would try to intimidate me because I was a woman. Some wouldn’t speak to women – I once asked my driver to act as a go-between while I stood behind a door. It can only build character, and this has helped me acquire the confidence to say that I will always find a way to do my job — even more so today, in my new challenge as the first woman to lead the MENA region.

What strengths do you believe your identity and experiences bring to your professional and personal life?

Having grown up and worked in tough environments has helped me acquire assertiveness and an ability to tolerate stress in a calm manner, while showing empathy to others. These traits and experiences were very valuable in leading our teams through COVID-19, making sure everyone is safe, continues to perform well, and knows that they can count on us in uncertain times.

Stephanie Flanders, London

“Though a proud feminist, I would still hesitate to describe any particular attitude or experience as uniquely female.”

Stephanie Flanders

Stephanie has been both an economist and an economic journalist — she joined Bloomberg in 2017 and now does both, leading Bloomberg Economics and following a lifelong passion to demystify the global economy for a wider audience.

In what way have you broken glass ceilings or conventions? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

When I became the BBC’s Economics Editor, I was the first woman to occupy a specialist editor job. Happily, there have been plenty more since then, and in general I would say that economics has become a little less male-dominated over the course of my career. In a previous role, I was aware that I was paid much less than several male colleagues in similar roles. That’s a challenge I failed to overcome, but overall I don’t feel I have been held back by my gender. If anything, it has given me an edge — it’s striking how many of the major global banks now have female chief economists.

What advice do you have for future convention- and ceiling-breakers?

When you’re making a case for yourself, don’t start with the skills you don’t have. I thought it was just an outdated stereotype until I started interviewing women and men for jobs. So many women really do lead with the stuff they can’t do. It’s extraordinary. 

Vandna Dawar Ramchandani, Singapore

“Understand and accept that every person and situation is different, so be empathetic and encouraging, and build trust so women feel empowered to share and take risks.”

Vandna Ramchandani

Vandna was born and raised in India. She joined Bloomberg in 1997 as a Terminal Sales rep, while living in Jakarta, Indonesia, and is now leading Corporate Philanthropy for APAC.

In what way have you broken glass ceilings or conventions? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

In Asia, particularly in India, a woman’s role is primarily expected to be that of a home-maker. I was committed to growing my career — even after having a family — taking on additional responsibility and relocating. When I first took on the roles of APAC Global Data Manager and then Singapore Office Committee chair, the first female in those roles, I did feel nervous about the step up, but there is so much support at Bloomberg, women just need to believe in themselves and lean in.

The biggest challenge is creating a balance that works for you, and often managing your guilt as a mum. There are no shortcuts so you start to run your life through “to-do” lists and constantly prioritize. My social life and personal time became secondary; my work and family were the priority. I wanted to live the life I dreamed of for my daughter and “walk the talk.”

What strengths do you believe your identity and experiences bring to your professional and personal life?

Authenticity, drive, hard work, empathy, and the desire to constantly challenge the status quo! Multi-tasking is not a choice, so you just become good at it. You learn to problem-solve and be creative, which lends itself wonderfully to a career at Bloomberg. 

Nita Ditele-Bourgeois, New York

“Take risks and embrace failures. Be determined, never settle, and let your skills speak for themselves; not your gender.”

Nita Ditele Bourgeois

Originally from the South, Nita was raised in New York at the heart of a family that fostered continuous learning. She joined Bloomberg in 2007 as a Legal Negotiations Specialist, and is now a Product Operations manager in Enterprise Data.

In what way have you broken glass ceilings or conventions? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

Last year, after 13 years in Legal, I joined Enterprise Data. I saw an opportunity to leverage transferable skills, challenge myself, and grow. I wanted to be part of an exciting journey with the business from a different vantage point.

After encountering gender stereotypes and micro-aggressions throughout my career, I’ve found that the confidence and determination instilled at young age provided me the resilience and fortitude to address challenges head-on.

What strengths do you believe your identity and experiences bring to your professional and personal life?

Active listening has made the biggest impact. It takes time and intentionality, but the outcomes are enormous: positive engagement, sharing ideas, productivity, and stronger communication between individuals.

Celine Shi, Shanghai

“My experience has really been about breaking ceilings in my own mind.”

Celine Shi

A native of Sichuan, China, Celine joined Bloomberg Analytics in 2011 in Singapore before taking on the challenge of expanding team coverage in Beijing. She now manages buy-side product specialists in Shanghai.

In what way have you broken glass ceilings or conventions? What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

Early in my career, I didn’t want to draw attention to my sexual orientation, as I truly believe it has no relevance to how well someone performs at work. I kept my identity as a queer woman to myself, even though Bloomberg has been very supportive and open about our LGBTQ community. I later realized that this secret impacted how comfortable I was with colleagues and friends — I wasn’t being myself. I came out in 2017 and was able to fully embrace my friendships and work relationships, which helped me become more confident and perform better.

What advice do you have for future convention- and ceiling-breakers?

Do not set your own glass ceiling. Many of the women I know feel less confident about opportunities and question themselves: Am I really qualified for this? Do I have what it takes? We should be more confident in the different values and experiences we bring, and give ourselves a chance to be seen.

Deanna Hallett, London

“Seek out individuals and groups of people who will support you, lift you up, challenge you, and affirm your identity and your goals — no one can reach that glass ceiling alone.”

Deanna Hallett

Deanna interned for Bloomberg twice before joining full-time after graduating university in 2019. She currently works in UK government and regulatory relations and is the co-lead for the LGBTQ+ and Ally Community in EMEA.

In what ways have you broken glass ceilings or conventions?

I was the first woman in my family to apply to university, the first to run for local councillor, the first to move abroad, and the first woman to come out as LGBT+ in my family. I faced a lot of challenges growing up, including poverty, and psychological and physical abuse from my father, which was particularly acute when I came out as gay. More broadly, I grew up in an environment where I was just expected to manage, have kids, and then become a full-time mum. It was difficult pursuing my own goals and independence when it didn’t marry the view of what my family expected.

What can our colleagues and communities to do become better allies to women in the workforce?

Actively listen. It’s only by taking into consideration people’s experiences that we can ensure the glass ceiling is shattered for all women — particularly LGBT+ women and women of colour, who are too often left behind.

Click here to read the full article on Bloomberg.

Cracking the code: Working together to engage and empower female technologists at Bloomberg
LinkedIn
diverse women working on laptop

To create products that serve increasingly diverse customers and solve a wider range of social problems, technology companies need women engineers. However, only 25 percent of math and computer science jobs in the United States are filled by women, and one-third of women in the U.S. and China quit these jobs mid-career due to factors like social isolation, a lack of access to creative technical roles and difficulty advancing to leadership positions.

At Bloomberg, we’ve established a company culture that supports gender equality in a multitude of ways – from company-wide Diversity & Inclusion business plans to a newly expanded family leave policy. But we know that’s not enough. In recent years, we’ve adopted a system-wide approach to increasing the number of women in technical roles, taking steps to remove barriers to advancement both inside our organization and beyond Bloomberg, supporting female talent from middle school through mid-career.

While the number of women in technical jobs at Bloomberg is growing, we’re committed to making progress faster and completing all the steps needed to solve the equation. Here are some of the ways we’re tackling this important deficit – and making quantifiable change.

Early engagement

Bloomberg supports organizations that help increase women’s participation in STEM and financial technology, exposing students to various career options through Bloomberg Startup and encouraging our female engineers to engage with the next generation of talent.

Collaboration, creativity, and a love of problem-solving drew Chelsea Ohh to the field of engineering. Now she works at Bloomberg as a software engineer team lead, helping to provide critical information to financial decision makers across the globe.

Recruitment

We target our entry-level engineering recruiting efforts at colleges that have achieved or are focused on gender parity in their STEM classes. And because not all the best talent come from the same schools or have the same experiences, Bloomberg actively seeks women engineers with non-traditional backgrounds or career paths.

Talent development

Women engineers can sharpen their technical skills through open courses, on-site training sessions, and business hackathons held throughout the year. Bloomberg is committed to inspiring our female employees, eliminating barriers like impostor syndrome, and encouraging them to pursue opportunities in engineering.

Community & allies

To strengthen its network of female engineers, global BWIT (Bloomberg Women in Technology) chapters organize more than 150 events, mentoring sessions, and meet-ups a year. The community also engages male allies and advocates, sharing strategies to help them support their female colleagues.

Click here to read the full article on Bloomberg.

Work From Home Strategies
LinkedIn

By Danielle Jackola

Remote work has become increasingly popular, and while many companies utilized it as a temporary solution during the pandemic, others have realized the endless benefits of maintaining a remote workforce. Working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing work from your home; it represents the freedom to work from a variety of locations, including on the road while you travel, from a coffee shop or somewhere that inspires you.

Whether you are considering remote work or need some strategies for keeping sane while working remotely, here are some tried and true work-from-home tips to set you up for success.

The Power of Routine

Creating and maintaining a routine will help you work efficiently and effectively. If starting your day without a cup of coffee in hand sounds like torture, set a timer on your coffee maker, so it’s ready to go. Consider the steps you need to be prepared and focused as an employee. This includes choosing a bedtime and wake-up time that supports your schedule and sleep requirements. Allow extra time for things like feeding pets, getting kids off to school or checking personal emails.

Allowing yourself adequate time to complete and shift from one task to another before you sit down for work will let you start your workday energized, focused and ready to thrive in your role. Think about the time you saved by not commuting to an office and use it to your advantage.

Maintain your Rituals

Daily rituals are an effective tool for creating balance in your personal and professional life, but they also allow you to transition in and out of work smoothly. When you wrap up your workday, tidy your workspace, shut everything down and if you’re able to, separate from your job so you can shift your energy to your personal life. Taking a walk after work to get fresh air and exercise is the perfect way to use the adjustment time to your advantage. If you live with others, define roles in your house so everyone knows what to expect and how they can contribute to fostering a low-stress environment.

Dress for Success

While the idea of working from bed in pajamas is tempting, consider the impact on your sleep cycle and your body’s ability to recognize the signals that it’s time for rest. Your bed should be a sacred space for rest. When you start your day, select attire that aligns with your job and projects confidence. As a professional, leggings and the college sweatshirt you have quite literally worn to pieces aren’t the best options. You shouldn’t be looking for places to hide when a last-minute video conference pops up. If you’re not comfortable on-screen, you need to reconsider your attire.

Dedicate a Workspace

Design a space that allows you to be organized and productive. Even with space limitations, you can choose a spot that fosters both creativity and concentration and supports you in bringing your A-game every day. Give yourself the gift of a dedicated workspace that will enable you to focus on work.

Connectivity is Crucial

Test your internet and cell phone connections throughout your home. It’s critical to perform your job as well remotely as you would in-house at your company. If your signals are weak, find ways to improve them, like asking your cell provider for a signal booster or increasing the speed of your internet service.

Gather Supplies

Consider the type of work you do and what you need to perform your position effectively. Do you need a second computer screen, specialized software, do you maintain paper files, or do you need a dedicated printer? Your role will help you determine the tools you need to be successful. Ask your employer if they provide these tools or if they are the responsibility of their employees.

Stay Connected

Maintain contact with your colleagues and communicate your preferences for communication throughout the day. Do you prefer to receive texts, emails or a phone call when something urgent arises? Does your team utilize weekly or even daily meetings to keep everyone connected and up-to-speed?

Take Breaks

The secret to maintaining sanity while working remotely? Schedule time for lunch and mini breaks, so you give your brain a break. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to crush your goals for the day.

Reflect and Adjust

Periodically consider what is and isn’t working in your remote work environment. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge if something isn’t serving you and then determine the steps you can take to adjust your situation. By allowing yourself the ability to be flexible, you can make changes along the way that keep you thriving as a remote employee.

The Latinx Community’s Growing Influence
LinkedIn
Latina reading magazine

The United States is currently experiencing a massive demographic shift, led in large part by the nation’s Latinx population. This group is growing rapidly, quickly becoming the most culturally and economically influential community in the country.

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the country’s Hispanic or Latinx population grew from 50.5 million in 2010 (16.3% of the U.S. population)  to 62.1 million in 2020 (18.7%). That’s an increase of 23 percent. In fact, slightly more than half (51.1%) of the total U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2020 came from growth in the country’s Latinx population.

It is no surprise then, that Latinx people have a massive effect on the U.S. economy. Their buying power is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2023, according to a report from Nielsen. This is up from $213 billion in 1990, marking an over 200% growth rate, more than double the growth in buying power of non-Latinx consumers.

This community’s economic influence reaches all industries, and it is critical that businesses gain a deeper understanding of Latinx culture. Doing so will allow business leadership to both better support employees and more effectively appeal to customers.

Understanding the Hypercultural Latinx individual

Among young Latinx people, there has been a rise in what is known as the “Hypercultural Latinx.”

Hypercultural Latinx people are often first-generation Americans who straddle both U.S. culture and their parents’ native Hispanic cultures. This group feels deeply connected to both aspects of their identities and has, in a sense, created their own blended, hybrid culture. As Ilse Calderon, an investor at OVO Fund, wrote on TechCrunch, a Hypercultural Latinx person is “100% Hispanic and 100% American.”

So, what do they want to buy? While Latinx people are clearly not a monolith, there are a few key trends across the community. According to research in the PwC Consumer

Intelligence Series, the Latinx population is especially enticed by new tech products. They are active on TikTok and exceedingly more likely to use WhatsApp and other social media platforms than other groups.

Nielsen also found that 45% of Latinx consumers buy from brands whose social values and causes align with theirs. This is 17% higher than the general population. Latinx people also share strong family values, as well as pride in their distinct cultural heritages. That is why organizations must engage the Latinx community and invite Latinx people to share their experiences.

It is pivotal that business leaders understand that “Latinx” is not a single streamlined culture. Rather, it is a diverse mix of traditions, nationalities, and values.

Embracing these cultural nuances is a key to understanding Latinx audiences. Organizations must consider methods to appeal to distinct Latinx groups, rather than marketing to the group as a whole.

Cultivating and advancing Latinx talent in the workplace

It isn’t only consumers that businesses should be thinking about. Latinx talent has also accounted for a massive 75% of U.S. labor force growth over the past six years, according to Nielsen. Nevertheless, only 3.8% of executive positions are held by Latinx men, and only 1.5% of are held by Latinx women.

Clearly, companies have a lot of work to do to attract and cultivate Latinx talent—and it all starts with recruitment. To ensure a diverse work force, companies must utilize culturally competent recruitment strategies that not only make new positions appealing to a variety of job seekers, but also give every applicant a fair chance.

According to an article in Hispanic Executive, understanding cultural differences can help recruiters create job descriptions that more effectively appeal to different communities. For example, the Latinx community feels a more communal sense of identity, compared to the more individualistic sense of identity in European-American culture. Recruiters should keep this in mind when thinking about what necessary skills they are highlighting for available roles.

Click here to read the complete article on Bloomberg.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fairs Schedule for 2023
    January 26, 2023 - November 1, 2023
  2. NAWBO Leadership Academy–Winter 2023
    February 6, 2023 - February 7, 2023
  3. 2023 NAWBO Leadership Academy
    February 6, 2023 - February 7, 2023
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    February 8, 2023
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    February 16, 2023 - February 18, 2023
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    February 23, 2023 - December 13, 2023
  7. CSUN 38th Annual Assistive Technology Conference
    March 13, 2023 - March 17, 2023
  8. CSUN Assistive Technology Conference
    March 13, 2023 - March 17, 2023

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fairs Schedule for 2023
    January 26, 2023 - November 1, 2023
  2. NAWBO Leadership Academy–Winter 2023
    February 6, 2023 - February 7, 2023
  3. 2023 NAWBO Leadership Academy
    February 6, 2023 - February 7, 2023
  4. From Day One: Houston 2023
    February 8, 2023
  5. National Association of African American Studies & Affiliates (NAAAS) Conference
    February 16, 2023 - February 18, 2023