Ashley, Emma, Gigi, Ivette, Janet, Karen, Maria, Melissa, Vicky, Laura, and Iliana… today I celebrate YOU, you have inspired me in so many ways and motivated me to be better… to do better… love you all, we are familia now!
Earlier in the year, I began to think about personal development options and strategizing on how to more effectively grow my network within the Latino community in Chicago. I was lucky to hear about Mujeres de HACE from the brain behind its inception and implementation, current HACE President, Patricia Mota. Her passion and complete trust in what this program stands for and how it is shaping the careers and lives of hundreds of Latina professionals was beyond inspiring. The idea of a leadership program geared to empower high-potential Latina professionals to succeed professionally and thrive personally spoke to my own personal believe in women’s capability of shaping their own future while positively impacting that of those around them. Right there and then I knew I would be joining.
In a supportive and highly collaborative atmosphere, an impressive roster of HACE expert guest speakers and consultants guided us through a rigorous program of intensive classroom instruction, individual career appraisals, personal coaching, case studies and simulations. Every element of the program was focused on strengthening and broadening our leadership talents and delivering positive results for our respective organizations.
Ladies and gentlemen, especially those ladies here tonight who are considering joining Mujeres de HACE, I’d like to share with you some of my personal takeaways from the program:
· Building a personal brand will open multiple professional opportunities: landing a better job; securing better contacts and clients for your company; industry recognition and so much more.
· Better financial understanding can be achieved when measurable financial goals are set, the effects of decisions understood, and results reviewed. It will give you a whole new approach to your budget and improving control over your financial lifestyle. A little secret? Financial planning is not as scary as I originally thought. Big shout out to guest speaker Ulises Ruelas for showing me the way to financial stability.
· Maintaining work life balance is not only important for your personal health and relationships, but it can also improve the efficiency of your work performance. Prioritize; edit yourself professionally and personally; use technology to your advantage and not be controlled by it; learn to say NO; and finally… Mujeres… Learn to fight the GUILT! Stop feeling guilty because you can’t devote 100% to everything you do. Super Woman only exists in the world of comics and Hollywood movies.
Most of us are probably familiar with the old adage that if you give a person a fish, they will eat for the day, but if you teach a person to fish, they will eat for a lifetime.
In the world of women’s funds (a world I’ve been a part of for the last 12 years) this is how we think: If you give a woman a fish, she will feed her family first and possibly go hungry. If you teach a woman to fish, she will feed her family first until the lake becomes polluted or her fishing rights are taken away. However, if you give women the resources and access to community capital, they will buy the lake, feed their families, keep the lake environmentally clean and have something to pass on for generations to come.
The idea is that by empowering women you not only affect positive change in their lives but through them affect change in the family unit, at work and at the community level as well. Mujeres de HACE is rapidly building this network… this sisterhood… this movement of Latina professionals who will… who ARE already changing the landscape of corporate and nonprofit America, and dare I say it?, for the better!
Mujeres de HACE: Where inspiration, opportunity and growth meet.