The theme for this year’s International Women’s day is “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” and the 2020 mandate is to “Tackle the unfinished business of empowering all women and girls.”
As a Latina leader in the business world, I take this challenge seriously. How can I, how can we, as a company tackle this “unfinished business of empowering women and girls?” The journey as a Salvadoran American female in business has not been easy but maybe I can help to make it easier for other women like me. For other girls and women around the world who are in the same place, I was fifteen years ago, with a beautiful idea and a fierce commitment to bringing it to fruition, here is something I wish I’d known in those early days when I was selling our shoes out of the back of my car:
Before you begin any meeting, state your intention for being there and your desired outcomes and do it from a place of conviction. This has not always been easy for me to do. But over time, I have come to believe in the power of this practice and that I have the ability to create and set the tone by sharing my truest intentions. If I feel shaky in my boots, I take some time to ground myself and get back into my own body. For me, that’s doing a brief meditation or going for a walk. If I come into the room from a place of fear, without feeling solid, the meeting usually isn’t successful.
By stating my intentions and desired outcomes, I am not only putting my own honest desires into that room, I am encouraging others to do the same. So it’s not about me getting my way to the detriment of others, it’s about transmitting the truth of my intentions and in doing so encouraging others to do the same.
As a leader, standing in a place of true intention and knowing what outcome you desire ensures that your words will create your reality. It doesn’t mean that we can’t listen - we can listen better when we’ve told our truth. It doesn’t mean we can’t be vulnerable - it takes great vulnerability to get to that truth, to say it, and to say it again when being challenged. Over the years I’ve done the work both professionally and spiritually that has given me a seat at the head of the table and now that I am here, it’s my job to lead from conviction and my highest truth. The way I do that is to give all parts of me permission to present in that seat - my feminine, my masculine, my imperfections, and my humanity. Please do the same. It is how we can expand opportunity and freedom for each other and those who will stand on our shoulders.