The ELLA Leadership Institute partnered with Latina Bloggers Connect to ask you all about your BIG IDEAS this fall, and we were pleased to have received so many innovative and ambitious responses. This week, we invite you to help us support the BIG IDEAS shared by the Latina Bloggers Connect contest entrants, while encouraging you all to continue sharing your BIG IDEAS! Remember: LATINAS THINK BIG!
MY BIG IDEA: Working Latina Magazine
By: Marissa Morales
Why are so few women in leadership positions, politics or science? While researching different sources for this blog I found an article from Forbes titled “Why so few Women and Minority at the Top, Here is the Real Reason,” and it explained that only 4% of the nation’s Fortune 500 CEOs are women. The reasoning behind the article is a so-called “covering phenomenon” where women, for example, will cover and not discuss their role as mothers in the work place in order to keep unaffected the professional opportunities available to them. Myself, I’m a scientist working in a male dominated field. A recent article in the New York Times says that only one fifth of women in this country are awarded PhD’s in physics and in a typical year only 20 Latinos of either sex received the same degree. The article mentions that “the shortage can be attributed to minority students attending schools that leave them too far behind to catch up in science”.
I can identify with the New York Times article – I’ve become a scientist, but it was not easy. I come from a small town called Toa Alta located in the north of Puerto Rico where I attended public schools with minimum resources. With the support of my parents and limited resources I went to college and attend the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez where I had to do a lot of catching up, especially in science and math, just like the article described but that didn’t stop me. With a lot of determination, I now work as an engineer in a world class research facility. As a woman in science working in a male dominated field I found myself asking why in the twenty first century there are not more women in science or in leadership positions? And where are the Latinas in these fields? Most of the articles I found were focused on why there are so few women but there are not many suggestions on how to change this, with the exception of start exposing girls to science or technology at young ages. But what about the women already in college enrolled in STEM fields that will graduate and face the same challenges that I did? Or the ones that are in their mid-career level aspiring to obtain leadership positions? Or professional mothers and single mothers? Essentially, how can we help women, and specially Latinas, to obtain leadership positions in any field?
My BIG IDEA
My Big Idea is to start a magazine targeting and empowering young professionals and college women– specifically Latinas. I call it the “Working Latina Magazine” project. There are many resources available but I am proposing to have a single platform where all these resources are combined, available and easily accessible. My vision is to bring a fresh point of view to offer guidance and support through a variety of articles for young modern working women. The magazine will cover different sections, here are some examples:
- Empowerment- this section will bring to the spotlight successful stories of Latina role models from different working fields.
- Working Environment- different working fields bring different challenges, therefore a section to explain what working setting you can expect in the office, laboratory, field, conferences, meetings, company trips, for example. This section can cover topics such as sexual harassment, how to negotiate a pay raise, the job search, how to develop leadership skills, etc.
- Health and Fitness- stress management, balance career and family, stay in budget, easy recipes to cook for healthy lunch, exercises you can do at work to keep you active, apps to keep you organized, vacation time and places.
- Fashion and Style- this section will provide ideas to be feminine and fashionable in an appropriate style for the different work settings. Affordable seasonal clothes, shoes and cosmetics will be included.
- Discover Opportunities- this section will be dedicated to find scholarships, internships and opportunities for career and professional advancement on different fields or even how to start your own business.
Attending the Ella Leadership Institute Training Conference will bring me closer to starting up and developing this magazine. I believe in this idea and I am committed to have an impact and help women and Latinas that aspire to leadership positions. The conference will provide me the necessary resources and networking to connect with other Latina entrepreneurs that can share knowledge and recommendations on how to pursue this vision and make it happen.
See other Latina leaders’ BIG IDEAS:
How do you think attending the ELLA Leadership Institute’s Leadership Training Conference will help you execute YOUR BIG IDEA? Tweet us your answer at @NewLatina or @ELLAInstitute for a chance to see your BIG IDEA shared in an upcoming post!