CategoriesCEO Letter, IHCC News

There has never been so much talk about “female empowerment” as in recent times.

I am happy the issue is a trend, talked about in social media, part of celebrities’ speeches and in all, encouraging companies to pay attention.

However, I do not want to talk in abstract. I want to let you know the importance women have had, and continue to have, in my daily life and in our organization’s life so you may recognize why the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) is an example in the struggle for equality in the business world.

My life with them

It all began with Doña Rosita, an amazing woman who took care of a house alone and faced all kinds of sacrifices so my brothers and I could have a worthy education. My mother’s brave example is a daily engine that drives every action of my day to day.

Laura, my wife, taught me through love the importance to think as a team. Thanks to her, I understood how real generosity comes from understanding others before thinking of oneself.

Mariana, my daughter just 11 years old, is another teacher in life. Her big smile gives me the light I need to walk even on the most complicated roads.

However, my coworkers and my bosses are the ones who have shown me that true female empowerment is achieved through the collective consciousness, which expresses actions that strengthen gender equality in the way Hispanics do business.

I am very grateful to Ivette Treviño, Silvia Bonilla, Gabriela García, Liana Bran, Angie Alonso and Irays Muñoz who every day in our IHCC office insist that our strength as an organization must be in generating actions, having sonority in our messages of struggle on gender equality and to collaborate with other organizations to open more spaces in Chicago.

Ivette is a kind of “mom” for all of us at IHCC.  Takes care of us, scolds us and always watches so we do not take a false step. Her long experience, dedication, professionalism, and generous support have been essential for all our events to shine with their own light. Thanks to her, the Chamber members always feel our closeness when they need us.

Silvia brings joy and enthusiasm to help others. Her commitment as a guide for entrepreneurs allows many women to realize their business dreams.

Gabriela is a unique jewel that shines in a complex industry such as transportation, where men generally have the voice of command. She “drives” her program, opening new routes for Hispanics who want to enter this industry.

Liana is a brilliant young woman, knowledgeable as few in the technology era. Thanks to her, today, we can offer a unique space in Chicago where young Hispanics can capture all resources in startups or helping them grow.

Angie is the newest in the team, but that doesn’t stop her high level of commitment. In the complicated path of bureaucracy, she finds ways for many companies to find stability by being government contractors.

Irays is a “dreamer,” the team’s youngest, someone who always shows us with dedication and professionalism that joy and enthusiasm is essential to undertake anything.

Without my co-workers, IHCC wouldn’t be what it is today. I’m sure.

They drive me, fill me with love in sad moments, fill me with tons of sweets and snacks. In addition, the most valuable thing is when they tell me things straight and without anesthesia. Their transparency, honesty, and great dedication is what has made IHCC a respected organization in Chicago.

My “bosses” also deserve my Recognition, Arabel Alva-Rosales, Margaret Perez, Mayra Khan, and Socorro Vazquez, entrepreneurs, members of the Board of Directors IHCC, who have made their way fighting in the midst of discrimination. Today lead businesses provide job opportunities to hundreds of women.

They also remind me that among our organization’s values is to champion gender equality with the same rigor as our fight for all minorities.

Possible Mission

All Illinois businesses need to understand the importance of having women in decision-making positions, so they have a voice and an opportunity to highlight their ideas.

Propelling female presence in companies will have a waterfall effect; helping other women to follow and improve their life circumstances.

We need to say things loud and clear to destroy patriarchal rules suggesting naïve and antiquated views that women cannot work together because they will compete for male attention.

Together we can

Collaboration with other organizations is essential to achieving empowerment. These are women helping women, breaking old precepts of competitiveness and rivalry.

Precisely through collaboration, it is possible to open more opportunities for women.

Our mission is always to believe in them, integrate women into our team and set an example, assuring opportunities for all.

By empowering women, assuring to protect each other better and fight for a more just and equal society. Let’s not only talk about this on March 8th, but also let’s talk about it every day. Women deserve it.

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