Latina women discuss becoming successful in business

Two GW organizations co-hosted a panel discussion on how Latina women can become successful in the business world while also giving back to the community.

The fourth annual “Hispanic Women of Excellence” panel spoke to an audience of about 25 in the Mount Vernon Hand Chapel on the topic of their struggles and how they have succeeded as Hispanic women. The event was hosted by Lambda Pi Chi and Sigma Lambda Upsilon.

The six women on the panel held a variety of jobs, from an accountant to a job in the Air Force flying F-15 jets. Despite the major differences in their jobs, they all offered similar pieces of advice to the audience and echoed similar sentiments about their struggles to succeed.

“I love what I do. My life makes sense and I have found success. Ask yourself, ‘If I had a guarantee that I would succeed, what would I do?’ The most important thing is to love what you do,” said Nicole Quiroga, one of the panelists. Quiroga is now working as the director of Business Development and Community Relations for Telemundo, a television station.

One of the panelists, Elvira Ramos, who is now working for the Department of Justice, studied international affairs at GW. She recommends that young women listen to their instincts and embrace challenges.

All six panelists also placed a large emphasis on the necessity of giving back to the community.

“It is important not to forget,” said Quiroga. “We now see a lot of Latinas getting into power but forgetting to look back and pick up others behind them. We are forgetting what it took to get ourselves here. We need to take a look around and help other people.”

Both graduate and undergraduate students, as well as GW alumni, attended the event. This was the first year that the event was hosted at Mount Vernon instead of at the Marvin Center. The event, held to encourage the Latina students, is always held in October, during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

“I live in the area and wanted to come back to support the undergrads who are hosting the event this year,” said Wendy Pe?a, who graduated in December 2005. “It is great to get the students, especially the Latina students, to get more involved and to think about life after GW.”

After the panelist discussion moderated by junior Amanda Bates, the President of Lambda Pi Chi, there was a question-and-answer session as well as time for the audience to speak personally with the panelists.

“I thought that it was interesting and inspiring to listen to other Latinas doing something with their lives. In my community there are not a lot of Hispanics with authority, so to come here this is great because these women do have authority,” said audience member Karen Cruz, a freshman.

“These are women that I can look up to,” said another attendee, freshman Cynthia Pedemonte. “These women have had many struggles, but it shows that struggles, are not impossible to overcome. I hope that one day I can be inspiring people and sit on a panel like this.”

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