LATINO VOICES
08/05/2013 03:02 pm ET Updated Aug 05, 2013

Mother Talks Raising Powerful Daughters In Latina Culture (VIDEO)

As the saying goes, little girls are made of sugar, spice and everything nice.

Some argue that focusing on "everything nice" makes it harder for girls to embrace power and command success later in life, and they say a little more spice than sugar might be best. But how does that translate to the Latina community, where women are often expected to harness a fiery, passionate attitude?

For Elma Placeres Dieppa, a Latina marketing consultant and mother, childhood reinforced the subservient parts of her personality rather than the powerful and independent traits she values today, she told HuffPost Live's Caitlyn Becker.

"I was raised [to think] don't speak unless spoken to, not to be opinionated, certainly not to be the 'B-word' that I am now and that I embrace fully," she said. "That pushed me to be a little more vocal about my opinions, because I was not going to be heard just because I have on a skirt."

Dieppa had a breakthrough experience in a 7th grade English literature class, where she was "lucky enough to have one of those teachers" who taught her to stand her ground and be confident in her own knowledge.

"It was backing up our opinions, and that ... was the year and the moment that I was like, 'Wow, I have a voice, I have a mind,' and ever since then, I'll be damned if you take me down without at least listening to my point of view," she said.

Check out the full conversation about empowering young girls at HuffPost Live HERE.

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