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Marjoriet T. Matute Headshot

Latinas Break Down Barriers and Unite... Por Fin!

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As a thriving new Latina business owner I have found myself elated to share my new discovery with the world. The opportunity to own my own business has presented itself with many new opportunities, both unexpected and undesirable. However this new venture is one I'm excited to partake in. I have met many people willing to listen and help me map out my vision, those willing to volunteer, donate and pave the way but recently I came across a whole new network of people who are ready to take my vision to the next level. I decided to jump headfirst into the Latino social network via conferences and social media and have yet to regret this. Within our community we have built a unique bond to uplift and empower each other shattering old business tactics of sabotaging our competitors. This unity between cultures has spread nationwide and is concentrating on supporting our fellow Latino entrepreneurs.

This movement is above and beyond anyone's expectations and offers endless possibilities for advancements. I have found myself in the company of some of the finest Latinos in the industry and have been inspired to pursue my career with my natural passion that burns deep and stay true to my heritage. Latism's founder, Ana Roca-Castro recently attended the Ella Leadership launch held at Columbia University and said "Never let the fire inside of you die," which followed through with the message founder of New Latina, Dr. Angelica Perez intended for the evening. Castro continued to encourage us to stay consistent in our unity and help keep our flame burning strong. Although we part ways at the university, that is no excuse not to continue supporting each other via other sources. Young faces sat eager to hear the truth behind successful Latinas and how they conquered their personal journey through discrimination, poverty and stereotypes. Dr. Perez established an outlet where young graduates, reputable professionals and everyone in between could gather to swap challenges, experience and knowledge hoping to lift our demographic to higher standards rather than those set for us by society. We do not always have to be that signature "fiery, sassy" Latina or the maid as writer Tanisha Ramirez argues in her outstanding love letter to "Devious Maids" executive producer Eva Longoria. It's about how we can contribute to the success of our brand and what we can bring to the table. Kety Maria Esquivel said it best, "My grandfather, grandmother and mother did what they did so I can have a different seat at the table." Yet why are we still mistaken for the Help rather than a Professional?

Proud to Be Latina founder, Yesi Morillo-Gual, developed a convenient way for women to unite monthly and have direct access to inspiring and successful professionals via the "Empower Hour." This conference call varies on topics ranging from financial planning to person health issues. Women call in hungry to listen to a 60-minute conversation loaded with motivation and guidance to help them pursue their personal goals. This organization has broken down barriers within the community and has formed long lasting friendships between strangers who would not normally meet under other circumstances. Organizations like Proud to Be Latina and the Red Shoe Movement have created a safe haven for professional woman to come together, network within our culture and guide us on a path to success. This is a strong issue amongst the Latina community because we feel we are sometimes battling against each other, rather now we can tap into these resources built by amazing leaders for us -- uniting us. Participating in these events has brought to my attention that I am not alone and how we share this hunger to connect. Proving that once we accept that we are different, a bond is formed and we can contribute to each other's success stories. This movement will now set the tone for the younger generation of Latinas to follow without restrictions.

Witnessing first-hand the bond the Latino social network has created, I have met amazing woman who have helped me achieve huge goals that I've set out for myself. These women have benefited within their fields since discovering the key to success has always resonated within each other. A lot of the women I've met have been through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and instagram, all allowing me access to market myself and my company shamelessly. The in-person fear of networking has been replaced with social media and eases the introduction with a simple point and click. Example of the power of networking and uplifting each other, Teresa Correa is Head Ambassador for the Red Shoe Movement and launched "La Femme Latina," an online resource for Latinas to connect after being introduced to Mariela Dabbah. Dabbah, who founded the Red Shoe Movement encourages woman to wear their red shoes as a symbol of unity and support. The butterfly effect has only just begun as one woman will continue to inspire another and so on. New goals should motivate us to increase statistics of Latina's graduating college, launching new businesses, holding distinguished titles and expanding this new network. Together we have crushed the typical stereotype of envy and developed a sisterhood celebrating our great achievements within this new territory. Witness how progress is made, great leaders are developed and new friendships are formed. I'd like to Thank the courageous ladies who dared to take the initial step of joining us and creating a space where we can prosper together. Now I don't have to look behind me, rather I look side to side at the amazing women who help lift me up as they guide me up to success.

Nadie puede hacer esto solo y ahora no tenemos que hacerlo. Gracias.

Please visit the ladies who have inspired my journey and are mentioned in this article. I share this secret for the women who are looking for guidance, support and friendship in a new class of Latinas. I follow many women who motivated me to dig deep and become the best version of me, together we are willing to lift you to your highest potential too. I encourage you tweet me @dtgiveback your thoughts or stories on this topic.