According to Nielsen's 2013 Latina Power Shift Report, U.S. Hispanic women have recently and rapidly surfaced as prominent contributors to the American economy and society at large. Latinas are outpacing Latino males in educational pursuits and career development, and are generally the decision-makers in household spending.
As Latina women are increasingly being recognized as entrepreneurs and business leaders, it is important to recognize those whose achievements paved the way. The story of Remedios Diaz-Oliver, a South Florida business leader, is one such example. Born in Havana, Cuba, and always the overachiever, Diaz-Oliver performed well academically, graduating earlier than her peers. In 1961, during the Bay of Pigs invasion, Diaz-Oliver was one of 12 students from Havana Business University taken to prison for no reason other than being pro-democracy. After several days in prison, she was finally released. She boarded a flight to Miami and never looked back.
Upon her arrival in the United States, Diaz-Oliver not only raised a family, but also set out to accomplish big things in the business world. Alongside her husband and daughter, she founded All American Containers, a product packaging company that provides services in 52 countries throughout the world. At present, three generations of her family work at All American Containers.
As a business and civic leader, she has been a pioneer for Hispanic-American women. Diaz-Oliver became the first Hispanic woman ever to serve as member of three Fortune 500 boards simultaneously. In South Florida, she is also regarded as one of the community's most prominent philanthropists. She has been affiliated with the American Cancer Society since 1968, serving as the President of the Miami Chapter and Dade County, and as a member of the National Board of Directors.
As we move further into the 21st century, we will see more Latinas emulate the example set by Diaz-Oliver. Her story is a true representation of the American dream: A young female immigrant who was able to overcome great adversity and achieve success in the land of freedom and prosperity. Like Diaz-Oliver, women from all over Latin America continue to come to the U.S. for economic opportunities, and her story will continue to serve as a reminder that being Latina, being bilingual, raising a family and succeeding in the business world is achievable.
In future blogs to come, I will continue to feature other successful Latinas -- our friends, mothers, sisters, aunts and others who have accomplished extraordinary things and serve as examples to all of us. In doing so, I hope to provide other Latinas with inspiration.