2) Diversity leads to new ways of doing old tasks:
People see problems and solutions from different
perspectives. Research shows that diverse teams in
organizations often do better than the best individuals because diverse perspectives lead to innovative
3) Raise your hand: At times our diversity can prevent us from raising our hands and stepping forward
with our ideas and solutions. Sheryl Sandberg, COO
of Facebook and author of Lean In had many great
stories of how women can succeed in the workplace.
Of all her anecdotes, I loved the one about ‘speaking
your 'truth.’ In it, she talks about how Robert Rubin,
former presidential cabinet member and banking
executive, sought advice from people who have fresh
perspectives rather than deep experience.
4) Cross Over: My father was a genius. He was
proud about being Mexican but he never alienated
anyone one who wasn’t. He was loved and respected
by non-Latinos because, for example, he invited them
into his home as a guest to experience his culture
and enjoy his favorite foods. He was a champion to
his Latino friends by teaching them things he felt they
needed to do to be successful in America. Crossing
over is a great way to bridge gaps and to be an agent
of social change.
5) Pay it Forward: I relish opportunities where I can
be a mentor for someone else. This is probably fueled
by the fact that, as I was growing in my professional
career, I yearned the sage advice of a mentor who
shared some of my cultural experiences, to guide me
and even push me outside of my comfort zone. I feel
a great sense of responsibility to help guide others like
me, so that they can learn from my experiences. I also
suggest involvement in organizations like the National
Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals
(NAHREP) which provides many opportunities to
learn and master business skills, in addition to innumerable opportunities to be a mentor.
Your diversity need not be defined by your ethnicity or race. I come across so many women with
wonderful stories of their own diversity: the woman
veteran who can speak to the challenge of being
deployed and separated from family but through her
experience has become an expert communicator,
staying connected to loved ones even from afar. The
woman who takes care of her aging parent while
managing a full household and becomes a master
of multitasking. The woman who has dyslexia and,
through compensating for her perceived impediment,
mastered the art of conversation and became a top
sales leader. In my experience, being a first generation
Mexican American led to great opportunities where
I could parlay my cultural diversity into a great career
Whatever your diversity, make it work for you!
L. Maria Zywiciel is President of NAHREP Consulting
Services, a marketing consulting firm specializing in the
Hispanic segment and housing industry www.nahrepcon-sulting.com.
Do you know an amazing woman?
Want to share her story?
If you have a
story you want
to tell, please