LatinX and Women Empowerment Through Leadership

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While the proportion of senior management roles held by women over the past five years has grown, women of color are still greatly underrepresented in leadership positions. In 2020, Hispanic women only held 4.5% of total management positions in the U.S.

In a recent panel discussion hosted by the Women and LatinX at Ripple Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), five women shared their stories of resilience and growth as LatinX professionals in the hopes of inspiring future leaders from underrepresented groups.

“If you master a skill that you really love, nobody can ignore you,” says Dulce Villarreal, a Technical Product Manager at Aikon. 

Moving from Mexico to the United States, Villarreal found the language barrier and an absence of coding knowledge hindered her in the blockchain industry. She elevated her career by learning programming and English as a third language, and is now a blockchain evangelist, teaching blockchain in Spanish and English on weekends. 

Rosie Rios, Ripple’s newest board member, had a defining moment in her career while serving as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States. As an escape from the daily stress, Rios would frequent the Historical Resource Center at the Treasury to look at archived stamps and military payment certificates. It was there that she realized the United States had never had the portrait of a woman on its Federal Reserve notes. 

From that moment on, Rios says she became “an accidental educator, accidental historian, accidental feminist.”

Barbara Galvão, Global Diversity and Inclusion leader for Uber, learned to connect with her colleagues by listening first to find commonalities across seemingly disparate cultures. While she admits to struggling with imposter syndrome in the workplace, she has learned how to push through the fear and ultimately gained a better understanding of human beings through her new, challenging role at the company. 

Mari Carmen Grande, Managing Director at Randstad, stated, “There is no good luck, you have to work hard to get what you want.”

As a Latina woman raised by immigrant parents, Grande has always maintained a strong work ethic and stayed true to her core values. She believes in leading by example and understands that she cannot expect her team to perform at the highest level if she is not doing the same herself. 

Eva De La Rosa, a first-generation Mexican-American, takes a similar approach in Global Consumer Banking at Citigroup. De La Rosa has brought financial acumen to the table through preparation and experience, and her emotional intelligence and ability to consolidate different points of view have propelled her forward in her career as an effective communicator and strategic negotiator.

These women have a lot in common, and their LatinX heritage has played a big role in shaping their principles—both professionally and personally. They all agree that grit, integrity and embracing uniqueness have made them the leaders they are today.

“It’s not about race. It’s about culture, how you were brought up, what you believe in and what you value in the workplace and at home,” says Rios. 

To learn more about Ripple’s ERGs and culture, head to Ripple Life.

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