By Daniela Ramirez, Director, Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement
The second iteration of the DRC’s Community Connections: Latina Professionals event, presented by Bell Nunnally, was held on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at LERMA/ Agency. Part of a new and dynamic event series, the reception featured an intimate conversation with Florencia Velasco Fortner, President & CEO of The Concilio, and guided conversations that brought Latina professionals from different industries closer through reflections about Latin culture and shared determination to elevate more Latinas to leadership roles in the business community.
“We are ready for the next chapter of growth and collaboration for Latina professionals and to ignite new opportunities that uplift us,” said Bell Nunally Partner Dania Duncan. “We must foster meaningful relationships that shape our future.”
To celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, a vibrant holiday celebrated in Latin American countries and among Latinos in the United States, guests were invited to bring pictures to place on the ofrenda, or altar, arranged for the reception to remember ancestors that had sacrificed and paved the way to create a better future.
During a fireside chat, Fortner and Kim Cruz, Associate Attorney at Bell Nunnally, dove into the importance of acknowledging the impact of what their ancestors had accomplished and the importance of continuing to elevate others.
The fireside chat highlighted the importance of building strong relationships with collaborators, supporters, and allies, and recognized areas where Latinas need increased representation to achieve greater prosperity.
Currently, Latinas are one of the last groups, along with Native American women, in the gender pay gap, earning on average 58 cents for every dollar compared to white men. According to the Women Leading Boards Report released in 2022, Latinas are also the least represented group in company boards.
In response to these sobering statistics, Fortner encouraged and coached guests to become more visible in their workplaces. Fortner expressed that humility and gratitude, traits often placed at the forefront of Latino culture, do not have to clash with showing confidence or honoring achievements.
After the fireside chat, all guests participated in guided conversations, reflected on their various experiences related to Dia De Los Muertos, and outlined how they wanted to continue growing professionally in 2024.
If you are interested in learning more about the DRC’s Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement work, visit the DRC website.