Hispanic Heritage Month
Part VI of VI
Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF) inductee, Linda Martinez Alvarado, would not be surprised that today’s Latina women keep unapologetically rising to lead businesses, with or without an access pass from traditional business thinkers. In Alvarado’s traditionally male-dominated world of construction and professional sports, she’s often heard talking about not just playing the game, but owning the whole team. At 39, Alvarado made history as the first woman to participate in a successful bid for ownership of a major league baseball franchise, the Colorado Rockies. She’s been voted one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in our nation and serves as a role model, nationally and internationally, inspiring others to achieve their goals.
The recent State of Women-Owned Businesses Report (2016) notes that nearly eight out of ten new women-owned businesses launched since 2008 (2.8 of 3.5 million) have been started by women of color, with the greatest growth among Latinas. Sister Alicia Valladolid Cuarón, CWHF 2008 inductee, might find great satisfaction today in women truly belonging in the business world. From her hard-earned perch having served as the first Latina Executive Director of the Colorado Economic Development Agency, State Fair Commissioner and female executive director of the National Hispanic Association of Construction Enterprises, Cuarón was an early role model for Latina women who, today, are carving their own paths to business leadership.
There’s no question about the importance of real-life women role models to remind us of what we can be. Having role models at work and in life is essential for women across all professions and career paths. In fact, a 2013 study by The Glass Hammer and Accenture, found that “The vast majority (83.3 percent) of women in technology who said they wanted a C-suite job also said they had a role model. The study concluded that there is a strong correlation between women with role models and women with leadership goals. It’s logical that this correlation would extend to women in many different industries or those aspiring higher, beyond where they are today.
It can be hard to imagine being something you’ve never gotten a good look at. Every two years, CWHF highlights extraordinary women and their accomplishments to advance the roles of today’s women to levels of heightened recognition and models of inspiration. (“Role models ignite our desire to make our own unique impact on the world,”) says Beth Barela, CWHF Board Chair. “The seeds of some of our greatest ideas and plans originated from observing our heroes and learning their stories. In short, you cannot be what you cannot see.”
CWHF will announce its newest Class of Inductees for 2018 very shortly. These ten women (six contemporary, four historic) will take their places alongside the 152 women currently in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. CWHF will officially induct its new members on March 28, 2018 at a black tie gala.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, Latina role models for all women, and their amazing stories of accomplishment, are worth revisiting: Linda Alvarado, Alicia Cuarón, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Juana Bordas, Erinea Gallegos, Maria Guajardo, Ramona Martinez, Martha Urioste, Anna Jo Garcia-Haynes, Arlene Vigil-Kramer, Lydia Peña, SL, Christine Arguello, Eppie Archuleta and Polly Baca. Each is a great Colorado woman. Each story is a legacy of grit and grace. Inspiration awaits at www.cogreatewomen.org.