Success for women often requires double the effort, because they still have to fight against sexist violence.
There is a belief that women in leadership positions got there because of their social status or academic achievements. But their greatness lies in the path they took to get to where they are, since they have to deal with sexism, violence, and the glass ceilings that society has imposed upon them.
Regardless of whose side they’re on, female leaders agree that it’s necessary to overcome their fears, empower themselves, and grow in what they decide to be or do in order to achieve their goals.
At Tec Review, we talk to women who are part of the public conversation.
Leaders who stand out because of their work and inspire others to also achieve their goals, despite the sexism that still exists in Mexico.
Meet Sally Buzbee, the first woman to lead the Washington Post
Senator Kenia López Rabadán, who studied at the Faculty of Law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), assures us that her 20-year career in politics has been a constant effort, ever since her school days when one of her professors invited her to join the National Action Party, where she is still an activist to this day.
She was a trainer, legislative advisor, private secretary, technical secretary, and four times legislator.
Kenia says she lost her first campaign to be the local deputy. But she had two options: to feel defeated and give up on her passion, or to become stronger.
“There isn’t a secret formula to being an empowered woman and leader. I think it’s about fulfilling your dreams, achieving your goals, and being you without restrictions. You have to be prepared, both personally and professionally, and be a good public servant, with integrity, vision, and sisterhood,” she says.
Ser senadora significa trabajar incansablemente para hacer de México un mejor país.
Ser senadora de oposición significa defender a millones de mexicanos de las iniciativas absurdas y peligrosas de la 4T.
Estos son 2 minutos que resumen 1 año de esfuerzo para ti y tu familia. pic.twitter.com/ZiAkRkJwtE
— Kenia López Rabadán (@kenialopezr) September 21, 2020
On the other hand, there are those female leaders who are just starting out on this path.
This is the case for Ana Villagrán, an Institutional Communications teacher who studied at UNAM and is now a candidate to be the local deputy for the National Action Party (PAN) in Mexico City.
Win or lose, she says her greatest dream is to achieve the highest political position in Mexico: to be President of the country.
Otherwise, she will seek other public positions to become the kind of leader that she was born to be.
In an interview, she shares that she loves politics and communication, discovering along the way that she was a good communicator.
She saw herself working in the field of communication in some capacity, but never considered that she would end up being the one leading the way as a youth leader, not only in her party but also for those women who see her participating in opinion programs on national TV.
As to what makes a woman become a leader, she believes it’s more matter of conviction than what you decide to focus on, whether in a company, in politics, as an athlete, or as a businesswoman.
“I think you become a leader when people see something in you that others don’t have. People see you as a leader because they see that you believe in what you do. So, leadership has to do with you being fully convinced that you have the right ideas, the right plans. It goes beyond academic achievements or titles, it’s more to do with the individual,” she says.
Public prosecutor Carla Erika Ureña, who helps female victims of violence with pro bono legal advice, agrees.
By fate, she ended up at the Violeta Lawyers’ Network continuing the work she had already been doing on her own.
What’s more, social media users consider Carla to be a leading woman for the way she uses Twitter and TikTok to explain legal issues that are complex for ordinary people.
She also aims to help young people and adults understand the rights they have as citizens.
Her impact has been so great that her social media accounts were taken down on one occasion and she received direct threats on her cellphone.
In a conversation with Tec Review, Carla believes that leadership must start with oneself and the shedding of all fears.
“Generally, nobody defends what isn’t theirs or doesn’t belong to them. Leadership is a perception that comes from the outside. I consider myself to be a woman with her own life story of overcoming many obstacles that have to do with both gender and personal situations, but with a deep love for Mexico and for what we can be as a country,” she says.
For her first contact with young people, she began a series of projects aimed at citizens and legal education.
Now, she and a group of lawyers are preparing a series of children’s stories about human rights.
Senator Kenia describes herself as a woman who has found her strength, with both the passion and training to do what she does.
In other words, she is an empowered woman who has enhanced her leadership.
Ana Villagrán recommends that young women who want to achieve a leadership position should work on themselves, since mental health plays just as important a role as having a good educational background when aspiring to a position in any area of politics or business.
What does it take to break through? These women share their stories. (Photo: iStock)