News Column

Pioneers in the Executive Suite

April 2001

More than ever before, Hispanic women are rising to the top of the corporate hierarchy. That's why this month's issue of our magazine features a new directory, the HISPANIC BUSINESS® Top 50 Hispanic Women in Business. The new list showcases the progress of females in Corporate America, throwing a spotlight on the big-business success of Hispanic women that mirrors their success in business formation.

In addition to brief biographies of the Top 50, our coverage includes a roundup of questionnaire data from minority women managers ("A Clear Look Through the Glass Ceiling") and reviews of three books written by women CEOs. In ˇVisión! Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the United States(Heritage Publishing, $15.95), Mabel Tinjaca interviews successful entrepreneurs and finds how their heritage affected their vision of business. Deborah Rosado Shaw counsels readers to Dream Big (Free Press, $23), offering the example of her experience as CEO of Umbrellas Plus. Auto Motives, by Marion Luna Brem, details both her years in the male-dominated car industry and consumer tips on how to negotiate a better deal on the lot.

Comments from the Top 50 reveal a common tendency to frame their careers as a personal journey. "Don't be afraid to leave home," says Rose Reza, a vice-president at Wal-Mart. "Commit to a journey of continuous growth," seconds Tammy Rivera Berberick, a vice-president at Coors. To get ahead, women managers should "seek opportunities that provide challenges and risks, so that they are constantly growing both personally and professionally," says Marie Cummiskey, vice-president of technology at PepsiCo in Addison, Texas.

Members of the Top 50 also use the phrase "be true to yourself," a reflection of how Hispanic women sometimes must pioneer new territory without the guidance of role models. "Life's lessons come to us from unexpected sources," comments Nina Tassler, senior vice-president at CBS. She advises women to "embrace your heritage and reach out to all people, take advantage of the dual nature of our heritage, adapt and evolve."

Source: HISPANIC BUSINESS magazine

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