News Column

Corner Office: The 500 and Debt Limit

April 6, 2011

Jesus Chavarria, Editor and Publisher

The Woman of the Year class of 2011 certainly lives up to the tradition -- a tradition now 9 years old -- of adhering to a very consistent repertoire.

Members of the cast of the 2011 Woman of the Year story can be identified by a common profile of how they have lived their lives, pursued their education and shaped their professional standing. They share a common way of going about facing up to the challenges of living a full life. The way includes overcoming steep challenges by becoming problem solvers, developing a competitive skills set, and accumulating a record of achievement in whatever endeavors they have undertaken. They share a basic commitment of best practices and lessons learned, if you will. At the same time, each of them set upon an individual journey.

At HispanicBusiness Media we celebrate their achievements because they say a lot about Hispanic women in the United States in the early 21st century. Richard Larsen, in his overview of the Woman of the Year contingent on Page 18, quotes a source as noting there are no Hispanic women CEOs of a Fortune 500 company. And apparently there's no pipeline. Well, the latter point is well taken, but debatable. In any event, there surely soon will be a Fortune 500 Hispanic woman CEO.

It is simply a matter of time. It is quite an experience to meet them personally, as we have done in recent years at the HispanicBusiness Media Woman of the Year event. They invariably create an impression of grace, talent and determination.

And rightly so. For years, Hispanic women have been on a tear, successfully transitioning from high school to institutions of higher learning in ever-increasing numbers, and moving on to the corporate or public sectors. Their levels of political participation are notably higher than that of Hispanic males, and have been for some time. Their growing accumulation of assets, as well as participation in competitive sports, the arts, theater, film and literary communities, continues to grow proactively.

And now meet Gov. Susana Martinez, elected in November by the people of New Mexico. You will find her profile on Page 22.

On Jan. 1, 2011, Susana Martinez, 51, became New Mexico's first woman governor and the nation's first Hispanic woman governor.

Here's the way David Roybal introduces his snapshot of Gov. Martinez in the pages ahead.

"The wind chill was below zero Jan. 1 on Santa Fe's historic downtown plaza -- fitting weather, considering all the hardened men over the years who insisted it would be a cold day indeed before a woman would take charge of the rugged land's future."

Diversity in politics is on the upswing, but a major jump in diversity in the workplace occurred during the Federal Communications Commission review of Comcast Corp.'s deal to take controlling interest in NBCUniversal. The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda wanted a meeting with Comcast's CEO to discuss their concerns about diversity. Comcast, on its part, identified several other Hispanic organizations it wanted to bring to the negotiating table.

The result? Six Hispanic leadership organizations came together for the first time to negotiate on behalf of an entire demographic, and the finished memorandum of understanding between Comcast and the Hispanic organizations has the potential to be the model all groups could use in negotiating diversity initiatives with all companies.


Source: (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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