About the Author

Latina Leadership Lessons

By the Honorable Delia Garcia

Throughout my life, I have had the honor of being raised, inspired, and mentored by some of the most phenomenal women on earth.  So, I decided to write a book about some of them to share with readers this gift in 500 Latina Leadership Lessons: Fifty Latinas Speak. It is a snapshot of what Latina leadership looks like in our country among three generations from 25 states, from various Latino backgrounds and industries in elected and appointed government, corporate, and non-profit spaces. This powerful and intriguing collection introduces an impressive group of leaders who have reached a pinnacle of success in their respective work, despite overcoming obstacles related to gender, ethnicity, social class and sometimes immigration status.  There are many more Latina leaders to write about, and this book begins to scratch the surface and invites us to share more together.  We are the current and future leaders making this world a better place. Uplifting, empowering, and growing more leaders is the purpose of this book, coupled with our virtual and in-person activities will demonstrate our powerful Latina style.

Early in my life, I witnessed strong Latina leadership within my family. My three grandmothers, mother, sisters, and women in my extended family always emphasized the importance of public service and truly pay it forward to help others, which sometimes included making personal sacrifices.

When we witness possibilities inspired by those who are like us, it is transformative. Many of the Latina leaders in this book shared common lessons. One of the top leadership lessons is to “Believe in Yourself/ Si Se Puede!”  Studies show that women are effective communicators, listeners, negotiators, and effective problem solvers. Persistence and taking risks is in our blood. Our possibilities are powerful if we let them be powerful. We must remind ourselves to trust our authentic self because we know we are representing all that we love. We work hard to be at the table so our loved ones are not on the menu. We can be what we believe and inspire another person when they see us as an example. This book is full of many examples.  One of my favorite leadership lessons that I share is to take risks and learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.  Being a lifelong learner, I have learned that life is not linear; rather, it is curvy, like me.

Dolores  Huerta and Delia Garcia.

I hope readers can combine lessons from the powerful women featured in this book as they navigate their own life journeys.  This book can serve as a tool related to another top leadership lesson shared, “Self Care/ Sana Sana Colita de Rana,” where some Latina leaders emphasize this.  Me siento muy excited for both our virtual and in-person engagement with readers.  We invite readers to sign-up at www.DeliaGarcia.us/thebook to join us on our social media live shows, podcast interviews, and in-person Chingona Comadre Circles in the cities that we will visit and be invited to in our book tour, listed on our site.  I am grateful for Arte Publico through this path of publication. 

In 2004, the Honorable Delia Garcia made history as the first Latina and youngest female elected to the State of Kansas Legislature. In 2019, Garcia was appointed the first Latina Secretary of Labor in Kansas.  In Washington DC, Garcia served as a CEO and led two national non-profits: ReflectUS, which works to increase women’s representation in elected and appointed leadership, and the National Migrant Seasonal Head Start Association, which works with migrant farm worker families.  Additionally, Garcia served at the National Education Association as Senior Liaison working with national partnerships for teachers across the U.S. Currently, Garcia serves at the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau as Administrator.  She is a graduate of the Harvard University of Executive Leadership Program and Aspen Institute Executive Leadership Program.  For more info, visit www.DeliaGarcia.us.