Feliz Cumpleaños LATINA Style Magazine!

By Marisa Rivera

Feliz Cumpleaños LATINA Style Magazine! I can’t believe it has been 25 years! When I reflect on the past two and a half decades, of not only LATINA Style Magazine but on the progress of Latinas in this country, my heart swells with pride, admiration, and enthusiasm.

I met founder, Anna Maria Arias, in 1998, as I began my tenure as President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), in Washington D.C. 21 years ago and we began a partnership that has lasted until the present.

I am very proud of the work that LATINA Style Magazine, Robert Bard, and now Lupita Colmenero and the entire staff have done to continue Anna Maria’s Legacy. For the past 25 years LATINA Style Magazine has been a voice and a platform for Latinas to speak-up, to be showcased, to learn and to be respected and catapulted to new heights. LATINA Style has been covering the rapid growth of Latinas as leaders, as highly successful entrepreneurs and corporate executives, as elected officials, as government appointees and employees. Also, as members of the armed forces, heads of our households and as activists contributing to the future of this country. Politically, 25 years ago, there were four Latinas serving in Congress. Today we have 13! LATINA Style Magazine has covered it all and they have also held accountable those who have benefited from the social, political and economic growth and innovation of Latinas in America.

We must celebrate the many accomplishments of Latinas and at the same time continue to push forward. We must continue to demand equality, fairness, respect, and recognition for the many contributions Latinas and Latinos have provided to this great nation.

The fight for gender equality has been an uphill battle for centuries. Whether it was the right to vote or the right to an education, the right to bear arms, or the right for equal pay, women have struggled to be recognized and respected in the same way their male counterparts.

In a recent article by Lydia DePillis, CNN titled: “The Future of American economy is Hispanic and Female,” she highlights that although Hispanic women are the lowest paid group in America, making 63 cents for every dollar a white male makes doing the same job, many are now entering higher-paying careers. Many are completing higher education, starting small businesses and entering the workforce at a higher and faster rate than general populations. Also, Latinas are almost a decade younger than the average U.S. woman with a median age of 29 years. Latinas earning power has a lot of room to grow. As Latinas, we are being shortchanged over $18K a year in pay. Imagine putting all of that cash into the U.S. economy. The contributions from the Latina community could increase dramatically if the pay gap is closed. McKinsey Global Institute recently reported that “closing the gender gap in the workforce could add $28 trillion to the global GDP.” I say: Let’s do it – everyone will benefit!

One thing is for sure, Latinas have enriched the American landscape, experience, and economy with their brilliance, boldness, and hard work. Latinas provide unselfish dedication and sweat equity into everything they do. Thank you LATINA Style Magazine for pioneering the way, showcasing, enriching, and continually supporting our brilliant community. Let’s roll up our sleeves for another 25 years of leading the American social and economic Future! Happy 25th Anniversary LATINA Style Magazine!

Marisa Rivera is president of Mpowerment Works, a motivational speaker, executive coach and leadership and empowerment consultant. [email protected].

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