July 22, 2016
I received a call a few weeks ago being notified of the fact I had been selected to receive an award or recognition for being a woman of Colombian origin possessing an entrepreneurial spirit and leadership skills. It is a great honour and a personal achievement seeing as the media speaks much about finding diversity in the workplace and promoting women and visible minorities. To be honest, not enough is being done and I refuse to believe there aren't enough well-educated and talented Hispanics or women to represent a well-balanced workplace. Companies like Facebook with 2% "diversity" figures are failing but I don't think I have ever thought of myself as being at a disadvantage. While I am Canadian by birth and was raised/have lived in the country my entire life, I do have a responsibility to speak to visible minorities and my ethnic community. There are some awful statistics out there but I don't think getting caught up in it makes too much sense. Instead of ignoring it, or getting too focused on how difficult it may be to have companies recognize you, I have achieved success by focusing on myself. The only thing I can control at the moment is my craft, education, skills and talents. By opening yourself up to possibilities, the world is yours no matter your age, race or gender. If you want to change society, it starts with you. Believe in yourself and the opportunities you will have will be the ones that have grown on the trees you once planted.
Thank you for this great honour Festival du Week end du Monde and Festival Independencia de Colombia - AFLA. I thank my family for teaching me of my Colombian roots and the Spanish language. My parents may be humble but their intelligence and hard-working nature never seizes to amaze me.
To my family in Colombia, while I may be Canadian, I am a leader in my life because of your many cultural teachings. We itch for greatness and I hope to inspire the youth to become educated, never give up and always dream big. Families, continue to support your children. Strive to make them a better you.