There is no better time to be a Latina than now. The fascination regarding our demographic stems beyond statistics and into knowing our psyche.

Every major corporation in the country is trying to figure out what we watch, what we buy, what brands we prefer, or who makes the household decisions. Latinas are the most coveted demographic in the nation because we are defining America now and for the future.

I understood this early on, and as a result, made a conscious decision to incorporate my family teachings and values into my career choices. I’m a strong believer of being authentic and I wanted to share this idea with others. It hasn’t always been easy because many times being authentic goes against our every instinct. Authenticity often causes us to be vulnerable. I’ve experienced this vulnerability many times, accompanied by feelings of uncertainty and fear, but it has produced some of the most memorable moments of my career. I have learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

In our lives, we are going to be pushed in different directions. Sometimes this can be frightening. Remember, though, that women did not achieve so much without struggle, compromise, and job woes. Each one of these struggles helped me: they invigorated me, taught me to be compassionate, earn what I seek, innovate, disrupt, create, and consistently deliver results.

Be assertive, but also be attentive. Be authoritative, but be appreciative and ambitious, and most importantly, be adamantly authentic.

What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field?

Intelligence is necessary, but more importantly, having a natural way of guiding and anticipating other people’s needs is key. It is important to inspire and consistently demonstrate sound judgment. If you are not genuine, people will know.

Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do?

Similar to many other Latinas, my parents are my role models. Although they only attained a third-grade education, they are still my heroes. Although they were never able to help me with my homework, did not know who Shakespeare was, or the subject of geometry, they provided me with something far superior: they taught me compassion, shaped my values, reinforced my commitments, and foresaw my success.

What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career?

Leadership is far less about what you do, and more about who you are. People will always remember how you made them feel, so be aware and embrace how people perceive you and your actions. It is difficult at times, but learn how to manage your energy and understand what it conveys about you. A good dose of humility also helps.