Career Advice from 4 Successful Latina Leaders

Career Advice from 4 Successful Latina Leaders

We asked these inspiring women about their career trials and triumphs.


In honor of Women’s History Month, Orgullosa is celebrating what it means to be a Latina woman in the business world. See how these four inspiring Latinas have let their culture influence their success – and help them overcome challenges.

1. Lourdes Albacarys
Vice President of Corporate R&D at Procter & Gamble


Her Story
The unique combination of drive, passion, empathy and relationship-building skills that Lourdes derives from her Latina heritage has made a huge positive impact on her career.

It has set her apart from her peers, helped her obtain key roles, and allowed her to build alliances and deliver results that ultimately grew her organization.

Even when managers warned her that those qualities would limit her success, she pushed on and used them to her advantage. Now she leverages her experience to guide many others and help them grow and navigate their careers.

Her Biggest Challenge
“Early in my career, I spent a lot of energy trying to fit in. Eventually I realized that once you embrace who you are, you are free to focus on the job at hand. Thinking and acting different from the majority is a good thing and can open doors for you.”

Her Career Advice for Other Latinas
“Be aware of who you are and why that makes you special. Don’t give in to the pressure to be like everyone else.”

2. Melissa Exposito
Senior Director of Business Development, Latin Iberia for Sony Music Entertainment


Her Story
The eldest daughter of Cuban immigrants, Melissa grew up watching her parents work hard owning and running their own business. This instilled in her a strong work ethic and the importance of family values.

After discovering her passion for arts and entertainment early in life, she worked hard, hustled and never settled for less than her best. And it paid off. Since she was 18 years old, she’s been working in the field that she’s most passionate about, in a job that she loves doing every day.

Her Biggest Challenge
“In my industry, I am often the only woman in a room full of men. But I have been so incredibly lucky that I’ve never felt like I was at a disadvantage. No life is absent of challenge, but how you let it define you is what will set you apart.”

Her Career Advice for Other Latinas
“Educate yourself. Work hard. Focus. Never lose sight of who you are and where you come from. If you’re authentic, honest and dedicated, success will follow.”

3. Tanya Menendez
Co-founder and CMO of Maker’s Row


Her Story
The loving, passionate, hard-working nature of Latino people has been the cornerstone of how Tanya approached her career from the very beginning. She loves her work and believes in always focusing on the human aspect of business.

This inspired her to start her own tech company that connects entrepreneurs and designers to American manufacturers and helps them produce their products. By focusing on the customer, she grew her business exponentially. Her company, Maker’s Row, now serves over 100,000 businesses.

Her Biggest Challenge
“One of the biggest challenges is that feeling when you walk into a room and you’re the only person of color or the only woman. But by finding commonalities with others, I learned to remember that we’re all human. Even in business, there are aspects to everyone that are completely separate from their race and gender.”

Her Career Advice for Other Latinas
“Be bold! Push yourself into uncomfortable situations because that’s the only way you’re going to grow. Never put limits on yourself. Just because someone else has never done something before, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself.”

4. Marilú Medina
Senior Counsel on Global Privacy, Cyber Security and IT Law Legal at Procter & Gamble


Her Story
Born and raised in Puerto Rico by a family of bold, hard-working female role models, Marilú grew up feeling empowered to achieve whatever she dreamed. Which is why, early on, she made the mindful choice that her career would always be driven by what was best for her family.

Now, she is proud to say that all of her professional success has been achieved on her terms – and not defined by anyone else. She enjoys a wonderful work-life balance, all while being a positive role model for her two confident, caring and accomplished daughters.

Her Biggest Challenge
“As a minority, it can be hard to resist the temptation to blend into the corporate world and not leverage my diversity. We are sometimes reluctant to wear that bolder necklace or put on that red lipstick for fear of not being taken seriously. But in repressing our identity, we lose confidence and become disengaged.

Now I feel confident in adding that splash of color to my outfit or hosting a Puerto Rican holiday dinner at home for my co-workers. My diversity is one of the most effective assets I bring to my team.”

Her Career Advice for Other Latinas
“Be yourself. Bring you own chispa to work. Do not compare your success to that of others. Take control of your career and be accountable for making it rewarding.”