Meet Our “Bellas Corporate Corner” Latina of the Week: PATRICIA SIERRA SAMPSON
by Deyanira Martinez, @deyamartinezl
Bellas Fashionistas is proud to showcase Latinas that are climbing the corporate ladder in America, smart and talented women working their way up and leading by example, serving as an inspiration to others.
Name: Patricia Sierra Sampson
Title: President / Publisher
Birthday: January 19th
Place of birth: Bolivia
College: New York University
Major: I started as Journalism major and then in my sophomore year switched to Business.
Last book read: Drown by Junot Diaz for pleasure. Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Management by Blaine McCormick for business. Both Diaz and Ben Franklin are geniuses.
- What is your job description? As President and Publisher, I am responsible for the operational, strategic, and financial success of our site.
- What is the biggest misconception about women in business? I think the bigger problem is how there are still generalizations about gender when it comes to leadership. There actually have been studies that show more similarities than differences among senior executives of both genders.
- How you do you balance family and career? Honestly, it is never going to be perfectly balanced. You are constantly questioning yourself. What makes the balancing possible is having a support system at both work and home.
- What do Latinas and women bring to the table? Our strong work ethic and our natural inclination to nurture help us cultivate collaboration and teamwork.
- Why do you think there are not many Latinas in leadership positions in Corporate America? Our strong family values make it difficult to maintain a single focus and uninterrupted career path that leads to the executive suite. Most Latinas I know have taken detours in their careers due to family; I know I have as well. You tend to see more Latinas in entrepreneurial environments versus corporate ladder climbing.
- How important is money when it comes to job satisfaction? Money should never be the driver, or the sole motivator of success. Passion and perseverance will bring success — the money just automatically follows.
- What must be done to empower women to pursue high ranking positions? Women must support other women. Building a strong network and finding mentors is crucial to any young Latina who aspires to be in senior management.
- People know you are Latina when… I am proud of my heritage and although I carry a surname ‘Sampson’ that is non-Latin, I make sure people know that I am Patricia Sierra-Sampson. There are so many negative images and stereotypes of Latinos in the media; it is our responsibility as successful Latin people to promote who we are and share our stories of success and accomplishment.
- What is the secret of your success? How did you get where you are today? I am very passionate about the web, about publishing. It never seems like work to me. I like what I do every day and that is what motivates me to succeed in my profession.
- Have you ever felt excluded based on gender or culture? I started my career in the production end of publishing which was very male oriented. At that time it meant negotiating print contracts and paper purchases with mostly men. I was young, a woman, and a Latina which meant I was not embraced with open arms. I was fortunate to have a strong woman manager who was a trailblazer and taught me that if you know how to make money and save money for your company, your gender, background, ethnicity is secondary. Money does not discriminate.
- Biggest mistake made? I think mistakes are necessary for growth. Every mistake comes with a lesson that helps make you better. Decisions that I may have thought were a mistake in hindsight turned out to be pivotal junctures in my life that affected the next phase of my development thus all were necessary.
- What are more proud of? What has been your biggest accomplishment? I will always say that my biggest accomplishment and what I am most proud of has nothing to do with a career. I am a good mother that has raised three good human beings that positively affect our world. Can there be anything better than that?
- Who inspires you? I am inspired by anyone who goes after their dream in a relentless, passionate manner. Regardless of challenges and obstacles, the people that forge ahead are who inspire me every day.
- What do you say to Latinas facing challenges to have a voice and a place in America? Be bold! It comes more naturally to men but Latinas need to understand that being successful means knowing how to compete. Being aggressive when necessary, being decisive, speaking up and taking deserved credit for success is something Latinas may find difficult but must work to make it part of their DNA.
- What is your favorite quote? My favorite quote is from Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”