By Deyanira Martinez @deyamartinezl
Bellas Fashionistas is proud to showcase Latinas that are climbing the corporate ladder in the United States – smart and talented women leading by example, serving as an inspiration to others.
Name: Jadys Mendez
Title: Manager, European Natural Gas
Company: Hess Corporation
Birthday: February 24
Place of birth: Dominican Republic
College: City College of New York
Major: Business Administration with a minor in Economics
Last book read: Leading with Kindness, by William F. Baker Ph.D., Michael O’Malley Ph.D
1. What is your job description? I manage the Contracts, Settlements, and Profit/Loss operations of the UK Natural Gas team.
2. What is the biggest misconception about women in business? I think one of the biggest misconceptions about women in general is that we are not capable of handling the pressure and that somehow our emotional nature will interfere with getting the job done.
3. How do you balance family and career? I try to schedule family time. Dinner together at least twice a week. I’m always there for my family if they need me even if I’m at work.
4. What do Latinas and women bring to the table? Does ethnicity play a role at the time of doing business? I don’t think ethnicity plays a role at the time of doing business; however women in general bring a lot of passion to the table. It is our nature to be passionate about everything we do and in my opinion Latinas bring an extra positive energy, that’s part of our character.
5. Why do you think there are not many Latinas in leadership positions in Corporate America? We seem to have fallen victim of stereotypes which can be very powerful in our minds. It’s easy to shy away from reaching further and aspiring high when society has already determined we can’t do it.
6. How important is money when it comes to job satisfaction? I think money is important to some extent but should not be the driving factor. I believe in doing what you love and if that brings you prosperity,bella embrace it humbly.
7. What must be done to empower women to pursue high ranking positions? Early age education to help us with confidence and self-esteem.
8. People know you are Latina when… they hear me talk about how and what I cook for my kids.
9. What is the secret of your success? How did you get where you are today? I attribute my success to giving the best of me in everything I do no matter what that is. I have always worked really hard and relentlessly to achieve my dreams. I have been blessed with a lot of help and support from my family; I could not have done it without each and every one of them.
10. Have you ever felt excluded based on gender or culture? I would not say “excluded” but definitely discriminated against. There were a few instances in my career when I was overlooked on a promotion I deserved and I firmly believed the decision to not give me the job was not made on a professional basis.
11. Biggest mistake made? Waiting too long to take on a challenge for fear of failure.
12. What are you most proud of? What has been your biggest accomplishment? My children, and knowing that I have done everything to show them they are in charge of their future and the need to be persistent in life in order to achieve their goals and happiness.
13. Who inspires you? My family; I want to be better for them, I also feel inspired by good-hearted people.
14. What would you recommend Latinas facing challenges to have a ‘voice’ and a ‘place’ in corporate America? Never give up, never underestimate your inner strength. Mistakes make us stronger and more knowledgeable. If one thing doesn’t work, then try the next and the next until you find what works. Be relentless in achieving your dreams and your happiness and let no one tell you “you can’t”.
Jadys moved to the USA at the age of 14, without speaking English. A remarkable and smart Latina, who rose from humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic to becoming a top executive at a Fortune 500 Company.