Bellas Business Corner

Meet Vanessa Rodriguez the Empowered Latina Climbing the Corporate Ladder in the Sports Industry

by Fleriser Bello @fleriserbello

Bellas Fashionistas is proud to showcase Latinas that are climbing the corporate ladder – smart and talented women leading by example, serving as an inspiration to others.

YZK_6106Photography by ISAACC GARCIA

Name: Vanessa R. Rodriguez
Title: Manager of Latino Affairs
Company: New York Yankees
Place of birth: New Brunswick, New Jersey
College: Kean University
Major: Public Communication
Last book read: The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott

 1.  What is your job description? I currently handle all the community and business initiative aimed at the ever-growing Hispanic market for the New York Yankees.
2.  What is the biggest misconception about women in business? The biggest misconception about women in business is that they are not strong enough to handle the same responsibilities as their male counter-parts. I think that it’s a misconception that is slowly changing and hopefully women like Sonia Sotomayor inspire others to break this stereotype.
3.  How you do you balance family and career? It’s hard. I try to make as much time for my family as I can. With technology I’m able to communicate with everyone even if I’m not physically there. But I do like to set up movie nights when I’m off and I try to mentor the younger people in my family.
4.  How important is money when it comes to job satisfaction? It’s important but I believe that if you love what you do it’s as good as money.
5.  What must be done to empower women to pursue high ranking positions? I think we need to mentor each other and work together. We tend to look at each other as rivals and that is our down fall. Empower each other and give each other advice. You never know if someone is going through the same thing you are.
6.  People know you are Latina when… My last name gives it away.
7.  What is the secret of your success? How did you get where you are today? I don’t really think it’s a secret. Working hard and being persistent are important to me. Easier said than done, but that’s life. I also remind myself that everything isn’t set in stone. Just when you think you’ve lost, something better comes along to help you understand and appreciate.
8.  Biggest mistake made? I don’t believe in mistakes. Everything that I thought was a mistake has led me to a better place. So, I consider them experiences.
9.  What are you most proud of? What has been your biggest accomplishment? One of my accomplishments is becoming the first person to graduate college in my family. I don’t want to be put up on a pedestal I just want others to know that if I was able to do it they can too.
10. Who inspires you? My parents inspire me. I don’t know if I have the courage to move to another country and be where they are at now. Not knowing the culture or the language. I think that’s amazing. They are definitely my inspiration.
11. What would you recommend Latinas facing challenges to have a ‘voice’ and a ‘place’ in corporate America? I say speak up. Be open. People can’t read minds. Embrace who you are and where you come from. Yes, we are different but different is good. So embrace it and learn to love it.

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