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Women’s Movement from A Hispanic Woman’s View

Riding the Waves of Feminism

by Dr. Patricia Arroyo

Women's Movement Hispanic Viewpoint Gender Diversity


Gloria Steinem, the iconic torch bearer of the women’s movement, will speak in a few days at the Massachusetts Conference for Women. As I reflect upon the women’s movement over the decades, I’m especially drawn to the unsung women of my youth, such as the wisdom and experiences of my mother. She was a “career woman” in a male-dominated industry, banking. Hispanic and a high school graduate no less.

Gloria Steinem was right. In the 1960’s, her name was a bad word in my home. “‘Women’s Lib’ movement, getting on your high horse,” my father snickered. My mother, however, was making her rise in banking. She started off as a bank teller with a high school education at Security Pacific National Bank.  We didn’t come from a family of higher education, nor did any of the Mexican-American families in our small southern California town. My grandparents on both sides immigrated from Mexico around 1918. One grandfather worked the orange groves, and the other worked at the railroad. My grandmothers stayed home with their sprawling families.

In the early 1960’s, racial integration was on trend during my early grade school years.  We “were bussed” to a distant school until third grade, after which we attended schools that we walked to. Our schools were mixed, roughly half Mexican-American and half-white. A very small percent was African-American. The bigger divider did not seem to be race. We all spoke English, especially those of us having Spanish last names. We all got along, played on the same sports teams, and did the same activities. The bigger divider, however, seemed to be who was “well-off or not well off.” Who had better clothes, or lived in bigger houses in the better parts of town. Who was going to “get out” to have a better life.

My mother rose from a bank teller, to a supervisor, to a branch manager, and finally to lending. Eventually, she retired as an Assistant Vice President at Bank of America after nimbly making it through several rounds of industry re-consolidations.   She was unique among her relatives. They either ran small businesses, had “supplemental income jobs,” or were stay-at-home mothers. My mother was a “career woman.” She and my father, who ran his own business, both worked full-time.

“It’s About Empowerment.”

Equality was the goal of the national women’s movement, however empowerment rang more true within my family and community. Work, education, and upward mobility, it was all about empowerment. Choices. The power to have choices. My mother commented, “we already know we’re equal, who has time to march in DC., I have mouths to feed, I have to work.”  Whoever held the money, held the choices and decisions. Sometimes that choice was to leave a bad marriage.  Without that choice, I saw some women confined to miserable and marginalized lives.

It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t work and have a career. Nor did it ever occur to me that I wouldn’t go to college, although no one around me did.  Both seemed natural. Whether by design or default, my parent’s work schedule left their five children as “latch key kids”, which ultimately fostered independence not restriction. They also fostered the belief that I could go out into the world and do whatever I wanted. They didn’t instill limitations, impose stereotyped gender roles, or pressure to remain close to home. “Getting out” was a desired objective.

Below are some of my reflections on the lessons and messages that I gleaned from my mother over the decades, from what I now understand to be the Second Wave of Feminism in the 1960’s. The era where inroads were made in the workplace, higher education, family and reproductive rights, and civil rights. Equality during this era hit a flat note with us because we lived an experience that was not just gendered, but it was gendered across race and social class lines. We lived it all at once. It wasn’t until the 1990’s with the advent of the Third Wave when this experience was crystalized into “the intersectionality of oppression” across gender, race and social class. By that time, I was among a half of one percent of Hispanics who earned a Ph.D., and who would became a strident diversity advocate for Hispanic students  during my first job at Dartmouth College. It was also a time when the term Latino/a came to replace Hispanic, given the influx of immigration from Latin America.

Here are a few reflections from my mother that came during the  “Second Wave of feminism.”

~ On the Women’s Movement ~

Feminism was more about empowerment than equality. “We already knew we are equal. I have to provide for my children.”

~ On Career ~

Working was about self-reliance to acquire a better life, and to have power and choices within the family. This choice allowed one to leave a bad marriage.

~ On Racism ~

On the anger others had about discrimination, “Just work harder, 100+%, 200+%. Shouldn’t you be doing that anyway?”

~ On Sexism ~

I just knew I was smarter than the men, and could out strategize them to get things done.”

~ On Being Hindered “By Being a Woman” ~

“You still have to excel at what you do.”

My mother didn’t see obstacles or experience being held back because of “being a woman,” even though she worked predominantly among men especially as she rose the ranks. She had a high confidence in her intelligence, skills, and work ethic.

~ On Mentoring Programs ~

Laughs, “We had none of those. My peers became my friends and allies. We bonded and respected each other based on our skill and work ethic. We helped each other.

My mother’s two closest friends and allies were Irish-American. Brenda, a talent like my mother. Mike, an advocate for talented women in the workplace.

~ On Childcare ~

I paid the next door neighbor teenager 50 cents an hour and half of my next raise.

This stopped at the age when we become latch key kids.

~ On the Women’s Liberation Movement ~

(which really did look like a white women’s movement at the time.)

Who has time to march in D.C.? I have to work, I have five mouths to feed.

~ On Birth Control ~

After five children, I had to go on “the Pill, and quit the Catholic church.”

~ On My First PMS Cramps ~

You think you can stay home a few days every month? You won’t have a career.

~ After Work ~

Yes, my mother still made the meals. However, the five children did the housework. All of it. My father did the yard, fixed the cars, and had t.v. time, until they divorced.


About the author, Dr. Arroyo

Being the middle of five children, I graduated with a Ph.D. at a time when half of one percent of Hispanics earned that degree. I assure you that neither my mother nor any of my aunts have a shred of deference or submissiveness in their DNA.











EQ Leaders Are In Demand

 EQ Leaders Are In Demand

Even More Success Coaching

will be at the

 MA Conference for Women

on December 6th and 7th, 2017

EQ Leaders are in demand. Did you know that less than 10% of leadership success relies on IQ? Of 6 competencies for new leaders, none are technical skills. In 2016, the the World Economic Forum advised that “overall social skills, EQ will be in higher demand across all industries than technical skills.”

Job candidates who have higher EQ also have better hiring and promotion rates. With rapid advances in technology, improving your EQ Leadership is a “must have” skill to help you be more effective in executive leadership roles.

The first step to improve your EQ is to have it tested.  Now there is a scientifically valid way to measure your 15 EQ skills and get targeted strategies. You can be more effective with your strengths, build up skills, identify blind spots, and fix career detailers.

New research has identified interesting gender differences in EQ. Men and women leaders have overall equal EQ. However, leaders vary in the EQ sub-scale patterns. These differences have key implications for leadership. Learn specific strategies for your personal EQ sub-scale pattern. Understand your specific EQ skills so that you can use them more intentionally and strategically. Success!


Even More Success Coaching will be at the 2017 MA Conference for Women.

Come by booth #974 to learn how the EQI Leadership report can help give you a competitive advantage.


Take advantage of conference promotional pricing,

20% off all services through 12/12/17.

Also, visit my booth and learn how you can win 2 prizes

 * 3 month coaching engagement with Dr. Arroyo.

*  EQ Leader book by Dr. Steven Stein.



Simone Biles, Greatest Olympic Gymnast Ever

Simone Biles, the Greatest Olympic Gymnast Ever

Simone Biles found herself in a unique spot. She was behind for the first time in three years by .0034 of a point as she approached the finals in the Rio Olympic games.  The balance beam and the floor exercise would determine if Simone succeeded or failed to become the greatest gymnast ever in the Olympic history.

Just before the floor exercise, Simone heard these wise words from her coach Boorman:

“Do it for yourself and do it from joy.”

Instead of getting into a defeatist mindset that could have choked her performance, Simone focused on tumbling for the joy of it. She did not focus on a perfect “outcome”, but instead she focused on the “process” of her joy. Doing it from joy.

See Simone’s breathtaking performance that locked in her title as the greatest Olympic gymnast ever.

When my clients focus on a perfect outcome, they are filled with stress, tension, and anxiety. They bog down in every way: creativity, motivation, and execution. Worse, avoidance and procrastination can set it in.

Talent and training get you into the competition. But to compete, focusing on your process gets champion results. By refocusing on the process of what you are doing, you can easily have a breakout performance.

What do I mean by process? Can you refocus on the experience of what you are doing rather than being obsessed about getting the perfect outcome?  Change your focus to the enjoyment and pleasure of using your skills.  Get curious about how you will overcome a challenge.  Notice your mastery and contribution to a solution. Get excited about how you will make a difference today. Exercise your cleverness in figuring out a complex problem. Your education, experience, training and talents will flourish when you enter the flow state of what you are doing.

By focusing on your process, you will have good to best to champion outcomes.

What Is Executive Coaching?


What is Executive Coaching

What “is” Executive Coaching?

Companies report ROI of  7x or more when using executive coaching.

“Now what is executive coaching?” Have you ever been asked a question as the person slowly pulls away from you? That is a common reaction after I tell someone that I do executive coaching. There is a degree of defensiveness as coaching implies that a person has a “problem” or a “weakness.” Who wants to admit that? In fact early on, remedial coaching was often used for executives with problematic behaviors or performance. However more recently, there is a spike in using executive coaching for top talent, high potentials, and star performers.  Executive coaching is now used to maximize leadership talents and abilities.  The return on investment is quite dramatic. Improved performance, more promotions, and increased compensation are all reported benefits from executive coaching.

Executive coaching helps you become a better leader.

Executive leadership is a complex phenomenon. Successful leaders develop their “soft skills” as much or more than their technical skills. Working closely with an expert best ensures this professional growth.

A mentor? A friend? A therapist? An executive coach is distinctly different. An executive coach is a trained and trusted professional who works in a confidential relationship with you.  Unlike a friend or a mentor, an executive coach relies on a systematic process and uses scientifically valid methods  to promote  skill development, behavior change, and personal growth.  Unlike a friend or a mentor, a coach holds you accountable to meet your goals.

Executive coaching focuses on skill development in areas such as:

  • understanding your unique strengths and how best to use them.
  • applying new tools and skills in ways that fit your leadership style.
  • improving communication and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • enhancing your 15 emotional intelligence skills.
  • learning to build and engage an effective team.
  • how to manage stress and work-life balance.
  • how to leverage diversity for bottom line results.
  • improving executive presence.
  • learn negotiating skills.

Executive coaching fixes “fatal flaws.”

Executive coaching addressed needed behavior change. Did you know that there are “fatal flaws” that may derail your career? Four EQ skills have been identified that can stall or derail a career. They are:

  • Impulse Control
  • Problem Solving
  • Independence
  • Stress Tolerance

Fatal flaws have a negative impact on how you manage yourself and your relationships, which ultimately reduces your performance. These flaws may appear as arrogance, quickness to temper, aggressiveness, difficulty staying calm under stress,  or inability to make independent decisions to name a few.  Successful leaders get results through teams of people. Successful leaders excel in managing diverse teams to accomplish company objectives. Fatal flaws will interfere with your ability to be a successful leader, and consequently, it is critical that you engage in a coaching process to assist in behavior change.

“High character leaders are nearly 5x more profitable than those rated low in character.”

Executive coaching promotes personal growth. Leadership is an inner game as well as an outer game of skills and tools. The inner games relies on personality strengths and weaknesses. Personal growth promotes strengths while overcoming personality flaws. Interviews of great leaders strongly indicates that overcoming personal issues were key to achieving success. Further, high character leaders were seen as being nearly 5x more profitable that leaders who were rated low in character.  Strikingly, the less profitable leaders were in denial of their problematic behaviors, which reflected deficiencies in Self-awareness–one key EI skill. Executive coaching is ideal to measure  problematic behaviors, provide feedback, and a systematic approach to improve.

Assess. Feedback. Accountability. Results.

Is executive coaching really needed? Can’t someone learn this stuff by taking a seminar or reading a book? Unique to executive coaching is the idea of “accountability.” In more passive forms of learning such as reading or attending a seminar, a transfer of knowledge may take place. However, very little actual behavior change will occur unless there is regular practice. Regular practice requires focused goals, discipline, commitment, and accountability to perform.

Accountability keeps you focused, on track, and challenged with progressively more difficult goals. Research repeatedly shows the ineffectiveness of training seminars alone. Results are dramatic when seminars or trainings are coupled with ongoing executive coaching. It’s really hard to change on your own without support, guidance, encouragement, and expert information. My clients truly value the privacy that coaching offers when learning a new skill, rather than feeling exposed and vulnerable in the workplace.

When do clients typically seek out executive coaching?  

There are many scenarios when an executive decides to start executive coaching. Here are some examples.

1)  High Potential Leaders are those highly talented executives who have recently been made aware that specific interpersonal behaviors are hurting their career progress. These ambitious executives may feel threatened for the first time in their career, and seek to turn outside the company for support. For example, an executive isn’t aware that his/her dominant style is alienating others and is unable to lead through people, thereby losing talented team members or sales contracts.  Or, a rising executive is quick to temper in executive meetings and is labeled  “hot headed” rather than “management material.”

2)  Emerging Leader is an executive who is newly promoted to lead a team for the first time and is a ball of confusion about how to do this? Worse, this executive can’t reveal these fears out of concern of being seen as incompetent and a fraud. In some cases, these talented individual contributors truly have weak interpersonal skills and are unable to successfully lead a team. Others are evolving their leadership identity and what it means to lead.  In many cases, the company does not provide training and the executive truly is in a sink-or-swim situation.

3) Leader In Transition: This executive is in transition between new promotions or new companies and may need to learn new skills. Career change, either voluntary or involuntary, is a catalyst to identify direction, re-define purpose, find work-life balance, or find accountable support. Sometimes the executive’s career has plateaued but he/she doesn’t know why?

4) Problem Leader is one who is at risk of being fired or causing severe problems at work such as alienating customers, losing sales, or demoralizing team members. Often, this leader can be highly talented yet terribly unaware of how they are coming across to others or they don’t know how to manage their problematic mindsets and emotions. These executives are likely to have “fatal flaws” and need feedback and support to change.

5) A Leader In Crisis is human after all and faces real life issues too. Commanding top pay doesn’t address the crises such as divorce, loss of a loved one, or medical illness.  Further, the executive is at risk for keeping these issues a secret in order to maintain a high level of performance. Yet the crisis detracts from focus, energy, motivation, and time away from the office. Unlike a star athlete who can go on the disabled list for a period of time, a top executive doesn’t have the luxury of pausing to take a breath. Nor would many want to admit the need for such a pause given the unrelenting demands of a high pressure, high performance job.

What is Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching is a relationship designed to help you grow personally and professionally so that you can succeed in your career.

Get Even More Success now and sign up here for a free coaching session.

Star Leaders have superior emotional intelligence

Star Leaders Have Superior Emotional Intelligence

Star Leaders have superior emotional intelligence

Star Leaders Have Superior Emotional Intelligence. The Key to Success!

Star Leaders Have Superior Emotional Intelligence

Did you know that the top 10% of star leaders have superior emotional intelligence skills?  While EQ may get you in the door, it’s your EI that keeps you rising up the ranks. Using superior emotional intelligence skills is the decided edge skill that not only propels you into the top 10% executive leadership, it also is correlated with satisfaction in key areas of your personal life.

…….”the benefits of EQ-coaching are not just confined to the workplace — they produce higher levels of happiness, mental and physical health, improved social and marital relationships, and decrease levels of cortisol (the stress hormone),” writes Tomas Chammoro-Premuzic


Listen to Daniel Goleman explain how star leaders have superior emotional intelligence skills, which is the “must have” skill for Even More Success in the workplace.

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Wellness, Relaxation, EQ, EI Boston

Stress Reduces Emotional Intelligence

Stress Reduces emotional intelligence

Stress Reduces Emotional Intelligence. Crazy Busy? Breathe.

Stress Reduces Emotional Intelligence

Crazy Busy? Breathe

Did you know that stress reduces emotional intelligence?  It is a common reaction to “dumb down” under stress no matter how smart or experienced one might be. Worry, panic, and stress  have cascading effects that compromises our thinking, decision-making, and interactions with others.  Not good for top leadership skills!  It is no wonder that a hallmark EI skill of top leaders is Stress Tolerance, or the ability to remain calm under pressure.

Typically, we react to stress with negative thoughts and emotions, which in turn affects how we behave and make decisions. Stress creates thoughts that are more negative, critical, or unduly catastrophic. We tend to distort, exaggerate, oversimplify, or ignore key events.

Stress alters our emotions such that we get more anxious, angry, irritable, and overwhelmed. Our interactions with others are impacted when we are thinking more negatively and are losing emotional control,   We become curt, arrogant, or impulsive rather than civil and sociable.  Or, we may hunker down and isolate rather than collaborate and problem-solve.

You are probably  familiar with the surge of stress hormones like adrenaline. Are you also aware that your breathing becomes more shallow and less oxygen flows throughout your body? Your muscles tense up. Your heart rate quickens.  Blood pressure elevates. We may overwork, under sleep, eat poorly, and skip exercise; all of which worsens the stress cycle. Further, does your stress reaction inspire followership or alienation at work?

Does your stress cycle inspire followership or alienation at work?

Meditating and learning how to breathe is one tool to nip the stress cascade effect. By intentionally manipulating our breathing, we can actually alter our physiological response to stress. Deep breathing brings calm to a highly activated body.  Focused breathing disrupts the chain of negative thinking. Heated emotions subside. Our physiological systems calm as more oxygen flushes through our system. Once calmer, our thinking actually becomes clearer as the frontal cortex of our brain is re-engaged. We regain our ability to think creatively, analytically, and intuitively. We are better able to reason and to problem solve.  We are more flexible rather than rigid.  Finally, we are nicer to be around and others may be inspired to work with us and for us again.

Training yourself to remain calm and focused is a critical leadership skill. Learning to control your breathing is one key tool to stay calm and laser focused. Like strength training, it takes daily practice to learn to actively manipulate your breathing and reap the benefits to your health, body, mood, and even your career.

Get a simple method of breathing, by clicking below, and get Even More Success now.

Breathe Here



Women’s Leadership Ambition Gap

Women's Leadership Ambition Gap

Women’s Leadership Ambition Gap. Lean or March In?

Women’s Leadership Ambition Gap

Lean or March In?

Sheryl Sandberg perceives a women’s leadership ambition gap and she has a remedy for it. Sandberg is the well known COO of Facebook, and is ranked #10 on Forbes’ list of Most Powerful Women. At age 43, she is a multi-billonaire, a working spouse and mother of two children. In her book, “Lean In”, Sandberg describes a Leadership Ambition Gap to account for why women are sparsely  represented in top leadership positions.

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Women’s Work Clothes, A Helter-Skelter World





Women's Work Clothes

When it comes to women’s work clothes Oprah had a shot at making it right. Sadly, she did not. Oprah recently teamed up with Talbot’s to design a line of women’s work clothes  done in collaboration with Dress for Success. “It’s about time!,” I rejoiced. Soon however, I was dismayed to find that the clothing  line was more suited for a garden party than a corporate setting: floral skirts, polka dot sweaters, and strappy sandals. The lead designer? A man. Oprah, yes even you can do better.

I recently searched for women’s work clothes at leading retailers: Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers, Ann & Taylor, Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Marcus. The selections in specific workday clothes were one of two extremes: Hum-drum styling and drabby neutrals, or something that could easily be worn at a weekend social party. In other words, party girl wear. One top retailer even had blouses with shoulder sleeved cut-outs in the 9-5 workday attire section! What a startling, if not unsettling, retail phenomenon given that women make 85% of buying decisions.

Whether this helter-skelter world of women’s work clothes reflects the last vestiges of “dress like a man” for success, a psychedelic stance in women’s relationship with power, or a society that just doesn’t know what to do with the cross sections of femininity and business acumen, how do we reconstruct our views of women’s work clothes?

What To Wear, What To Wear?

When women entered the workplace in the 60’s, there was the dress-like-a-man stratagem. We saw women’s work clothes try to clone after men’s business suits. The styling was rather nondescript and chocked with plain neutrals, a boring style that survives today. To answer the void, the Wrap dress hit the scene, made popular by Diane Von Furstenberg. Deemed a bit too sexy outré at it’s debut, today the Wrap dress is rather mainstream. With the advent of micro speed technology and a brainier attitude towards dressing–the less I have to think about what to wear, the more brain power I have for business solutions–we see the monochrome wardrobe, seen by Steve Jobs CEO of Apple, Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos for the Millennials, and Angelina Jolie for the third-world humanitarians. Candidly aside, the classic movies really nailed the women’s suit with a spot on blend of authority, presence, and femininity.

Women Executives in Male-Dominated Industries

These unique women executives face many challenges to succeed amongst male peers.  Finding just that right blend of executive presence that matches the company culture can be a quest. Executive presence is a melange of many factors, and work clothes that exudes credibility and distinctiveness is one. When it comes to work clothes, one theme I hear from women executives  is the confusion of what makes for executive attire and, secondly, the lack of good choices  in retail stores.  Mixed with the latter is the time crunch to shop around for “something that fits.”

Women, do you find that retailers are spot on or dead wrong in the selection of work clothes?

What do you want to see in your work wardrobe that designers just don’t get?

Comment below and let’s hear it.

Rock and Rule…Yourself

What an emotionally moving and inspirational video about the power and brilliance found when you Rule Yourself! One thing that I have never found more true in today’s workplace is that the ultimate key to an executive’s success is not the company. It is the executive himself or herself. Own your training, own your development. Never wait for your company to invest in you. Invest in yourself. Companies may come and go, but you don’t. Rock Yourself, Rule Yourself. See the companies come courting you.

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