This rapidly growing segment of the population is gaining ground in business
There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit among Hispanic women, with more and more owning and operating businesses, both large and small. Latinas own more than 1 million businesses in the U.S., and 1 in 10 of all women-owned firms in the United States is owned by a Latina.
The Latina Entrepreneur
Latina owned businesses are also growing at a much faster rate than businesses for all women—over 200 percent versus 32 percent between 1997 and 2014. Over the past 17 years, the number of Latina-owned firms has more than tripled, employment has risen 85 percent, and revenues have more than doubled (106%)—in comparison with 68 percent firm growth among all women-owned firms, 11 percent employment growth among all women owned firms, and 72 percent revenue growth among all women-owned firms. In 2014, Latina businesses employed over 400,000 persons and contributed over $71 billon to the economy. Yes, Latinas are on the rise.
They are establishing businesses, taking on leadership roles and becoming ever more visible in every facet of business. Meet just a few of the influential Latinas who are doing remarkable things in the world of business today.
Geisha Williams of PG&E
Geisha Williams is the new CEO and president of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Corporation. She is the first woman to take such a position at the company, and assumed the role just this month. Williams, a 55-year-old Cuban immigrant, is also the first female Hispanic CEO of a company as large as PG&E.
“We applaud Geisha Williams for breaking a glass ceiling in corporate America,” said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. “This signals a new beginning for the utility industry. It shows that Latinas too can earn command of Fortune 200 companies.”
Williams played a key role in handling the planned shutdown of PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and oversaw PG&E’s shift to getting nearly 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
Carmen Castillo of SDI International
Carmen Castillo is the founder, President and CEO of SDI International Corp., one of the largest certified minority- and woman-owned Procurement Outsourcing Organizations in the world. The company provides its clients with fully scalable global indirect procurement solutions (tail-end) centered on Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay.
These programs are designed to manage large numbers of small suppliers handling non-critical/non-catalogue transactions that are often untracked, resulting in inefficiencies in process times, compliance and costs. SDI has distinguished itself as a provider of robust process efficiencies, driving repeatable hard cost savings through cutting-edge technology, risk assessment, quality policies and a dedicated team, fostering long-standing business relationships with its Fortune 500 customers.
Rosa Santana of Santana Group
Rosa Santana is the founder and CEO of the Santana Group, a group of companies providing innovative outsourcing solutions to organizations across all industries. Based in Texas, Santa is an entrepreneur and business leader who, for over 35 years, has been a driving force within the U.S./Mexico staffing industry. She is recognized internationally as a human capital solutions expert.
Santana is a fearless leader who harnesses her passion to successfully create and develop companies through impeccable client service and innovative business solutions. As a visionary trailblazer, Santana’s unwavering integrity has established her staying power and success throughout the course of her remarkable career. Santana Group companies include Integrated Human Capital, Workforce Management Mexico, Diversa, Forma Automotive, and Oveana Global Business Services.
Gaby Natale of AGANARmedia
A six-time Emmy nominee—and 2015 winner—mediapreneur Gaby Natale is the host of SuperLatina, the syndicated TV talk show. She is also the co-founder and president of AGANARmedia, a content development and grassroots marketing company with a focus on Hispanic audiences.
Natale is one of the few women in the entertainment industry who owns not only the rights to her TV show but also a television studio. This unique situation has allowed her to combine her passion for media and her entrepreneurial spirit.
In the digital world, Gaby has developed her own online fan base, with over 40 million views on Youtube (growing at a pace of 1 million per month) and 25,000 Twitter followers @superlatinashow.
A Powerful Force
With Latina-owned businesses are the fastest-growing business segment in the United States, we will continue to see these strong women grow and thrive, contributing significantly to our nation’s economy. The power of their combined efforts is a force to be reckoned with!
Sources: nwbc.gov, bls.gov, doe.gov, ushcc.com, gabynatale.com