The ELLA Leadership Institute officially launched last Thursday, May 16, at an empowering event at Barnard College at Columbia University. The LATINAS THINK BIG event was attended by over 200 participants and was live streamed by Google.
ELLA Leadership Institute is a professional development center that offers strategic and tailored training, consulting, and mentoring programs to women seeking career and leadership success.
“Latinas are the fastest growing female population in this country,” said ELLA Leadership Institute Founder and CEO Dr. Angélica Pérez-Litwin, “and yet only 0.3% of Fortune 500 corporate executives are Latinas. Similar rates of invisibility are found in academia, in the political arena, and the non-profit sector. This is not acceptable.”
Dr. Angélica Pérez-Litwin, who earned her PhD. in clinical psychology from Fordham University, has devoted more than 20 years of her professional career to the empowerment, well-being, and success of Latinas. As the publisher of NEW LATINA, Dr. Pérez-Litwin has greatly contributed to a new digital conversation focusing on issues that matter to today’s career-driven and progressive Latinas.
“The reality is a large majority of professional Latinas are pioneers,” Dr. Pérez-Litwin said during her talk at the LATINAS THINK BIG event. “Many of them are first generation Latinas in corporate America, in academia, in politics, in the careers of science, technology, and engineering. As they enter these professional-themed arenas they are navigating new spaces and don’t have the necessary support and guidance to achieve career success.”
Dr. Pérez-Litwin has already inspired countless Latinas, including members of Mujeres, the Latina-based student organization at Barnard College. Tatiana Vera, who works at the Student Life Center at Barnard and is the president of Mujeres, is honored to have Dr. Pérez-Litwin as her personal mentor.
“When she called herself my mentor I was through the roof,” said Vera. “Everything that she’s done I completely respect. I want to be a clinical psychologist as well. She’s the CEO of her own company and has her own practice. How more boss can you be for a woman?”
Corina Velazquez, a spoken word artist and dancer who is also a member of Mujeres, thinks of herself as an important piece in changing the world mainly because of Dr. Pérez-Litwin.
“The first time I met Dr. Angélica Pérez I was blown away,” Velazquez said. “She changed my view about working and my own aspirations as well. She really instilled this idea of the Latina not only working for her family but also working for herself. She instilled the idea that we can have it all and be economically sound as well.”