The Amazing Women in Business

For years the business industry has been solely male-dominated. Recently, women have started to take over the business industry, with women entrepreneurs making their names known and fighting back against the stereotypes, with an “anything you can do, I can do too.” attitude. With this, their mission does not seem to be slowing any time soon. Women around the world are becoming CEOs and setting Fortune 500 records; these are some of those women. 

Dr. Celeste Fralick – Data Perseverance

Dr. Fralick is both an author and the Senior Principal Engineer and Cheif Data Scientist for McAfee. She helps to create a technical, analytic strategy that is used to integrate into McAfee consumer and enterprise products along with internal Business Intelligence. With almost 40 years of experience, Dr. Fralick has developed things like Machine learning and Deep Learning for analytics for eight different market types. She also holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University, with a concentration in predictive analytics and neuroscience she is currently working on authoring Springer’s text on “Intelligent Analytics.”

Marina Tognetti – Entrepreneur 

Marina Tognetti is both the founder and CEO of the website mYngle.com. While originally from Italy, Tognetti has managed to learn six languages and has lived in numerous countries. After spending almost 18 years working in a corporate career for Procter & Gamble, she decided to take the leap into becoming an entrepreneur and launched her website called mYngle in 2007. The site is a live language education system offering custom language learnings through video conferencing. With this program, you can learn 45 different languages from anywhere in the world. 

Mina Jeong – Business 

Mina Jeong helps to advise different companies who want to find the right customer audience, building a reputation, and getting them in the right markets. As a B2B/B2C Tech and Consumer PR specialist, she has over 20 years of experience under her belt. She is also the current president of the Kora Public Relations Consultancy Association (KPRCA). 

Radhika Jones – editor in chief of Vanity Fair Magazine

The successor after Gradon Carter, the first editor and chief of Vanity fair, Radhika Jones, has made the magazine hers by driving it towards articles that are a bit more relevant. More articles today are based on what’s currently going on in the world rather than who wore Dior last week. She has pushed for less stylized and glamorized style to promote the magazine towards more modern times and embracing the everyday. 

Ursula Burns – Chairman and Executive Officer of Xerox Corporation

Ursula Burns served as the CEO and chairman of the Xerox corporation from 2009 – 2016. She was the first African American woman to hold this position at the Fortune 500 company. She was the first woman to gain to the position of the CEO of such a company after the progression of another female. Raised in low-income housing in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Burns was one of three children raised by a single mother. Throughout her life, she excelled in math and earned a mechanical engineering degree from the Polytech Institute of New York University in Brooklyn. The same year Burns earned her degree, she went on to gain a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and then joined Xerox that summer as a mechanical engineering intern. In 2007 she was named the CEO, and in 2010 she went on to become chairman of the board. 

 

With the world around us continually changing, more and more women are taking on prestigious positions. These inspiring women help the younger generation know that with hard work, they too can become successful and possibly be world leaders or the head of a significant fortune 500 company. 

 

Are Companies Really Incorporating Diversity?

It’s become more and more common hearing the words cultural diversity being thrown around in the workplace. But why does it matter? The benefits can far outweigh any negative connotations that it might have. So let’s start by discussing what cultural diversity IS? It is when a population of differences is represented well within a company; this should include those of different races, ethnicities, ages, gender, ability, language, nationality, socioeconomic status. To be diverse, the group diversely represented by different groups. 

Why Does It Matter?

These diverse backgrounds can have various perspectives when it to the workplace, and their contribution allows situations to be viewed from more angles providing innovative results. For diversity to strengthen the company, it should be valued in the businesses philosophy and must integrate into every aspect of the companies practices. But for diversity to best work, all coworkers must be willing to be open-minded and non-judgmental. 

Commitment to Diversity

Without a firm commitment from all employees, this can cause a group to weaken and create poor communication between employees. When situations like this arise, it can result in hostile conditions where often, people can jump to conclusions and misinterpret others’ behaviors.

Economically Beneficial 

When everyone works together in a diverse company culture, this has also been found to increase financial gains and can even lead to more awareness for your company. Each year 50 companies are selected by DiversityInc that have the most diversity. Diversity helps to drive profitability by helping to drive marketing, operations, and innovation. It is said that being on a successful team drives team success. The critical foundation of managing diversity has teams that are all set on achieving a common goal, often seen more with growth-orientated companies. These companies understand that to thrive is to fully embrace diversity as a sort of “fuel” to help drive their companies forward. 

Legal Costs

Diversity helps to cut down on legal costs due to it being illegal for employers to discriminate on any cultural, racial, or gender differences due to the Equal Employment Opportunity, that handles all complaints about workplace discrimination. 

 

How to Empower Women Leaders in the Workplace

For years, women have taken the backseat when it came to leadership roles in their careers. Time and time again, women were passed over for promotions and instead watched their male colleagues rise to hire positions. However, as women begin to fight for equality now more than ever, small businesses and large corporations have focused on empowering more women leaders. In order to promote diversity and equality in the workplace, this is how to empower women leaders:

Hire More Women

This first step to empowering and encouraging more women leaders is by hiring more women. If your women employees feel that they work in an environment dominated by men, they will be discouraged to pursue a higher position in the company. Make sure that every department and level are embracing equality. By having more women employed, it will encourage them to believe they have a shot at leadership and management positions.

Offer Women Mentors

Another great way to encourage more women to take on leadership roles is by introducing them to women mentors. When someone sees a person much like them or in a similar situation in a place of leadership and power, it helps them see where they could be someday. Being able to see a woman lead first-hand can have a remarkable effect on women in the workplace. Have women speakers come into the office or offer networking events for employees to get acquainted with. It’s important for women to see other women in leadership positions.

Discuss Leadership Roles

It’s important to sit down with women who have the potential to be great leaders in your business or company and discuss their future. By talking with them about where they see themselves headed in the company or if they would be interested in a leadership position, it is empowering them to take on more responsibility and work harder to put them into leadership. This also helps with employee retention. By enabling them to seek future leadership roles, it also encourages them to stay committed to the company.

 

The Rise of Small Businesses Owned by Women

 

Women are a growing force in the world of small business. They have become leaders in this industry as they carve out ways to tap into an industry that was once dominated by men. A large part of this has to do with the fact that women are tapping into so many different occupational fields.

 

The IT Crowd

A large number of women are gaining respect in the IT field with skills in programming, web designer, cybersecurity and system analyst jobs. This is a part of the small business world that women are embracing. There are also women that are opening small businesses that are training in things like software development and application usage for various programs. Women in IT are also working as headhunters for bigger companies.

 

Social Media

There are also women that are starting up their small businesses by promoting themselves through social media. Cosmetics have always been big business for women, but there is a greater level of control that women are taking in the business world now. They are posting videos about cosmetics, and they are giving makeup tutorials to build an audience. This ability to advertise this way has allows women to start small businesses from the comfort of home.

 

College Degrees

Women are also realizing their potential through education. They are going back to college as single mothers and learning more. They are moving away from roles as secretaries and administrative assistants inside of big corporations that are not paying them what they desire to make. These women are going back to school and getting degrees so that they can learn how to run their own businesses.

 

Food Trucks 

Higher education is a part of the growing number of women in the workforce that are getting into small businesses, but there are small businesses that thrive even when women do not have degrees. It doesn’t take a college degree to become a great cook. This is what a lot of women are discovering with the food truck business. Women love this because it doesn’t require as much money to invest in a food truck as it does to rent a commercial space for a restaurant and buy equipment. They have the freedom to be mobile and pay less in taxes. 

Q & A with Alexandra Arrivillaga

Alexandra Arrivillaga is a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman. She is no stranger to hard work having created a number of companies, including Owl Management Consulting and Lock It Up, LLC. Business ownership was all around Alexandra during her childhood, so it was no surprise that she followed in her family’s entrepreneurial footsteps. Alexandra’s family also stressed the importance of getting an education. The desire to learn led Alexandra to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from Lesley College, a Master’s in Management from Cambridge University and a PhD in Business in Organizational Behavior at North Central University. Alexandra’s pursuit of higher education and sharp business acumen has helped her to build successful companies. Ms. Arrivillaga’s newest endeavor is LatinTouch Agency, which focuses on strategy and diversity consulting to ensure Latinos are positively represented in all businesses.

 

Here, Alexandra answers several questions pertaining to her business career and her personal interests.

 

What’s the most important thing we should know about you?

 Success means making meaningful work that promotes inclusivity and community.

 

Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.

To keep pushing forward.

 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

The integrity and passion I have for volunteering to help people in my community.

 

What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?

 Trying to fit the status quo when I am an innovative person.

 

Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.

 Coffee! 

 

What is your favorite hobby and why?

Salsa dancing because I love rhythm and self expression. 

 

What excites you the most about your industry right now?

The progressive and innovative changes in it. 

 

What concerns you most about your industry right now?

Latinos need to catch up with the latest technologies.

 

What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?

I am an entrepreneur, so everything I do is risky. 

 

Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.

I look for change and I embrace it.  

 

What tip(s) do you have for getting a seat at the table?

Walk and talk like you deserve to be at the table — because you do.

 

What book has made the biggest impact on your life?

Proverbs in the Bible 

 

Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?

A balance of both is needed because everything in life needs balance. 

 

What would you consider to be the perfect day?

Coffee, positive vibes, meditation, a morning workout and an innovative, progressive day!

The Top Ten Latin American Companies & Why They Matter

 

The Top Ten Latin American Companies & Why They Matter

With booming tech scenes in major population centers like Mexico City and Sao Paulo, Brazil, it has been so secret in recent years that Latin America currently has one of the hottest start-up markets in the world. Here are just a few of the best companies operating out of the region, and why investors will be hearing a lot more about Latin companies in the decade to come.

 

  1. Apli

Based out of Mexico City, Apli is currently revolutionizing the Latin food industry by connecting workers with in-demand restaurant jobs. Apli has almost singlehandedly revitalized what many investors once saw as a stalled industry, and the company’s future looks very bright indeed.

 

  1. Rappi

Based out of Colombia and currently developing operations in a host of different countries, Rappi is changing the way that online deliveries are made in Latin America.

 

  1. Movile

As one of Brazil’s leading start-ups, Movile is providing a variety of services to Latin American nations; the company currently handles everything from food delivery to online radio.

 

  1. Grow Mobility

Another Brazil-based start-up with enormous potential, Grow Mobility’s founders took advantage of the poor transportation service operations in their home town of Sao Paulo to launch one of the most successful micro-transport companies in the world.

 

  1. Selina

Much like its direct competitor Airbnb, Selina is currently taking the user-based vacation rental market by storm in South America. Based out of Panama, the company is now worth nearly $1 billion and is growing rapidly.

 

  1. Ecoandino

Founded in Peru, Ecoandino aims to revolutionize the Latin American superfood movement with its healthy offerings; the company is also notable for its commitment to sustainability.

 

  1. PagSeguro

Another of Brazil’s most promising new companies, PagSeguro makes online payments simple and straightforward for its 12 million customers. In Sao Paulo’s thriving and competitive start-up market, PagSeguro is currently one of the best companies for investors to keep an eye on.

 

  1. Magazine Luiza

Like Ikea, Magazine Luiza is hoping to win over upwardly-mobile market demographics with great deals on stylish home furnishings. Another Sao Paulo-based company that is a favorite with investors, Magazine Luiza appears to be taking the Latin American market by storm, and its holdings of close to 800 stores is a testament to the company’s remarkable popularity with the public.

 

  1. Cliengo

As one of Argentina’s most promising start-ups, Cliengo is a client-services company unlike any other currently operating in South America. By connecting small businesses with clients via AI chat applications, the company has wowed investors with its commitment to using futuristic tech to serve a growing customer base.

 

  1. Nubank

By offering a pragmatic and cost-effective alternative to Brazil’s high interest credit card industry and limited financial system, Nubank has disrupted the personal banking world in Latin America in a very big way. Indeed, the company is now regarded as one of the most promising start-ups in the region.

The Rise of Cryptocurrencies: Top Three Alternatives to Bitcoin

Since the creation of Bitcoin, the concept of a digital currency (cryptocurrency) has taken root around the world. It is slowly being accepted not just by merchants, but by many countries in that they are creating regulations for it. Bitcoin is still the most popular cryptocurrency, but there are alternatives (or altcoins) that are gaining attention. In the crypto space, there are over 1,600 cryptocurrencies in use. There are many entrepreneurs that want to be part of this currency “revolution” by creating their own coins as well as minting them. It is important to note that cryptocurrencies are decentralized, meaning they are not controlled by a government (e.g. U.S. Dollar). Also, their value is volatile for a number of reasons, such as a small market, price is set by supply and demand, and the blockchain technology is new. Yet, it is an exciting time to invest in and use cryptocurrencies, and there is more variety in terms of coins. Let’s take a look at the top three alternatives to Bitcoin. 

 

  1. Ripple – It has a dual function of being a cryptocurrency (XRP) and a platform. The platform is an open-source protocol, which makes international transactions are faster and cheaper. In fact, the transaction fee is $0.00001. The reason for the incredibly low fee is to prevent DDos attacks. For convenience, people can make payments in any currency (e.g. Bitcoin). Ripple has RippleNet, a network of “institutional payment-providers” that enable payments to be made in real time. Also, Ripple uses a consensus ledger (RPCA), which does not utilize the blockchain technology. Verification is done through the nodes, meaning that if all of the nodes are in agreement then the transaction goes through. 
  2. Monero – It’s known as the “private” cryptocurrency. Transactions are untraceable through ring signatures and stealth addresses, which hide transaction details, such as amounts and payment destinations. They cannot be linked to a “real-world user” or to a previous transaction due to the Monero blockchain. Since it is private by default, units cannot be blacklisted by vendors or exchanges. However, Monero is the currency of choice for those on the dark web due to its untraceability. 
  3. Litecoin – Litecoin uses an open-source global payment network (decentralized) for faster transactions and can handle a higher transaction volume than Bitcoin on its blockchain. It uses mathematics to secure the network and gives users more control over their account. Litecoin offers the security of wallet encryption that allows users to view their account balance and transactions, but must provide a password to spend their coins. There is a sanity check before sending payments for added protection. Plus, miners receive a reward of 25 Litecoins per block. Its cap is 84 million, which is four times greater than Bitcoin’s cap. 

 

There many more altcoins, each with their own strengths. I am sure there will be more created on the horizon as cryptocurrency becomes more regulated and more merchants accept them. It will be interesting to see what is purchased with cryptocurrency as it becomes mainstreamed like fiat currencies.

Effective Resources to Help Strengthen your Family’s Finances

Growing up in my community, we didn’t talk about finances. The husband went to work and brought home the paycheck. The wife took care of the household and was given an allowance for household necessities. Talking about money and saving for the future weren’t spoken about and bringing them up resulted in an argument. Times have changed and speaking about finances is encouraged in families, even with young children. High schools teach Economics (or Student Finances) to help students understand the basics of running a business as well as accounting (e.g. budgeting). There are numerous books on finances, especially those to help families be smart with their money. The books below offer great tips and plans to get families started (or continue) on a bright financial path. 

 

  1. Rich Kid Smart Kid: Giving Your Child a Financial Head Start — This book is from the author who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki. He continues to educate people about finances (e.g. financial literacy) and now focuses on teaching parents how to give their children a financial head start. It provides the practical guidance needed to teach children to be financially responsible. The foundation of the book is education – learning about personal and financial success in today’s world. Kiyosaki points out that we are now in the Information Age, which is drastically different from the Industrial Age. Children have different obstacles than their parents and must learn to navigate them, and it starts with smart money management. 
  2. Family Budget Book: Gaining Control of Your Personal Finances — This is geared for families to help them gain control of their finances. This book offers “real world” advice and worksheets to help you apply what you have learned and to make it a habit. You’ll learn to address unexpected costs and to plan for future goals (e.g. a vacation). Also, you’ll uncover where your money goes when creating a budget — one that’s easy to manage and stick to! 
  3. The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About MoneyI choose this book not only for its title but also for the great advice it gives parents on talking to their children about money. The author shares his experiences with finances and those of families of various backgrounds to illustrate the importance of money management. Parents should talk to their kids about money, even answering the difficult questions about its nuances. This book will help parents to raise grounded kids who are financially smart. 

A Condensed History of Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is different from other kinds of legal tender in that cryptocurrency like Bitcoin isn’t regulated by any kind of federal reserve. Instead, cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that is generated by encryption techniques, which are used to regulate the generation of new units of the cryptocurrency in question.

 

Encryption ensures that funds are accurately transferred without the need for interference from a central bank. The fact that cryptocurrency is decentralized is also seen as a tremendous asset to enthusiasts from around the world.

 

Bitcoin: The First Cryptocurrency

 

The supposed founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is a man shrouded in mystery. What is known about the creation of Bitcoin is that the first cryptocurrency came into being in late 2008 with the publication of a landmark paper by Satoshi entitled, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System.”

 

In that paper, Satoshi outlined the ways in which Bitcoin would utilize the blockchain, a record keeping system for cryptocurrency transactions, in order to keep the nascent currency up and running. The first block of the blockchain wasn’t “mined” until early 2009 when Satoshi himself mined the aptly named Genesis Block.

 

A Year After Bitcoin, Rivals Appear

 

If you had purchased $1,000 of Bitcoin around the time that the Genesis Block was mined, you would have about $45,000,000 today.

 

Though that’s an impressive number, Bitcoin spurred a number of rivals that may have hampered its own success. Rivals to Bitcoin, sometimes known as altcoin, cropped up almost immediately after Bitcoin’s creation in 2008.

 

A few years after Bitcoin, rivals were purportedly offering altcoins with greater levels of anonymity, a key concern for those trafficking in altcoin, and faster transaction speeds. The Litecoin and Namecoin were early cryptocurrency rivals to Bitcoin.

 

Bitcoin Crashes Before Recovering

 

Bitcoin is today valued at around $9,500 per coin. It wasn’t always this rosy a picture. In 2013, Bitcoin had real problems. The price of Bitcoin dropped well below $1,000 for the first time, and eventually the price of Bitcoin would reach its all-time nadir of around $300 per coin.

 

Later in 2013, the value of Bitcoin would once again rise above $1,000. Four years later, Bitcoin would surpass the $10,000 mark for the first time. 

 

Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency, which opened the door to other cryptocurrencies. As the world begins to accept cryptocurrency as a legal form of payment, it will be interesting to see how it will be regulated. 

Understanding Risk Management

Everything we do involves a degree of risk, but, without taking on those risks, we would never achieve anything. This is where risk management comes in. It’s a process of analyzing a situation to determine the risks of taking on a particular project. In some cases, those risks may be minimized, so the chances of success are made more likely. This process of managing risks helps us to move forward more efficiently, so we can evolve as a society.

A Deeper Look at Risk Management

The larger the project you’re undertaking, the more in-depth your risk analysis must be. For instance, a corporation taking on a new project will have to look into how the risks will affect the entire organization. A failure may affect every department within the organization, so it’s important to understand and prepare for these risks. ERM, or enterprise risk management, is a system that analyzes the risks for every department within the organization. This type of risk management process will even explore what risks the organization’s outlets will face.

In doing their jobs, risk management professionals must also determine ways for minimizing risks. This may involve recommending more insurance for the business, which will allow the business to continue operating. Risk managers may also have to consider how the health and safety of the business’ employees will be affected by the venture. Everything from ensuring the continued management of the company to addressing the possible financial fallout must be considered.

Businesses aren’t left to try to analyze these risks on their own. Today, there are many organizations that create and publish risk management standards. These companies will come out to audit your business or help you analyze how a proposed project will affect your company. These standards are often followed uniformly by many businesses within a given industry to ensure every company is following similar guidelines. This helps keep risks somewhat level among every business, which may make the playing field more even. Adhering to a set list of standards helps organizations better understand the risks of operating in a highly competitive environment.

While every endeavor includes some degree of risk, it’s important to separate good risk from unnecessary risk. This process of analysis can help you achieve success more often by limiting your exposure to bad risk. Regardless of what type of project you’re pursuing, thorough risk management can help you develop a more successful strategy.