Staff Writer / Sophia Medina
For women looking to kick start their careers, a new empowerment series looks to teach them how to pursue their career goals and how to overcome any hurdles they face in the process.
On Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. the Student Government Association held their “Women Empowerment: Women Are A Collection of Their Strategic Paths” event both as an in-person and virtual discussion.
The seminar featured FIU alumni and former Sen. Antiere Flores, who spoke about the struggles she faced during her political career.
SGA president Alexandra Valdez moderated the discussion, providing questions regarding professional struggles women may face within their political or professional field.
After introductions, Flores spoke about her experience being a college student aiming to pursue a career in public service while taking some time to study abroad.
She urges that all women take time to focus on themselves as they work to accomplish their goals, whether in the university or in their desired fields.
“Work hard and play hard is an important thing you need to hear at this age or time in your life,” she said. “Yes, you need to have your plans and goals and work towards them, but it is okay to schedule some fun. You can do both.”
Self-motivation and taking opportunities that arise in a woman’s career was an important topic discussed within the seminar.
Flores discussed what it was like running for state representative after working in Tallahassee with the representative at the time. After continuous debate with herself, she discussed how she chose to take the life-changing opportunity, leading her to win the election by a landslide.
“The default for women many times is going to be ‘I can’t do that.’ Although things have gotten better, many women have to be asked to run while men don’t have to,” the former senator said. “So long story short, I ran for office… I won the election. I brag about myself and here is a tidbit. It’s okay to toot your own horn. Men toot their own horn all the time.”
After the discussion, Valdez asked Flores how a woman can rise to a leadership position when living in a male-dominated world.
The former senator emphasized how persistent dedication and growth is key when it comes to striving for leadership.
“It is important to know that there are harsh realities,” Flores said. “Sometimes, it will take you twice the work to get half the recognition. You can react by being sad or you find a way to grow from that.”
For many working women, the desire to change the world brings purpose in their lives. Flores shares that although a goal like this seems unrealistic, it happens in more ways than one.
“What you realize over some time is you may not change the whole world, but you change the world for individuals. You make an impact by changing their world.”
The remainder of the event was dedicated to answering questions and for students to set their own professional and personal goals. Individuals shared the kinds of aspirations they hope to accomplish within the near future.
The former senator gave students some advice on how they can achieve those goals and even shared some of her own.
This seminar is the third installment to the six-part web series “Women Empowerment.” Stay updated on the next seminar via the official FIU SGA Instagram page.