Claudia R Edelman

Founder, We Are All Human Foundation

“Everything is possible, but not at the same time. And careers are long, so plan properly. Work-life balance. Like, life is long.”

What do you feel are the qualities of a power woman?

A Power Woman is resilient, passionate, and purpose-driven. For a Latina like me, it’s also about embracing our cultural roots, our identity and being able to navigate the multiple worlds in which you are or the multiple cultures that you have and leveraging our unique experience being authentic and being able to lead with our authentic self so that we can generate change.

What do you feel is the number one action we as a society can take towards empowering women and gender equality?

For me, equal pay is one of the most important drivers and tools for success and moving forward in the career ladder for women; allowing women to be in control of their finances, of their lives, will allow them to have healthier lives as well. So I think if I had to choose one area, I would put it in equal pay.

My community, the Latina community, we’re the least paid of the entire country. So we make 53 cents for the dollar, and if you’re a Latina nurse, you make 70 percent less than your counterpart doing exactly the same job, but just being a Latina woman. So I do think that if I look at my community, whether there’s education, barriers, health barriers, gender barriers in general. If we address the issue of having a job that is decent and pays you, with more fairness, I think that it would be able to elevate the playing field for all.

What do you feel was the defining moment that brought you to where you are today?

It is a combination of things I’m going to say. I would think that having the background that I had with the incredible examples of role models like my mother, that helped me to have the education, and the network that I had. It allowed me to start looking at moves that were in a way, jumping and leapfrogging. Leapfrogging all the time.

We’re still in a place where the stumbling block of the 21st century road of equality is not fully there. What do you feel needs to happen to kind of make those margins, more equal?

So Simone de Beauvoir would say that while we have been making strides, outdated beliefs about women’s roles still persist. So the challenge today is to dismantle the deep root biases, which are even more pronounced for Latinas, provide us with the opportunities that we have, the access to the opportunities that we have. And in communities like mine, having Latinas support each other, having the support of each other, opening the doors for each other, sharing the access code for each other. So I would say, it is a challenging moment where we’re making progress, we need to double down, understanding that we have to break those biases, access the opportunities that we have, and do it together so that we can succeed.

What is your mantra? Do you have one?

Because of my upbringing and my history, I grew up in an environment where I thought everything was possible. For me, the mantra is si se puede. Yes, we can, because I think that we can.

There’s been a lot of change in the political landscape in the last five years. What do you feel has actually changed that’s on the positive side in that space?

There has been progress, particularly for more women into politics and Latinas as well in leadership roles and getting there. We’re 19 percent of the population, my community, and only two percent of politics. So there’s incredible room for improvement. So we need pace and we need acceleration. What makes me really hopeful is that I think that there’s absolutely no way that you can disregard the Latino vote in this country anymore. The last election proved it, every minute a Latino turns 18. So there’s no question. If you’re a politician, you cannot win without the Latino vote. If you’re a company, you cannot sell or hire without our community. So I’m very much hoping that there’s going to be a real increase in the Latinas that are getting into office and being pampered and being prepared, not pampered, prepared so that the pipeline keeps growing.

If you could be anybody else for a day, who would that person be and why?

I would love to be Cate Blanchett and look at the world the way she does. I love that woman so badly. Or Tilda Swanson. But if I had to choose a job, I would choose to be a pilot. I would love to be able to fly.

What advice would you give an aspiring power woman?

Stay true to yourself.

What steps would you take to obtain a healthy work life balance?

Everything is possible, but not at the same time. And careers are long, so plan properly. Work life balance. Life is long.

What historical figure do you most identify yourself with?

Juana d’Arco. That crazy, incredible warrior that truly believed she had a mission in life. I love her.

What piece of, what has been the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?

Never, ever, ever, ever give up was something that I always heard in my household from the people that I admire and I’ve seen it in action. So I think that that’s it. Don’t give up.

What was your favorite book? Fiction or non fiction?

Me gusta Gabriel García Márquez, Cien Años de Soledad, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

What do you most value in friends?

I think loyalty, the way you would see your friends as an extension of your family.

“Never underestimate the power of predictability. I think that being predictable is one of the greatest assets in the world when you’re able to plan, when you’re able to have the discipline, the routines, the being able to be consistent in what you do.”

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