Being Different is Powerful

By: Grace Soler

Dear Hispanic community,

As a Latina in corporate America, navigating the workplace can often be a unique and challenging experience. There is a constant need to balance the expectations of the company with the values and cultural norms that have shaped your upbringing. Many Latinas may find themselves feeling isolated or struggling to find a sense of belonging in this environment. However, being a Latina in corporate America can also bring a unique perspective and set of skills to the table.

From the moment I came to the United States, I carried with me more than my ethnicity, I carried my dreams and goals. When I attended community college, I was given the chance to apply to various intern opportunities. One of those was with MetLife.  I was fortunate enough that MetLife hired me to be an intern.

As a first-generation Latina woman working in corporate America, I brought to MetLife my Latina roots and my culture. My story is just one of many countless stories of Latina women who dreamed of being part of corporate America. For many, being an intern and starting a journey in an established corporation may seem insignificant, but for me, it was an opportunity, someone believed in me. It was the first step towards my dream of being part of the corporate world.

I approached my internship as a learning experience, to learn about the company’s mission and vision, to enhance my skills and to build relationships. The dedication that I exemplified during my internship did not go unnoticed and I was hired as a full-time administrative assistant in the Legal Department all while attending college in the evenings. Upon completing my bachelor’s degree in finance, I was ready for the next step in my career. Eight years ago, I applied for a manager position in the Legal Affairs – Operations department and have been in this role ever since.  During my tenure in this role, I not only enhanced my skills but I also, carved out spaces for diversity where a different voice was not just heard but celebrated.

The corporate world is structured with policies and procedures, however, for me, being a Latina added another layer of complexity. My accent and my vibrant perspectives were simultaneously a strength but also a challenge. In every challenge I saw an opportunity. My bilingual skills allowed me to bridge communication gaps, while my background offered a new point of view and innovative solutions. I realized while I was different, it is my uniqueness that makes me invaluable. There were moments when I doubted myself, times when I questioned if I truly belonged. But in those moments, I reflected on my heritage. I remembered my abuela (my grandmother), the tenacity of my mother and the dreams of many Latina women who came before me. My family inspired me every day to continue fighting the self-doubt and encouraged me to persevere.

MetLife has taught me many things: negotiation, leadership, strategy, but more importantly, the Company reinforced the lessons I learned as a Latina- the importance of community, the power of perseverance and how caring for others goes a long way. I became more than just a corporate associate; I became an example for Latinas who aspired to break the status quo. Being different is powerful. As I navigate the corporate world, I wear my Latina identity with pride. It is the essence of who I am and who I represent. I am Latina and this is my story in the corporate world.



Women in Tech

To learn about more women's inspiring STEM careers, check out these videos from MetLife's recent Triangle Tech X conference.

We > Me

Let's find out what we can do together.