In this edition, we have the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Clara.
Nancy was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and now lives in Miami. She is a dynamic business woman and professional who started off as a ballerina, worked as a journalist and currently is the Director of The Argentine American Chamber of Commerce based in Florida, U.S.
She is going to share with us her dreams as child, her experiences of working in the trade industry and how she has reinvented herself over and over.
Nancy has an amazing energy, always with a smile. I am delighted to introduce you to her.
"The She Trades movement is about empowering women to explore entrepreneurship and go for those executive roles." - Nancy Clara
Tell us a little bit about your background and professional experience.
- Well…interestingly enough I became a professional ballerina at a very young age but I knew that a dancer’s career can be cut very short, so I decided to embark on a new path and work in journalism. From there I entered into the world of international trade where I evolved in an astronomical way, until I got where I am today.
We saw on your linkedin profile the hashtag #Shetrade, what does that mean to you?
- #Shetrades is something that really moved me when I was in Argentina last year. I was invited to participate in this movement for women who work in the trade industry (#Shetrades). The Argentine chapter was actually opened due to the growth in promotion to these professional women. Women have always had a major part within business, but we are NOW seeing their positions evolve. For example, now days in the area of banking, especially in the Caribbean, many women have managerial or high level, decision-making roles and titles. That is what the #Shetrades movement is about, it is to empower women to explore entrepreneurship and GO FOR those executive roles. To also show women how they can start their own businesses and careers. I have also seen that there is currently inequality when a man and a woman request for a bank loan, even though woman tend to pay loans back faster and are typically without debt. It is still harder for women.This is all being changed through #Shetrades. It is not just a man’s world anymore, but now it’s made up of female entrepreneurs with their own ideas, opinions and dreams.
Tell to me about when you were seven or eight years old. Who did you want to be?
- When I was 7 - 8 years old I was studying ballet, I started at 2 ½ , motivated by my mom, a great visionary and the one who supported me my whole career with her continuous driven spirit. I have always had a dream since I was little that I hoped to fulfill in my life, and that was to walk on the red carpet of the Oscars. I used to stand in front of the mirror, putting on my mom's dresses, with her necklaces, posing and walking, because I knew that someday, I was going to be there. When you have a dream, you project it and envision it from your childhood.
How do you measure success?
- This is a question that has a bit of a broad answer, because it goes beyond measuring success through a bank account or through accolades that one receives throughout their career. Success is the number of times that one rebuilds and bounces back, after having fought for a goal. Success for me is measured through the failures that one has had or the mistakes one makes in their personal and professional lives.
What other CEOs do you look up to?
- There are many excellent entrepreneurs who have started from scratch. Oprah Winfrey, for example, is a person that I greatly admire for her perseverance and the approach she took in her life as she was forging her career. She had a tumultuous childhood, growing up in poverty and in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. However, she managed to secure her place in the world of media & communications. She is a strong, intelligent, beautiful woman, who helps the community and other women.
- Another person whose story fascinates me is Walt Disney. He knew how to combine business with his dreams. And how do you materialize a dream? A dream that every time you go to Orlando or you see a Mickey Mouse you feel like a child again. That is something that gives me goose bumps, because when a human being combines these two virtues, it is incredible!
- Finally, the great mentor of mine, in the world of logistics, was Sergio Codino, who saw an ability in me coming from a world of communications. He introduced me to the world of logistics and I have been able to develop a spectacular career that I love.
How do you find competing in a man’s world, especially in the import/ export industry?
- It is in fact a man’s world. I see more men at industry conferences and meetings, working at the ports and with the airlines. Now in foreign trade, women are more and more involved. Women don’t just have administrative positions, but also have high level executive positions, thanks to the way we can see things, with a 360 degree view. Being in a man’s world can be complicated, but it can also be lots of fun. It is still a challenge to be amongst men, I am almost always in many meetings where there are usually very few women or at times it’s just me. However, I always hold my own. I like men to see my skills, my abilities, my work ethic and the way I present ideas. In the beginning, the bar is always higher for women, but in the long run people end up realizing that it is not a matter of gender but it is a level of capacity; that not only men can achieve and accomplish, but women can too.
Do you feel you’ve ever lost a deal because you’re a woman?
- Having lost a deal, NO, but not having achieved it at first, YES. Precisely for the reason that the bar is set higher for women. A woman has to demonstrate her capabilities more, apart from being a pretty face or having the position she has, she has to prove it twice as much more than a man does. I have encountered a few men in the industry who have tried to throw obstacles in my way, but instead that gave me the strength to negotiate again and win deals. For this reason I believe that women should align themselves with men who support women.
Would you rather be respected or feared?
- Obviously, I like the word respected more. I think the word feared in a woman gives a negative connotation. I do not like that dreaded word, because it has to do with insecurity and a lack of self-esteem. The word respected helps you forge ahead. But most of all, I like the word admired, not because of arrogance, but more so for how many times one has reinvented themselves throughout their career or how they had to reconfigure their work structure to get ahead in life.
When it's all over, how do you want to be remembered?
- I would like to be remembered first and foremost, as a person who brought positive things to life, that when women hear the phrase ''yes you can” they think of me. It’s true...“women can''. We, as women, we can, and we have to be more generous with ourselves and with each other. When we see one of us growing, we should really support her so that she CAN move forward. I would like to be remembered by the experiences that I have brought to this life. I would like to leave a written legacy, in fact, I am working on two books, aside from the amount of articles I have written, interviews and other works I have done. I think through these two books, I will share a big part of myself and it is the most beautiful legacy, apart from my children, that I will leave in this world.
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