By María Cortés González El Paso Times, Texas
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Organizers of the 13th Annual International Women's Business Symposium says there was a combined 200 years of experience and at least $10 billion represented by the 30 featured female business speakers, which included inventors, magazine editors and entrepreneurs.
El Paso Times, Texas
Hundreds experienced a day of networking, inspirational Mexican -- emphasis on the can -- stories and even some dancing Thursday at the 13th Annual International Women's Business Symposium at the Wyndham El Paso Airport Hotel.
About 600 women and some men exchanged business cards and attended workshops and panel discussions on business and technology topics at the symposium conducted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Women's Border Business Center.
Organizers said there were a combined 200 years of experience and at least $10 billion represented by the 30 featured female business speakers, which included inventors, magazine editors and entrepreneurs.
Tina Aldatz, inventor of designer insole cushions Foot Petals, was the first to inspire the audience with her rags-to-riches story, which included surviving family violence. A video biography showed the volatile life she experienced growing up with parents who beat each other.
"My mother told us she didn't even want to have kids. It was my father's idea," Aldatz said with little emotion. "I represent a very small percentage of a population, 2 percent ... and we have to work together to change that," she said. "Why? Because I am a self-made millionaire. No one handed anything to me. And then I'm a woman and then that pie (chart representation) gets even smaller because I'm a Mexican woman," she said.
Aldatz, however, did not let her life circumstances define her.
"I wanted to change the reputation of our name," she said. "There's lots of Aldatz in California and it's notorious. I wanted to change that and it's been my mission in life."
El Pasoan Jen Dixon said the symposium helped build her confidence as a new businesswoman. Two weeks ago, she started her business, Dixon Visuals, a 3-D virtual reality business that offers commercial video tours.
"It's very enlightening and very encouraging to take the plunge headfirst. Seeing all these successful women do the same thing makes me not afraid of failing," she said.
Five business tips --Be curious and learn new technology and learn what your competition is doing. --Create a culture of courage where failure is accepted. It helps foster new ideas. --Don't be afraid to ask for help. There is always someone who has information to share. --Imitate with the intention to innovate. --Surround yourselfwith good people. People have the power to increase or decrease your potential.