Mercedes not only oversees all communications and press relations for Univision, she also has an integral role in several other aspects of internal company workings. As a member of the steering committee of Univision’s Women’s Leadership Council employee resource group, she helps guide opportunities for professional development for women. The WLC also conducts a speaker series featuring inspiring female professionals from across the business landscape. “For too long, girls have been socially conditioned to be perfect, pretty and play things safe,” she says. “Not only is that not sustainable or realistic, the biggest growth, learnings and opportunities in life will come from failures.”
What specifically does your company do to support and elevate the women who work there?
One aspect of my job I’m particularly proud of is my role on the steering committee of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) at Univision. This employee resource group is one of the longest-standing at the company and offers women numerous opportunities for professional development. A great example of this is the Women’s Leadership Experience, a nomination-based program that provides up-and-coming female leaders with tools and resources to further develop their careers and teams. Facilitated in partnership with The Alchemy Group, this intimate program with only 20 participants per session offers an environment where participants practice leadership and can take advantage of one-on-one executive leadership coaching. Similarly, the Women’s Leadership Academy, in partnership with Smith College, is another highly competitive program that which supports the growth and development of women managers. The WLC also conducts a speaker series featuring inspiring female professionals from across the business landscape.
What advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?
Be brave and bold and don’t worry about making mistakes. For too long, girls have been socially conditioned to be perfect, pretty and play things safe. Not only is that not sustainable or realistic, the biggest growth, learnings and opportunities in life will come from failures. Don’t be afraid to fail. As Reshma Saujani, the CEO and Founder of Girls Who Code, reminds us: “Bravery is a muscle and it requires consistent and daily flexing.”
Which current shows best reflect the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
“Nuestra Belleza Latina” is one of Univision’s longest-standing and most popular reality shows. While the show started out in 2007 as a traditional beauty pageant, we re-imagined NBL for its most recent season, seeking to look beyond conventional notions of beauty and pageantry. Under the tagline “sin tallas, sin límites, sin excusas,” which translates to “without sizes, without limits and with no excuses,” Season 11 of NBL focused more on inner beauty in the form of talent, personality and charisma. The show now puts confident, empowered women of all ages, sizes and backgrounds in the spotlight and gives them the opportunity to shine.