Mariela Dabbah & the Red Shoe Movement: A Community of Women Helping Women
One of the best things about podcasts is that they give you the opportunity to hear a different perspective on life that allows you to expand your mind and open your eyes to new concepts and ways of seeing the world. Mariela Dabbah, our guest on this episode of Entrepreneur’s Money Podcast, is one such mind expander. Her passion for what she does is so evident in how she speaks about her work. As the founder of the Red Shoe Movement and author of Find Your Inner Red Shoes: Step into Your Own Style of Success, Mariela is committed to helping women and the Latino community to achieve personal and professional success. The Red Shoe Movement, which begins with the simple act of wearing red shoes every Tuesday to show your support for other women’s career goals.
Mariela’s philosophy centers on the idea that your personal vision of success may not look like what others have envisioned for you. You are born into a family or community that has certain expectations for you, but those expectations don’t necessarily define you or align with who you are. Your family may act a certain way or have a certain religion or favor a certain profession. All of these predetermined factors are not necessarily a bad thing, but in a way they have nothing to do with you. A lot of people are afraid to break away from their parents’ expectations because they equate that shift with failure. First-born children seem to especially feel this weight because they are often expected to take over family businesses or take on the same profession as their parents. But the truth is that you can only form your own identity once you are able to break away from the expectations that have been laid out for you.
Mariela acknowledges that expectations might differ for boys and girls, and that childhood factors might disproportionately affect women. For example, if you a woman who was raised in a family where your father made most of the big decisions, then when you enter the business world you might have more difficulty negotiating your salary or being assertive because your male boss could subconsciously take on a patriarchal role for you. And in some ways the messages we receive become self-fulfilling prophecies. For example, Mariela’s father used to always tell her how clumsy she was, and she would drop dishes all the time. But her husband has never told anything like that, and now she seems to have stopped being so clumsy all the time. It is human nature to create stories about experiences, but the truth is that very little of what goes on around us is fact. It’s our job to brand ourselves effectively so that we can tell the stories we want to be telling about ourselves, rather than the stories others make for us. This extends not only to women, but also to Latinos and any minority group—you can use your background to your advantage by tapping into your innate traits in the workplace. The power to shape your own identity is in your hands. You can find out more about Mariela and the Red Shoes Movement by visiting redshoemovement.com, checking facebook.com/RedShoeMovement, or following Mariela on twitter: @marieladabbah and @redshoemovement.