Gloria Estefan on Latinas: "We are smarter because we let the men think they are"

Nicolas Stipcianos

If you do business with a Hispanic company in this country, the odds are you’ll find a Latina at the helm. “Seven out of 10 Hispanic businesses are run by Latinas,” said Nina G. Vaca, board member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“I’d like to take a couple of minutes and recognize not just the contributions that Latinas have made to this country but I’d also like to thank the men that support us,” Vaca said, moments before introducing Gloria Estefan, winner of the Ultimate Latina Award at the USHCC’s 32nd Annual National Convention & Business Expo at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach on Monday.  “Because behind every successful Latina...is probably another,” she joked.  “But, you know what?  There’s also an incredible man standing right by her side.”

At that point, Vaca asked Emilio Estefan to take a bow and then introduces this year’s Ultimate Latina, his multi-platinum record selling wife and the soul of the Miami Sound Machine, Gloria.

“I totally believe that thoughts create reality and to be lucky enough to have found a partner like Emilio who was my first and only boyfriend, by the way,” the singer said. Emilio helped her create a $500 million enterprise that includes hotels and restaurants, in addition to more than 90 million in album sales worldwide.

"He’s been an amazing guy from day one," Gloria gushed, "If you look at our corporation, there’s diversity, there’re so many women." Gloria credits her husband with letting her crunch the numbers and being smart enough not to stand in her way.

“He never had that issue that women in power—no, he was always very motivational and he says in his book that women are just smarter,” she says.  "And we are smarter because we let the men think they are."

As the audience laughed, she explains what many women in power know, how to get ahead by getting along. “You’ve got to work with it,” Gloria advised.  “It’s the politics of the situation, baby...Women, we multitask all the time.  We’re wives, mothers, nurses to our family, captains of industry, as we have here in this room today, and great diplomats."

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