Last week, a group of men and women got together to honor Dominican women who are striving in their respective fields in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. The Dominican American National Foundation honored Eunice Liriano (VP of Marketing & Development at Dress for Success Worldwide), Rosemarie Reyes (owner of Handz Dirty PR) and Sandie Luna (performing artist and entrepreneur) in recognition of their achievements.
Liriano has had a long-standing career in the world of fashion. She used to work at Steve Madden among other places. Reyes was a model before she decided to turn to public relations and start her own firm, Handz Dirty. Luna is an Afro-Latina who is a artist and co-founder and Director of Business Development of the space the event was held, Punto.
The event was put together by Lizmarys Ariza, the founder of Dominicanas in the Mix. It was also sponsored by the DANF, Hennessy and Latina magazine. During a panel, the ladies were asked an array of questions about being Dominicana in their respective industries. The panel ended with a Hennessy toast celebrating all the chicas honored.
We spoke to Eunice Liriano from Dress for Success about being a Dominican woman in her industry and what she hopes to see from Latinas in five years.
What does it feel like to be here and representing Dominican women?
First off, I’m very proud to be recognized, proud to be born and raised in my country and obviously now to live in New York. I think we have so much to contribute as a culture, as a community, as women in this industry. Sometimes I feel like Dominicans aren’t recognized enough and not praised enough. Being here is really great and being here among my peers is amazing. Supporting women, supporting what we do and being Latina is the best feeling.
What kind of struggles do you think you have faced as a Dominican and not only that but as a woman?
It’s a two-fold thing for me. First of all, being a woman, we have a lot of obstacles just being women, being a woman of color, and being Latina. Sometimes we are not considered ‘Americanized’ enough as Dominican people, we sometimes face that ‘Dominicans don’t speak English, they aren’t smartest, women are just there to cook and clean.’ I think breaking through that mold and breaking through that stereotype just as a woman, just as a Latina is very important because we have so much to offer to this industry, to this culture, to this world. We have women presidents in some parts of the world and I think an obstacle being Latina is not being able to be seen as a force. I think we are here today to show that we can overcome that.
What do you think it’s like for you being Dominican and working for an organization like Dress for Success?
I think it’s really incredible working for an organization like Dress for Success that really helps to empower women. Being here representing Dress for Success and being able to serve women, women of color, predominately black women and Latina women, really puts me in a position where I feel connected to the women. Being able to help women, being able to raise millions of dollars every year, to be able to take these women to their next career level is something that I am thrilled to do every single day.
What do you hope to see from Dominican women in society in five years?
In five years, I hope that we as Latin women continue to know our worth. Being Dominican I think that we have the best of both worlds in the sense that we connect to all cultures, all ethnicities because I feel like within ourselves we have the best of both worlds. I think that in the next five years I would love to see us more in office. I think it’s important seeing a Dominican or Latina woman be CEO of a fortune 500 company would be a dream. I would love to see that.
To learn more about Dominicanas in the Mix, check out their Facebook page.