Milagro Lopez Sanabria (right) is the Founder of “CafĢ© Producciones,” a production agency for radio and television content in Salta, Argentina. After completing the 2013 VV GROW Fellowship Program, Milagro was selected to participate in the 2013-2014 VV GROW Mentorship Program as a follow-on service. Patricia Guarnes, Consumer Product Manager Head at Citibank, is Milagro’s mentor (left).
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges women businesswomen face in Argentina?
A: Milagro Lopez Sanabria: One of the biggest challenges that women face in Argentina is the fact that we work a double shift. Searching for equality, we now face the role of dealing with our homes and our role at work.
Q: Why did you decide to hold a Mentoring Walk in Salta?
A: Milagro Lopez Sanabria: When I was invited to be a Flag Bearer at the Global Mentoring Walk in Salta, I did not hesitate to accept because I knew it would be a rewarding experience. It was a great opportunity to put Salta on the map. On the day of the mentoring walk, I understood what it really meant to be a leader. What was even more exciting was that just a week after the event, the female entrepreneurs who attended in Salta began forming their own networks. I am very proud of them.
Q: What have you learned from your mentor from the VV GROW Mentoring Program?
A: Milagro Lopez Sanabria: Throughout the mentorship, Patricia has been instrumental in providing advice on how to challenge gender roles and succeed as a business woman. Patricia made me reflect on the need to open my mind to new options. She guided me to seek new growth possibilities and somehow she forced me out of my comfort zone. I am now seeing results from this guidance. With Patricia’s support, I negotiated new contracts, raised my commission, and am expanding my show “Market & Business” to nine provinces.
Q: Are there lessons other women in your community can learn from your experience?
A: Milagro Lopez Sanabria: Being part of the VV GROW Mentoring program has been one of the richest experiences of my life. I have had the opportunity to replicate what I have learned with my staff and apply it into my business. Yet my experience has been more than just that. Vital Voices has made me committed to working in my community. Beyond improving intellectual and professional skills, the program awakens one’s sensitivity to the needs of others. That is why I would like all Argentine women to know about the benefit of having a mentor and being a mentor. Once someone commits their time to mentor another, that mentee will become compelled to mentor someone else-and the process of paying-it-forward will continue over and over.
Ultimately, the real strength of the VV GROW mentoring program is its transformative character.
Q: Is there one statement you as mentee can provide about the power of mentoring?
A: Milagro Lopez Sanabria: Patricia Guarnes is one exceptional woman, who generously and sincerely gave me her time and vision. Because of her I will pay-it-forward and promote mentoring wherever I go.