Why Argentinian Woman CEO Makes Mentoring a Priority
“Every week I dedicate 10 hours to help young people with their careers.”
“When I mentor, I invite young women over for dinner at my home to show them that they can have a family and be successful,” Maria Luisa said, “this is a big concern of girls today – that they cannot have both. But I show them! I have three kids. I want to keep working and be successful in work, life and be a good mother. BUT, you have to have a support structure and delegate.”
Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Maria Luisa has 46+ years of very successful business leadership and management under her belt. In addition to mentoring others, Maria Luisa feels that it is also important for her to be a part of networks and women’s groups for her own personal and professional benefit.
“I am very active everywhere – in the French, British and U.S. Chambers, in women’s groups like the International Women’s Forum Argentina (IWF), Vital Voices, and in the Argentina Forum of Executive Women (FAME), and entrepreneur associations like Idea.”
How does she do it all? Her company, Daltosur is a supplier for raw materials and chemicals for the cosmetics and related industries in six Latin American countries. From 1995 to 2008 she took the company’s sales from $5 million USD to $85 million. What kind of support structure and delegation is key to her success?
“I always say I am the most expensive resource at this company,” said Maria Luisa, “so I delegate and help other people grow. Time is a resource I cannot change. I asked God to give me 48 hours in a day and he said, “NO WAY! If you had it, it still would be enough!” she laughed. “So I am involved in everything, but the answer that works for me is 1) flexibility, 2) delegation, and 3) training.”
Maria Luisa believes being generous and appreciating others is what the world needs more of. She exemplifies this in the way she runs her company and how she spends her time. When we met with her Buenos Aires this past November, she lived out this belief, driving us to a meeting, making her car and driver available to us, freely sharing her insights, expertise and time and treating us to a wonderfully elegant and delicious lunch. She was most generous and quick to help us in our work and in every other way she could. Her main motivation, tied to everything she does, is to leave a better world for her daughters.
“Get the right mentors!”
“I think my generation passed the wrong message to young people,” Maria Luisa said. “My main message is ‘You are the only person who can convince yourself you can do it!’ It takes attitude and convincing, and maybe some leadership training…get the right coaches and mentors!”
Learn more about woman CEO Maria Luisa on LinkedIn.