An official website of the United States government

#YLAIEmpowers: How to Support Women's Empowerment
March 7, 2017

Do you want to show your support of women’s empowerment in the workplace, but unsure how? Meet someone who may have the answers for you.

YLAI Fellow Jennifer Schell from Venezuela is the CEO and Founder of TrabajaMama.com, an online platform that seeks the comfortable insertion of professional mothers in the workplace, keeping in mind the demands of their daily routine. Jennifer is a high school teacher and mentors children on issues related to diplomacy, leadership, and international relations. She also serves as a television and radio host.

Jennifer Schell

  1. What can someone do to support women’s empowerment in the workplace?

It is important to say that anyone can do anything regarding empowering a woman. It is not the duty of a group of people; it is the duty of every single human being. Women need to be included and treated as equals, not only in the workplace, but in politics, public affairs and even in time of war.

Talking about empowerment is about giving not only power but giving them the chance to join a place as equals, is giving them the opportunity and the voice to express themselves, is teaching them how to succeed and not depending on a man or anyone’s approval.

To support women’s empowerment in the workplace, I personally believe that, first of all, we all need to be educated regarding women’s issues; secondly, be aware about the role of women now; and third and most important: GIVE THEM THE CHANCE TO LEAD. Give her the trust, recognize her value, and admit that she is capable.

As I always said: Empowerment is the wings to fly. Empower a woman and you will empower the whole society; you will benefit children, and you can impact an entire community.

Jennifer Schell

  1. What are some things people have done that have helped you in your career?

It will sound a little bit strange, but what people have done BAD for me has helped me twice as much as what people have done GOOD for me.

As a woman, first child of a family where they expected a boy to born, and I came along … Since my childhood, I have had to prove that females are capable, intelligent and equal to men. During my career as a political scientist, TV and radio host and now an entrepreneur, CEO and founder of Trabaja Mamá, it has always been a big challenge to prove to others but also to myself that women’s rights are human rights too.

A lot of friends have contributed to my success, my family and husband, but I have to admit that those who didn’t believe, who questioned me, who put a rock in my way so I couldn’t pass, helped me to learn how to climb and overcome, taught me how to be stronger and braver than ever. So I guess, yes they were mean, bad, but I proved that they were wrong and female entrepreneurs are here to stay, that women are here to lead, and gender equality is here to stay. So don’t waste your time building more walls against women. Let’s build bridges; let’s all work for the future we all want, let inclusion be our flag; and let’s join hands to create the change we want.

  1. How do you identify and overcome a bias in the workplace?

Identifying it is pretty easy; it is always there … but to overcome it is the EVEREST to climb — without gloves or jacket. There is a lot to be done regarding this issue. As I mentioned before, inclusion and education are the NECESSARY TOOLS, but also change and breaking paradigms and stereotypes.

Women, it will be hard to overcome. It will not be easy, but it is POSSIBLE. And remember: When a woman succeeds, we all succeed with her. At Trabaja Mamá we not only empower women; now we are building a community to sensitize our families and community regarding women’s issues. Because the problem is not only in the workplace, it is also in politics, public affairs and the entire society. There is a lot to be done, so grab your pants or your dress, join our movement, help to empower a sister, and be part of this movement that promises to bring well-being and benefits to all.

Jennifer Schell


Read more about Jennifer Schell’s work here:

www.trabajamama.com and http://www.trabajamama.com/es/blog