Global
September 30, 2015

UP CLOSE & NOTABLE WITH ELIZABETH A. VAZQUEZ

The following interview with WEConnect International CEO and Co-Founder Elizabeth A. Vazquez was originally posted on Women of Note from WSJ.noted:

Tell us about your professional background.

As the CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, I get to work with the largest corporations in the world and support their efforts to buy more products and services from women-owned businesses. I get to spend time on the ground with our local representatives in 17 countries and listen to the visions of the most inspirational entrepreneurs in the world. I get to open doors between buyers and sellers and work with passionate parters from the public sector and private sector to help make business connections every day. The opportunities for impact are limitless. I love my job!

What is the best career advice you ever received and from whom?

My mentor Virginia Littlejohn encouraged me to see women as victors and not victims. Every day, I see firsthand the innovative solutions women are developing locally and globally. Helping to ensure that women have an equal opportunity to deliver those solutions has been a very fulfilling career choice.

How do you relax, unwind and recharge?

Family time is when I recharge and celebrate unconditional love. I especially love quiet dinners with myhusband and much-needed pedicures with my daughter.

What inspired you to dedicate your career to women’s empowerment?

My mom and her sisters were all single moms who worked very hard to provide for all of us. It was overwhelming for them at times, and I saw early on how important it was to get more money into the hands of the people who were directly responsible for protecting, feeding and educating children. Entrepreneurship is not the answer for everyone, but for many it is a critical path to prosperity and to job creation for others.

Do you have a secret weapon for workplace productivity?

Find the best people and give them the authority they need to do their work and the credit they deserve for their contributions. All team members have to be passionate about their mission.

Answer this question from Tomoko Ogura, April’s Up Close & Notable featured member: If you could only have one job for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would keep the job I have now but with the additional resources needed to maximize impact.

What question would you ask another Woman of Note?

What will be your legacy?