Welcome to a brand new episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, where we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves. This week's guest is Francesca Mayca Wegner.
A movement leader who dreams big and envisions the long-term possibilities around her, Francesca Mayca Wegner recognizes that it takes resources, access, and dedication to affect sustainable change and she has dedicated her life to that very mission.
Francesca is the co-founder of Midwest Latina (MWL), an apparel and accessories brand that makes stuff for you to wear, so you feel good about how you look, who you are, and where you come from. As two first-generation Peruvian-American sisters who were born in Chicagoland and live in Milwaukee, Francesca and her sister Gabriella have always felt passionate about finding spaces and brands that make them feel like they belong. MWL is where design and identity unite for a one-of-a-kind Midwest Latina look—where cultura meets classic. Midwest Latinas is a reflection of Francesca and Gabriella’s multifaceted identities and creates space for other Midwest Latinas to be seen and celebrated.
Francesca also serves as President and Chief Possibilities Officer of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM). Appointed in April 2021, she is an advocate, connector, and convener, and has led the organization through a record growth period with its membership, philanthropic gifts, and revenue during one of the most challenging times within the global landscape.
A trailblazer known for her advocacy of others, Francesca was recognized in 2021 by Madison365 as one of ‘Wisconsin’s 36 Most Influential Latino Leaders,’ as both a ‘40 Under 40 Winner’ and as a ‘Power Broker & Executive to Watch’ by the Milwaukee Business Journal in 2022, and BizTimes named her a 2023 ‘Notable BIPOC Executive,’ which was especially meaningful as she was nominated by her HPGM team.
In her free time, you can find Francesca cozying up with a good book or podcast at a local coffee shop with a cafecito in hand or spending time with her husband Ted and their dogs, Michael Jordan and Scottie.
In this episode, Francesca tells us how she had to leave her people-pleasing tendencies behind to become her most authentic self. As a survivor of domestic violence, she’s had to learn how to read the emotions of others and diffuse any and all tension in order to survive. And as an adult, she still felt she had to use these same survival tactics at work, even when she’s the executive. But by catering to everyone else’s needs, she was neglecting her own. It wasn’t until she was insulted behind closed doors and heard that she “wasn’t brown enough” to count as diversity within her company, that she decided to put down the weight of people-pleasing and start speaking up for herself. Listen to hear all this and more on the ¿Quién Tú Eres? Podcast.
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