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.
In this episode, we talk with Monique Manso, publisher of PEOPLE en Español, who shares with us her early journey and experiences as a Latina in the workplace, and how she realized that her shame was her superpower.
Monique is responsible for overseeing all advertising and marketing operations for the magazine, the website, and the live event platform of PEOPLE en Español.
These are some of the episode highlights:
“When we hear about people not being their authentic selves, it is in part around shame.” -Monique Manso
When we want to make a good impression, especially when trying to build a career, shame can come in many ways. We can feel shame about our language, our accents, the food, or even the differences in our upbringing. And in such situations, we decide to suppress something that we think is not “acceptable” or will not help us in our careers.
For Monique, shame was about how she looked in her first job interview and about her upbringing when she got into an internship.
In her first job interview, she came in with red lipstick and long bright nails. And the interviewer, who was impressed with her, made it a point to let her know they had a dress code. And Monique quickly realized she was not what they expected or wanted because of how she was presenting herself that day.
And as an intern, Monique started to notice how different her upbringing was from everyone else. Some of them belonged to yacht clubs or had sorority sisters. Things she could not relate to because she grew up in a very diverse community surrounded by Latinos. So seeing that gap between their worlds made her decide that it was best to keep her personal life and professional life separate.
“I wasn't conscious that I was modulating anything at all in my life.” -Monique Manso
The changes Monique went through in her career were strongly driven by success. And while culture still played a role in it, she wasn't as aware of it because she wasn’t looking at it through the lenses of culture at that time. She was focused on what she needed to do to succeed and who she needed to learn from, regardless of their identity.
And to succeed Monique learned to choose the people in her life, and to stay close with those she admired. Those whose path looked like the one she wanted for her future.
“Authenticity is about removing shame.” -Monique Manso
One key element to look at when we talk about authenticity is shame. Within shame, there are many aspects of ourselves to acknowledge and love, but that we tend to hide to belong. But we cannot be our authentic selves without looking at the aspects we feel ashamed of because those are still part of us, even when we suppress them.
Monique realized this in her journey as she grew in her career. She saw that the very things she felt ashamed of, were the things helping her show up for herself and be of service to a Latino audience. It was a matter of shifting the perspective and finding ways to make her uniqueness work in her favor.
Monique has worked through her shame to embrace more of her authentic self. Connect with Monique on LinkedIn.
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