Mara Calderon Guerra shares how future generations can help increase Black women in leadership

The director of R&D at PepsiCo Inc. attended the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit

Mara Calderon Guerra is the director of research and development at PepsiCo, Inc. where she is the head of product management. The executive was thrilled to attend the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit from March 9-11, 2023, and shared with rolling out how she hopes to see the numbers of Black women in leadership increase in the years to come.

How does it feel to be here?

It feels amazing and super inspirational to be around all these women who are just pouring into each other, empowering each other, and just lifting up each other in a multitude of different ways.

When you hear women of power, what does that mean to you?

That means inspirational, it means walking in your truth, walking with purpose, and being able to do it in a way where you’re unapologetic about it.

Why should more Black women in leadership be in executive roles?

I think it’s amazing that we have this conference for women executives, [specifically] for Black women executives, however, there’s not enough of us. While we’re all here at 1,800 strong, when we go back to our respective places and businesses, it’s not like that. So, we need to show up for future generations. We need to pay it forward and bring them up with us. So, for the next conferences moving forward in 2024, or 2025, it’s not just 1,800; it’s 2,000, 3,000, and 5,000 people.

What is the best way to support Black women?

Being advocates and speaking up. When you are in a situation where you see something that’s not right, speak up about it and be an ally in every way and shape. Support Black businesses, support Black women; like just speak up to the things that you may see as opportunities for Black women that they may not get.

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