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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Recognizing 3 pioneers

Exemplary Puerto Rican women journalists honored in Senate for Emmy career award

“I congratulate all of you, because young girls see themselves in many of you,” said Citizen Victory Movement Sen. Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, at left. “They see hope; all children see a way to jump over obstacles thanks to women like you.” (Photo by Richard Gutiérrez/The San Juan Daily Star)

By Richard Gutiérrez

While it may not be common knowledge to many, on Monday, Professional Women’s Week began in Puerto Rico. Many professional women have shaped the island to be what it is today. Three women from the island have been given an extraordinary award, and what better time to recognize such an accomplishment than the week dedicated to professional women.

Sen. Migdalia González Arroyo, who chairs the Women’s Affairs Committee in the upper chamber, recognized three female media professionals who were recently awarded the SILVER CIRCLE AWARD at the Suncoast Emmys: journalists Deborah Martorell, Mayra Acevedo and Ada Monzón.

Monday’s event took place in the Hall of Illustrious Women in the Capitol.

“These are women with an unbreakable spirit,” said Carla Alvarado from the office of protocols, who hosted the event. “Today, we thank you all for doing so much for our island. We hope that time and your stories motivate other women to do what you do for us.”

“Today we recognize three daughters of our land,” she added.

There were numerous prominent figures at the event, and they all had something to say regarding the recognition of the three women.

“Our youth look up to you,” Sen. Héctor Santiago Torres said. “You provide real journalism and anyone who is interested in that profession should aspire to do what you do. I acknowledge and congratulate you.”

Also among the lawmakers from various political parties at the event was Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago Negrón, the spokesperson for the Puerto Rican Independence Party.

“I congratulate you all not only because of the recognition you are receiving today but also for how inspirational you all are for Puerto Rican women,” the former gubernatorial candidate said. “Everything is harder for women, and the media and politics can be a rather hostile environment. It’s not just the fact that you are all extraordinary in what you do, it’s that in a sense, you all are a flagship for the battles we are facing.”

Citizen Victory Movement Sen. Ana Irma Rivera Lassén noted that “the road for women is not equal.”

“We must jump over many obstacles and pitfalls to get to where we want to be. Men shouldn’t feel insulted by this; instead they should work alongside women to promote equity in all working fields,” Rivera Lassén said. “With that in mind, I congratulate all of you, because young girls see themselves in many of you. They see hope; all children see a way to jump over obstacles thanks to women like you.”

Once the many speeches had been delivered, the three women were given their acknowledgement plates.

Martorell, the chief meteorologist at TeleOnce, told the STAR: “While we are seeing a lot of young women being able to develop themselves in many areas, there is still a lot of ground to cover.”

“Definitely, we have seen a lot of professional women in recent years, but it is not easy. We don’t just work, we take care of our family, our children, our spouse,” she said. “However, while it is important for us to be professional and work hard, we must never abandon our role as mother and wife. Those must be worked on just as much to ensure a brighter future for our daughters to become professionals. I do believe Puerto Rico has gotten much better, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Apart from motivating young women, Martorell also motivates young people in general in the field of journalism.

“Don’t give up,” she said. “Perseverance is what will lead you to achieve the things you desire. Don’t let anyone tell you ‘This field is oversaturated, there is no work here.’ That is not true, you do what you want to do.”

“When I was a student, I went on a field trip to Noticentro. An employee said, ‘What are you doing here? There’s no work in this field,’” Martorell recalled. “Could you imagine being a student and having someone say that to you? I was able to bid that employee goodbye upon his retirement; don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something.”

“It’s honorable that three Puerto Rican women have been able to receive this Emmy award, considering it’s not a traditional Emmy award where they recognize a piece of work you’ve done, but rather it’s for your professional career,” the leading meteorologist said. “I have mixed feelings about it though. I’m happy, but acknowledgments make me blush quite a bit. However, I am really thankful.”

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