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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Women leaders will share their knowledge at an economic forum

Alexandra Lúgaro, Director of the Foundation for Puerto Rico Innovation Center; Teddy Matheus, Women in Business; Johanna Salgado, Director of WEF Caribbean; Estefanía Soto, Miss Universe 2021 (WEF Caribbean Ambassador); Vivian Dolagaray, VPE of Business Strategy and Financing; Nitza Morán Trinidad, Senator.

By The Star Staff

The Women Economic Forum Caribbean 2022 returns on November 17 and 18 at the Metropolitan Campus of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. This year, 900 women from Puerto Rico and other parts of the world are expected to participate.

WEF Caribbean targets women and youth, foundations, NGOs, influencers, media, and government institutions. With resilience as its theme, there will be two days of sessions with workshops and a business fair.

“We will discuss education trends, entrepreneurship, politics, technology, health, and finance. We want to make an invitation to the civil population to join us and participate. Suppose we unite and look at how to continue working for the development of nations. In that case, we can move forward,” said Johanna Salgado, director of the Women Economic Forum Caribbean.

Representatives of organizations supporting the event were present, such as Senator Nitza Morán Trinidad; Teddy Matheus, president of the board of the Women in Business organization; Marilina Wayland Lucca, President of the Interamerican University Metropolitan Campus; Vivian Dolagaray, VPE of Commercial Strategy and Financing of the Economic Development Bank; Enery Ortiz, President of the organization Mujeres Ante la Adversidad; Yandia Pérez, Executive Vice President of the Association of Industrialists.

Amongst the invited panelists are Alexandra Lúgaro, former gubernatorial candidate and director of the Innovation Center of Foundation for Puerto Rico; Valerie Rivera Vargas, Director of the Office for the Integral Development of Women of the Municipality of San Juan and Estefanía Soto, Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2021.

Lúgaro highlighted the achievements of women today but also emphasized the disadvantages they still have in society. “Women are nowadays the ones who graduate the most from universities. We have increased the number of women in senior positions in both the private sector and government. We have come a long way, but with a giant rock on our back,” she said.

“Seventy percent of the people living in extreme poverty in the country are women. We face inequality, inequity in economic compensation, gender violence, and harassment in the workplace. We still have a long way to go in so many areas. I aspire with this forum to have a conversation that goes beyond empowerment, to start from the recognition that there are many women who are succeeding, who every day stand up and raise their families in the face of adversity,” she added.

“This is a forum that was born thanks to the responsibility we have to respond to the needs of our communities. It is very urgent that we rescue this concept of resilience because that is where the opportunity to develop our potential as human beings and as individuals lies,” commented Soto, ambassador of WEF Caribbean.

Rivera Vargas thanked the First Lady and the Mayor of San Juan for the work done by the WEF. “We encourage diverse spaces where women can come together to create and help each other. We need to create greater alliances among us,” said Rivera.

Dolagaray, from the Economic Development Bank, commented that half of the commercial portfolio they have is of women entrepreneurs. “Women are essential to us. We have a financing program aimed exclusively at women where we give them extremely attractive terms and conditions where we can guide them, help them and take them towards the culmination of that dream.”

For more information and to purchase tickets to WEF Caribbean 2022, access the event’s website

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