Empowering Women Forward: Mentorship Insights from Liliana Goncalvez

liliana goncalves
Skillanthropist Liliana Goncalvez
When Liliana Goncalvez first learned about the impactful work of Bpeace and their Women Forward program, focused on strengthening the leadership skills of Salvadoran businesswomen, she eagerly embraced the opportunity to become a mentor.

In her initial meetings with her pair of Women Forward mentees, Liliana adopted a unique approach. She shared, “The first meeting with my Women Forward mentees was focused on what they wanted to fix about their leadership style. I felt that focusing on the negatives was a hard way to start the mentoring process. This program is for successful women who just need a little extra boost to succeed even more.”

Recognizing the innate strengths of these women, Liliana decided to shift the focus. She encouraged her mentees to envision themselves as superheroes, highlighting their exceptional qualities. This transformative shift redirected the dialogue from addressing shortcomings to celebrating the remarkable traits these women brought to the table.

two women holding mugs
Fast Runners Katia Castro (left) and Karen Quezada (right) during the 2022 Women Forward Event.

An Explosion of Benefits

The Women Forward program, as Liliana attested, offers an array of resources that extend far beyond the individuals it directly impacts. As Liliana mentioned, “The Women Forward program delivers an explosion of benefits that go beyond the women we mentor; it impacts their families and colleagues. One mentee was micromanaging everything. After a few sessions, she was able to identify key employees who could take the lead on stalled projects because she now had the confidence to delegate. As a result, her team is thriving, working harder, and happy to be helping the company succeed. The impact on the women’s confidence cannot be overstated.”

Another distinctive aspect of the Women Forward program, as highlighted by Liliana, is the establishment of a robust support network. She emphasized, “Another value of the Women Forward program is the support network, which includes every woman who has completed the program. This is unique. Few of these women had access to a network of businesswomen prior to Women Forward. Now they can share what has made them successful and what they are struggling to overcome. This means they are not alone.”

Creating a community of empowered women who can share experiences and challenges has a profound impact on Bpeace Fast Runners’ personal and professional growth. It fosters a sense of belonging and ensures that no one is left to face their journey alone.

The Value of Mentorship

Liliana Goncalvez’s experience as a Skillanthropist in the Women Forward program taught her valuable lessons. She reflected, “My experience as a Skillanthropist showed me that you don’t need to have all the answers right away because you are part of a team that is working together. And the value of your experiences comes out in the stories you tell that are leveraged into something bigger and better. It’s a great investment of time and heart that has benefited me greatly in my day-to-day life.”

Liliana Goncalvez’s experiences in the Women Forward program illuminate the profound impact of mentorship on individuals, organizations and communities. It is vital to recognize and nurture the strengths of successful women, creating a supportive network and understanding the transformative potential of collective effort. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor individuals like Liliana who embody the spirit of empowerment and positive change.