Heroine of the Week


Born October 09, 1951, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Luiza Helena Trajano is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Magazine Luiza; one of the largest Brazilian retailers, headquartered in the city of Franca Sao Paulo.

Trojano studied at Faculdade de Direito de Franca, where she earned a degree in Law in 1972. A businesswoman, Trojana is responsible for the growth of one of Brazil’s largest retail outlets with more than 800 stores, located in 16 states of the country and a strong e-commerce operation.

Her journey to the top was not a smooth ail as she went through several sectors, such as collection and sales, before becoming Director-Superintendent of  Magazine Luiza in 1991, since then, she has served in various leadership positions before becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors of  Magazine Luiza.

Trojana has been recognized and honoured for her achievements in business, transforming a network of stores located in Franca, São Paulo, into a network strong enough to fight with the giants of retail business. Some of the honours she has received include the first woman and the only privately held retail company to receive this award in the “SUCCESSFUL 2000” promotion; Entrepreneur Award of the year awarded by Ernst & Young in the Commerce category year 2002; Entrepreneur of the Year Magazine É Magazine 2014 and numerous others.

Magazine Luiza was also been recognized for its people management policy was recognized with several awards. For 20 years, the network has been among the best companies to work on the Great Place to Work ranking its e-commerce operation won 12 times the Diamond trophy in the Excellence in Quality Award for Electronic Commerce – B2C. The company has been listed on the São Paulo Stock Exchange since May 2011.

Born in Chennai, India, to an Indian family and was raised in Indonesia and Singapore, Pramila Jayapal became the first Indian-American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives in 2016.

In 1982 and at the age of 16, she immigrated to the United States to attend college. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and an MBA from Northwestern University.

Jayapal became a U.S. citizen in 2000. Before entering electoral politics she founded the Hate Free Zone (now known as OneAmerica), an advocacy group for immigrants, and campaigned for the rights of immigrants, women, and people of colour. The group successfully sued the Bush Administration’s Immigration and Naturalization Services to prevent the deportation of over 4,000 Somalis across the country.  Jayapal stepped down from her leadership position in May 2012, and in 2013 she was recognized by the White House as a “Champion of Change.”

She served on the Mayoral Advisory Committee that negotiated Seattle’s $15 minimum wage and co-chaired the Mayor’s police chief search committee, which resulted in the unanimous selection of the city’s first woman police chief.

After State Senator Adam Kline announced his retirement in early 2014, Jayapal entered the race to succeed him. She was endorsed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and won more than 51% of the vote in the August 5 primary, out of a field of six candidates. She went on to defeat fellow Democrat Louis Watanabe in November 2014.

In the Washington State Senate, Jayapal was the primary sponsor of SB 5863, which directs the Washington State Department of Transportation to administer a pre-apprenticeship program targeting women and people of color; the bill passed into law in July 2015. She co-sponsored a bill to test and track thousands of police department rape kits. Over her two-year tenure in Olympia, Jayapal was rated “in the bottom 98% of legislators in the WA Senate” by FiscalNote, which analyzes the ability of legislators to advance sponsored legislation. 

In January 2016, Jayapal declared her candidacy for Congress in Washington’s 7th congressional district, after Congressman Jim McDermott announced his retirement. In April, she received an endorsement from Bernie Sanders. On August 2, 2016, Jayapal finished first in the top-two primary, alongside state representative Brady Walkinshaw, also a Democrat. She advanced to the general election in November and defeated Walkinshaw with 56 percent of the vote.

Pramila Jayapal currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Washington’s 7th congressional district, which encompasses most of Seattle as well as outlying parts of King County. As a member of the Democratic Party, she represented the 37th legislative district in the Washington State Senate from 2015 to 2017. She is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, the first woman to represent the 7th District in Congress, and the first Asian-American to represent Washington in Congress.

She is the author of Pilgrimage: One Woman’s Return to a Changing India, published in March 2000, and currently lives in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle with her husband Steve.

Given the predominance of child labour in Africa and most especially Cote d’Ivoire, several international conferences and committees have been set up to draw up plans that will assist in putting an end to these activities. These steps will not be complete without the touch of a mother who is directly affected by the negative conditions and wellbeing of children. It is based on this fact that the First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire Madame Dominique Ouattara, has exhibited the qualities of a true mother by spearheading the fight against child labour in her country.


Dominique Claudine Nouvian Ouattara was born on December 16th, 1953 in Constantine. Originally, she is from France and Côte d’Ivoire. Following her High School Diploma of from the Academy of Strasbourg, she holds a University Diploma (the equivalent of a Bachelor) of Languages specializing in Economics, from the University of Paris X. Her studies have successively been crowned with a Diploma in Property Management (Paris-1987) and a Real Estate Expert Diploma in Paris in 1989.


On the accession of her husband to the Presidency of Côte d’Ivoire, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara gave up her brilliant international career as a business operator to exclusively serve her adopted homeland. First Lady, Protector of Ivorian Childhood, Advocate for Women’s Rights, Dominique Ouattara shares since 1989 her brilliant international business operator career with humanitarian missions in Côte d’Ivoire and provides help and comfort to the underprivileged populations in the remote areas of the country.


Madame Ouattara created Children of Africa Foundation in 1998 to improve the living and health conditions of African children. With the support of Ivorian and international personalities, the foundation helps and supervises thousands of poor children and women in Africa and particularly in Côte d’Ivoire.


On September 12, 2017, Mrs. Dominique Ouattara received the Grand Cross of the Order of merit of the Republic of Portugal from President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in recognition of her many charitable actions in Africa.


In Côte d’Ivoire, the foundation works hard to tackle challenges faced by women and children. The outcomes of its sponsorship in favor of Ivorian children and women include:


  • The fight against child labor – Appointed in November 2011,

President of the National Oversight Committee of Fight Actions against trafficking, exploitation, and Child Labor (CNS ) she has supported the development of the National Action Plan 2012-2014, which aims to eliminate child exploitation and which must reduce in Côte d’ Ivoire, the worst forms of child labor. In June 2012, the report of the U.S. State Department on the fight against trafficking in persons, reclassified Côte d’Ivoire in Tier 2, indicating the progress made in the fight against abusive child labor


  • An ongoing Support to women’s economic empowerment in rural areas.

The First Lady has created a Support Fund for the Women of Côte d’Ivoire ( FAFCI ), to finance the micro-projects. The objectives of this fund are to improve women’s income, facilitate their financial independence, and strengthen entrepreneurial skills while fighting against unemployment. 115 000 women have received this fund already.


  • Construction of a mother/child hospital: Against the difficulties of access to care endured by women and children in Côte d’ Ivoire, Children of Africa Foundation has built the Mother / Child Hospital of Bingerville. This hospital has 120 beds, and it is intended to contribute to the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality while at the same time introducing measures to reduce HIV infection rates from mother to child.


  • Management and Promotion of the Fight against mother to child transmission of AIDS: Mrs. Dominique Ouattara actively supports all local, regional and international initiatives, Programs for the Prevention of AIDS by participating personally in the activities of relating organizations including: membership to of First Ladies’ International associations: the Organization of African First Ladies against AIDS in 2011; the African Synergy Association, as well as the participation in a meeting of First Ladies in Deauville, France in May 2011. Her active participation in the meeting of the First Ladies of the sub-region in Mali, in October 2011, demonstrates her commitment to fighting against the scourge in Côte d’ Ivoire.


Before devoting herself solely to Côte d’ Ivoire, the brillant career of Dominique Ouattara as an in international business includes the following positions:


  • Creation of the Malesherbes Gestion, Cabinet Parisien of management consultancy of joint ownership.


  • CEO of the AICI international (international real estate group), (International Properties Marketing Agency) whwich she created in 1979 and which is located in several cities in Africa and Europe (Paris, Cannes, Abidjan, Yamoussoukro, Libreville, and Ouagadougou).


  • President & CEO of EJD Inc., Management company of the Jacques Dessange Institute and acquisition of a DESSANGE franchise in the United States followed by the election as CEO of the “French Beauty Services, Inc.” company.


  • Elected in 1989 Honorary President of the Chambre Syndicale (Union House) of Côte d’ Ivoire’s Realtors (CSDAIM)
  • Honorary President of the Chambre Syndicale (Union House) of the Realtors Côte d’Ivoire (CSDAIM) elected in 1989.

Dolores Clara Fernandez also known as Dolores Huerta was born on April 10, 1930, in Dawson, a small mining town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Her father Juan Ferånández, a farm worker and miner by trade, was a union activist who ran for political office and won a seat in the New Mexico legislature in 1938. Dolores spent most of her childhood and early adult life in Stockton, California where she and her two brothers moved with their mother, following her parents’ divorce.


According to Dolores, her mother’s independence and entrepreneurial spirit were some of the primary reasons she became a feminist. Dolores’ mother Alicia was known for her kindness and compassion towards others. She offered rooms at affordable rates in her 70 room hotel, which she acquired after years of hard work. Alicia welcomed low-wage workers in the hotel, and often, waived the fee for them altogether. She was an active participant in community affairs, involved in numerous civic organizations and the church. Alicia encouraged the cultural diversity that was a natural part of Dolores’ upbringing in Stockton. The agricultural community where they lived was made up of Mexican, Filipino, African-American, Japanese and Chinese working families.


Alicia’s community activism was reflected in Dolores’ involvement as a student at Stockton High School. She was active in numerous school clubs, was a majorette, and a dedicated member of the Girl Scouts until the age of 18. Upon graduating Dolores continued her education at the University of Pacific’s Delta College in Stockton earning a provisional teaching credential. During this time she married Ralph Head and had two daughters, Celeste and Lori. While teaching she could no longer bear to see her students come to school with empty stomachs and bare feet, and thus began her lifelong journey of working to correct economic injustice.


An Organizer is Born

Dolores found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During this time she founded the Agricultural Workers Association, set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for barrio improvements. It was in 1955 through CSO founder Fred Ross, Sr. that she would meet a like-minded colleague, CSO Executive Director César E. Chávez. The two soon discovered that they shared a common vision of organizing farm workers, an idea that was not in line with the CSO’s mission.


As a result, in the spring of 1962, César and Dolores resigned from the CSO and launched the National Farm Workers Association. Dolores’ organizing skills were essential to the growth of this budding organization. The challenges she faced as a woman did not go unnoted and in one of her letters to Cesar she joked…”Being a now experienced lobbyist, I am able to speak on a man-to-man basis with other lobbyists.”


The first testament to her lobbying and negotiating talents were demonstrated in securing Aid For Dependent Families (“AFDC”) and disability insurance for farm workers in the State of California in 1963, an unparalleled feat of the times. She was also instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. This was the first law of its kind in the United States, granting farm workers in California the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions


While the farm workers lacked financial capital they were able to wield significant economic power through hugely successful boycotts at the ballot box with grassroots campaigning. As the principal legislative advocate, Dolores became one of the UFW’s most visible spokespersons. Robert F. Kennedy acknowledged her help in winning the 1968 California Democratic Presidential Primary moments before he was shot in Los Angeles. Throughout the years she has worked to elect numerous candidates including President Clinton, Congressman Ron Dellums, Governor Jerry Brown, Congresswoman Hilda Solis and Hillary Clinton.


Women’s Liberation

As much as she was Cesar’s right hand she could also be the greatest thorn in his side. The two were infamous for their blow out arguments an element that was a natural part of their working relationship. Dolores viewed this as a healthy and necessary part of the growth process of any worthwhile collaboration. While Dolores was busy breaking down one gender barrier after another, she was seemingly unaware of the tremendous impact she was having on, not only farm worker woman but also young women everywhere.


While directing the first National Boycott of California Table Grapes out of New York she came into contact with Gloria Steinem and the burgeoning feminist movement who rallied behind the cause. Quickly she realized they shared much in common. Having found a supportive voice with other feminists, Dolores consciously began to challenge gender discrimination within the farm workers’ movement.


Non-Violence Is Our Strength


Early on, Dolores advocated for the entire family’s participation in the movement. After all, it was men, women, and children together out in the fields picking, thinning and hoeing. Thus the practice of non-violence was not only a philosophy but a very necessary approach in providing for the safety of all. Her life and the safety of those around her were in jeopardy on countless occasions. The greatest sacrifice to the movement was made by five martyrs all of whom she knew personally.


At age 58 Dolores suffered a life-threatening assault while protesting against the policies of then presidential candidate George Bush in San Francisco. A baton-wielding officer broke four ribs and shattered her spleen. Public outrage resulted in the San Francisco Police Department changing its policies regarding crowd control and police discipline and Dolores was awarded an out of court settlement.

Following a lengthy recovery, she took a leave of absence from the union to focus on women’s rights. She traversed the country for two years on behalf of the Feminist Majority’s Feminization of Power: 50/50 by the year 2000 Campaign encouraging Latina’s to run for office. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in the number of women representatives at the local, state and federal levels. She also served as National Chair of the 21st Century Party founded in 1992 on the principles that women make up 52% of the party’s candidates and that officers must reflect the ethnic diversity of the nation.


Her Second Wind


At 83, Dolores Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy.


There are thousands of working poor immigrants in the agriculture rich San Joaquin Valley of California. They are unfamiliar with laws or agencies that can protect them or benefits that they are entitled to. They are often preyed upon by unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of them. They often feel hopeless and unable to remedy their situations.


Dolores teaches these individuals that they have personal power that needs to be coupled with responsibility and cooperation to create the changes needed to improve their lives.


It is rarely practiced today because it is tedious and time-consuming. However, the results are long lasting and while people are in the process of building an organization, they are learning lessons they will never forget and the transformative roots are planted. The fruit is the leadership that is developed and the permanent changes in the community. In other words, this is how grass roots democracy works.


Recognitions And Awards


There are four elementary schools in California, one in Fort Worth, Texas, and a high school in Pueblo, Colorado named after Dolores Huerta.

She was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in March of 2013. She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998, Ms. Magazine’s One of the Three Most Important Women of l997, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Woman of the 20th Century, The Puffin Foundation’s Award for Creative Citizenship: Labor Leader Award 1984, The Kern County Woman of The Year Award from the California State Legislature, The Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government, The Smithsonian Institution – James Smithson Award, and Nine Honorary Doctorates from Universities throughout the United States.


In 2012 President Obama bestowed Dolores with her most prestigious award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.



Source: Dolores Huerta Foundation

Rebecca Enonchong is a Cameroonian born technology entrepreneur and also the founder and CEO of AppsTech. She is best known for her work promoting technology in Africa.

Rebecca Enonchong is the founder and CEO of AppsTech and I/O Spaces. She is Chair of ActivSpaces (African Center for Technology Innovation and Ventures), an incubator in Cameroon. She has spent much of her career promoting technology in Africa. She has also carried out the work in both the U.S. and in Africa.

Growing up, her father was Dr. Henry Ndifor Abi Enonchong, who was a well-known barrister in Cameroon. While Enonchong was growing up in Cameroon, her father helped create the Federal Cameroon Bar Association and its successor, the Cameroon Bar Association. In her teens, Enonchong moved to the US with her family. While studying, she took up a job selling door-to-door newspaper subscriptions from the age of 15. She later became a manager at the same company at the age of 17.

Enonchong attended the Catholic University of America, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and also a Master of Science degree in Economics. After finishing her education, Enonchong went on to work for a number of organizations including Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB) and Oracle Corporation.

In 1999, Enonchong founded the company AppsTech, a Bethesda, Maryland-based global provider of enterprise application solutions. AppsTech is an Oracle Platinum Partner and has customers in over 40 countries.

AppsTech opened offices in several countries, including Enonchong’s native Cameroon. She describes the experience as having been difficult and having led to the closure of AppsTech subsidiaries.

In 2002, The World Economic Forum of Davos, Switzerland named Enonchong a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) along with other tech entrepreneurs such as Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO Marc Benioff.

Also, in 2013, Enonchong was recognized as a finalist for the African digital woman award.

She was the founder and Chairperson of the Africa Technology Forum, a non-profit dedicated to helping technology start-ups in Africa.

Enonchong is a member of the board of directors for the Foundation. She is on the board of VC4Africa, which is one of the largest online communities in Africa that is dedicated to entrepreneurs and investors. She is a member of the UK Department for International Development’s Digital Advisory Panel, and was previously involved with the UN’s Women Global Advisory Committee and the United Nations ICT Task Force.

Born in Toronto, Jung was born in 1959 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her family moved to Wellesley, Massachusetts, when she was only two years old. Jung’s mother was born in Shanghai and was a chemical engineer; her father was born in Hong Kong and was an architect. Jung has one younger brother, Mark. When she was young, Jung studied not only the regular subjects offered at a Massachusetts school, but studied the Mandarin language as well. She also began piano lessons, taught by her mother, when she was only five years old. Jung has admitted to being a lackluster student. The only reason she got good grades at first was that her parents would offer her something she wanted in return for earning A’s. When she was in fourth grade, for instance, she desperately wanted a set of colored pencils. Her parents told her that if at the end of the grade marking period she earned all A’s, they would get it for her. She hunkered down to work, and by the end of the grading period, those pencils were hers. It was something she never forgot. She has credited her parents and instances like this one with furthering her resolve and ambition.


In high school, Jung used her determination to get involved in extracurricular activities, especially student government. She started out as a class secretary before becoming president of the student body and went on from high school to attend the elite Princeton University. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English literature in 1979, graduating magna cum laude from Princeton. She intended to continue her studies by going to law school after a short break but decided on a detour. She had gotten a job at Bloomingdale’s as a manager in training, and she saw the position as giving her the edge she would need to make it in the field of law.


She did so well at Bloomingdale’s that she moved to a job at the I. Magnin stores. From there she became the executive vice president in charge of merchandising for women’s apparel, cosmetics, and accessories at Neiman Marcus. And with her change of companies came a change of careers. Law vanished into the background as Jung found herself in the midst of the world she liked. She wanted a new challenge, however, and found one when she started working for Avon Products, Inc., as a consultant in 1993. The company that had been around for over a hundred years was ailing and needed a fresh burst of energy and life to keep it going. The higher-ups at Avon liked what Jung had to bring to the company as a consultant, and they hired her as president of the product marketing group for U.S. operations in 1994. In that position, she worked on continuing the company’s traditional branding efforts while trying to introduce more modern lines to the mix. She introduced the Avon Apparel line, which proved to be very successful. She also suggested getting rid of a large number of Avon’s old fragrances and introducing new ones. She was behind the introduction of such new favorites as Far Away, Millennia, and Natori.


She also worked on coming up with a better marketing pitch for the company. She came up with the slogan “Just Another Avon Lady,” which was launched in 1995. With her new slogan, Jung was trying to re-brand the company as younger and hipper, but also as being more sophisticated and quality-filled. This was helped by products such as Anew, which was the first skin cream with alpha hydroxy, made to help hide wrinkles. She also got Olympic athletes Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Becky Dyroen-Lancer to help with the campaign, and Avon became the official fragrance and cosmetics sponsor of the 1996 Olympic Games, held in Atlanta, Georgia. The company put together The Olympic Women exhibition, focusing on women athletes at the games, something that not only promoted female athleticism but also helped put Avon into the spotlight. Because of all the things Jung set up in 1996 she was named “Marketer of the Year” for 1996 by Brandweek.


Always looking for bigger and better ways to promote Avon, in 1997 Jung came up with the “Dare to Change Your Mind about Avon” ad campaign, something that showed the company knew about its outdated image and was about to change it. Also in 1997, the CEO of Avon stepped down. It was thought that Jung might be considered for the job, but instead of promoting someone from inside the company, Avon hired from outside, choosing instead the CEO of Duracell, Charles Perrin. Someone must have felt that Jung was soon to step into power, however, because in 1997 she was named one of the top “25 Women to Watch” by Advertising Age. She was also given the National Outstanding Mother Award and the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement award that year. Perrin, on the other hand, met with problems at the company, and a mere two years later Jung was made the CEO of Avon. She was the first female CEO in Avon’s history, and that was quite a long history, as the company was 116 years old at that time. She became chairwoman of Avon in 2001. Prior to that, Jung had been listed at number eight in “Corporate America’s 50 Most Powerful Women” in 1998.


Since becoming CEO of Avon, Jung has become known for her professional, businesslike demeanor and for her innovative ideas.


Two years after taking over the CEO position at Avon, Jung talked to Harper’s Bazaar about her job. “My job has its pros and its cons. There’s the opportunity to be a role model, and then there’s a lot of heavy responsibility that can be very difficult…. But I’m more comfortable now with my public role as it relates to my personal life than I was two years ago. Statistics show that it’s still a story when women reach the very top of the ladder, and we have a responsibility to create paths for women to succeed.”


Since her rise to CEO, Jung has taken Avon international. It started out as an American company and is still run in a purely American way, with Avon “ladies” selling directly to buyers, but Jung has begun to expand the concept worldwide. By the early twenty-first century, Avon was sold in over 143 countries. In 2001 nearly 40 percent of Avon’s total profits came from South and Central American alone. In 2003 Jung pushed Avon to start a line of makeup called “Mark,” aimed towards teenagers and college-age women. According to Crains New York Business, Jung said about the changes: “I want to keep it hip. We have to be able to change in a snap, to have an edge.” She also has helped raise money for breast cancer, the disease that took her grandmother’s life.


Since her acquisition of the CEO position, Jung has learned about personal compromise. She has also made an environment at Avon where parents can take time off to attend their children’s functions and take care of their family, as long as their work does not suffer for it. She is on the board of General Electric and was nominated to be on the board of the New York Stock Exchange. She is on the boards of such non-profit organizations as the New York Presbyterian Hospital and Catalyst, a company focused on women in business. Jung is one of only two female Fortune 500 CEOs. She has been named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in U.S. Business by Fortune magazine.


As for Avon, the company did a turnaround after Jung took over. According to Fortune magazine, “In her first five years as CEO, Andrea Jung gave Avon a badly needed facelift. From 2000 through 2004, revenues rose from $5.3 billion to $7.7 billion, and profits nearly tripled.” Jung was able to find popular and strong women to advertise the company on television, among them tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. Jung told Harper’s Bazaar, “Venus and Serena’s story was such a natural fit for us. They have proven to a global audience that women can do anything.” With so much success, Jung’s reign as CEO of Avon was one to continue to watch.


Currently, Andrea Jung is the President and CEO of Grameen America. Ms. Jung joined Grameen America with the goal of scaling the organization to solve economic issues for women and their families across the country.