Meet the smartly disruptive Latina entrepreneur whose goal is to make 500 women go from team-first employees to influential ‘badass’ business women by the end of 2022
One of the top fiery front-facing inspirations among young female entrepreneurs in America is Victoria Jenn Rodriguez, Founder of The Female Collaborative and CEO of VJR Enterprises.
But now, everything Rodriguez has learned and experienced is being poured into her latest venture, the Dare to Leap Academy, which trains women how to build profitable businesses by mastering their mindset and selling to corporate and government agencies.
Growing up in New York after moving to New Jersey six years ago, the Latina – whose family descended from Puerto Rico, firmly believed that her vibrancy and complexity wove into many layers.
This multi-talented inspiration for women has a portfolio like no other. Her expertise includes career and life coaching, talent and organisation development, brand elevation, while she is often spotlighted as a keynote motivational speaker.
Not only has she opened up significant opportunities for people, but she has so far run multiple successful businesses – including a six-figure consulting agency and trained over 15,000 entrepreneurs and raised half a million dollars for her non-profit organisation.
“You have to dare to risk it all to become the best version of yourself and truly live out your dreams,” she says. And it all started when Rodriguez met the woman who changed her life forever. “When I went to college, I had a mentor called Shirley Rodriguez Remeneski who showed me what happens when women collaborate and the magic that comes out of women supporting each other – so that they can create a legacy and evolve.”
The power to unite inspired the ambitious business guru to step into her passion of helping others. But her road to success was never a straight line. Rodriguez proved that you must accept all challenges that come your way to be successful.
After starting her career on Wall Street, working in operations, the star quickly rose in the ranks to sales and trading. After several years she decided to get out. However, the most important thing to remember is that she never closed any doors to opportunities. “When something doesn’t work out the way you thought it was supposed to work out, don’t sleep, stay connected, continue to cultivate that relationship because you never know how that will help you,” she says.
Rodriguez found herself reinventing her identity multiple times. From days on the trading floor while working for Lehman Brothers, to advocating for legislation in Washington, DC, to Human Resources at Morgan Stanley, to Recruiting at Bristol Myers-Squibb, to Talent Management at Johnson & Johnson, to her entrepreneurial endeavours.
However, the strength she endured to excel in her dreams only grew stronger. “I felt like the universe was telling me something,” she says. “I paid attention, and bet on me! It’s been one hell of a ride, and if it weren’t for those challenges, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” By being under the wing of a strong female figure from the get-go, Victoria Jenn Rodriguez became an instant advocate for women founders giving anyone interested a real opportunity to fill the gap.
Rodriquez’s company, VJR Enterprises, is a leading diversity talent management firm that advises clients on creating inclusive workplace cultures and retaining and attracting diverse, high-performing talent.
Given her passion for diversity & inclusion, she highlights stories of professionals of colour who have achieved success by remaining authentically true to who they are. “Until you are ready to pull the trigger and bet on yourself, you will constantly live in fear,” she says. “Your self-doubt will crumble your dreams. We must be brave enough to know that we can do anything.”
For over 20 years, Victoria Jenn Rodriguez has shifted mindsets from “I can’t. I’m too scared.” To “I can and I will.” From a lifetime of rejection to stepping into a decisive role of female superiority, the now-number one Latina female entrepreneur in America proved that success is attainable.
After all, this smartly disruptive icon is changing the world’s corporate culture for good. There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.