Adela Cepeda has spent 27 years working in the field of finance.Â Today, she is the majority owner, a founding partner andÂ chairÂ of Alta Capital Group, LLC, as well as owner and president of A.C. Advisory, a municipal finance advisory firm.Â Adela Cepeda will be the keynote speaker at Entrepreneur.com’s Women in Charge: Winning Strategies for Women-Business Owners conference, which will be held on January 29, 2007 in Miami Beach, Florida.
With the conference approaching, Adela shared her thoughts about women in business today with Entrepreneur.com.Â Following are some highlights from that interview:
Entrepreneur.com: What do youÂ thinkÂ is the greatest challenge facing women in business today?
Adela Cepeda: The greatest challenge to women is having access to the opportunities, to plum positions, to contract opportunities, to open corporate board seats. For the most part, it’s still principally a boys’ network. As women, we need to do more to make sure we let other women know when we’re aware of opportunities. It’s only fair that women be in the pool in relevant numbers.
Entrepreneur.com: Many women with careers struggle with juggling their business and their family life. Has becoming an entrepreneur improved your work/life balance?
Adela Cepeda: To some extent, being your own boss does give you some flexibility. Specifically, I decide what the priorities are. However, when you have your own business, clients are critically important, and sometimes you have to make difficult decisions, like to not attend your child’s school event, or whatever. When this happens, I try to explain to my girls what the conflict is, and ask them what they would do. Generally, they understand, but I’m sure I fall way short of their standards for “mom” duties.
It’s doubly hard when you’re a single parent; there really isn’t anyone to cover the bases for you. But I don’t remember my parents attending any of my extracurricular activities except a school play once and parent/teacher conferences in the evening. Somehow, we managed to survive.
Entrepreneur.com: What is the most important message or piece of entrepreneurialÂ adviceÂ you’d like to pass on to our readers who aren’t able to attend the Women in Charge event?
Adela Cepeda: The key message to other women is to trust your instincts. Sometimes the analytics fog what our inner voice is telling us, and we’ve been programmed to believe that our own sixth sense is somehow inadequate. Actually, the older I get, the more I realize that isn’t the case. This sixth sense is actually an amalgam of common sense and lots of facts and figures that have been stored over the years; our reactions are often quite good.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing women in business today?