Chicago businesswoman Arabel Alva Rosales is committed to her work — and dedicated to her passion: inspiring other women through her Pivoting in Heels initiative.
Rosales is the president and CEO of the technology company AAR Tech and the vice president of the Chicago Transit Authority board of directors. She also launched Pivoting in Heels, a nonprofit digital organization, at the end of 2019.
A few months later, the world would go virtual, given the COVID-19 pandemic. The shelter-in-place edicts made the timing of Rosales’ project especially meaningful.
Pivoting in Heels seeks to empower women by providing them with support to improve their self-esteem and take care of their mental health. The project also strengthens their leadership skills and triggers “a transformative experience” that helps them find success in their personal and professional lives.
“Back in 2019, I announced the project … Then came 2020, the year of COVID-19, and everything went virtual. The most heard English word was ‘pivoting,’ meaning turning, changing and adapting to something new. I believe something was leading me here, to this digital platform,” she said.
Rosales, a businesswoman of Mexican descent, says during the COVID-19 crisis, she devoted her project “to teaching positive things” to other women, hoping to provide them with development opportunities throughout that period. She says she helped them “find their voice” and that some were doing “extraordinary things, to inspire us all.”
“The vision is to help women to be what they really want to be. I think we have no limits. If we have the vision, we can transform ourselves, but we need someone to … teach us how to do it,” said the Chicago-born entrepreneur.
Rosales acknowledges it was her daughter Alina who inspired her to launch the project. “She asked me if there was a place where one can go and listen to successful women’s stories.”
The businesswoman remembers her daughter’s words vividly. “When we are with friends, we motivate each other the best we can, but most of the time, we don’t know what we are talking about, and learning more about it through a digital platform would be ideal,” she said.
Rosales plans to hold a new edition of “Runway Latinx,” a fashion, food and music charity event to raise funds for Pivoting in Heels in October, as the close of Hispanic Heritage Month. Pivoting in Heels will use part of the money to finance a scholarship fund for young people and an internship program.
For more information, visit: https://www.runwaylatinx.com/.
Empresaria, motivadora y visionaria was first published in Negocios Now.
Translated and edited by Gabriela Olmos; edited by Fern Siegel