To date Maria has amassed a deep list of accomplishments and many accolades to match. Shes a fierce proponent of educating women as a means of empowerment, having served in academia as a University adjunct professor and on various local, national and international Boards. As a member of the National Defense Industry Association, small business committee in Washington DC, her efforts have been recognized as instrumental in the October 2010 passing of the Federal Procurement Program for Women 8m this law secures the rights all women in the U.S. to equal access to government contracts. Fischer is also a big on giving back; participating mentoring programs to promote the sciences amongst young Latinas.
Botta: Tell me about your first entrepreneurial business?
Fischer: There came a time when I needed to find more of a life, work balance including focusing more on my husband and two young sons. I love the Defense Industrys technology focus, the sense of mission and working with the best and the brightest on exciting projects. My efficiency skills in managing large projects, made me realize that I could deliver those services directly to the user, while building a company that provided a family friendly environment.
Botta: What is the best advice you received when you started your business?
Fischer: Don’t give up. The best advice for my life as an immigrant: My grandmas farewell when I left my native Country as a very young woman: Bloom where you are planted (mija, florece donde te plantela vida)
Botta: What have been your biggest business challenges as a Latina?
Fischer: Perhaps that there is no clearly defined path, there are virtually no mentors or women or colleagues, Latinas, business owners/Contractors in the engineering or technical fields in Defense. With very few Latina engineers to begin with, the social perception of success as a business owner in the field for someone with my profile does not exist yet. A risk averse customer will not want to give a contract to a woman and more so to a Latina. I hope to change this perception, as our country needs the talent of all in order to remain competitive and successful.
Botta: What advice you give Latina starting your own business?
Fischer: A phrase attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.
Lynn and Maria represent many outstanding Latina entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their respective industries and communities while balancing family life. The success achieved is inspirational and they are blazing a path for future Latina entrepreneurs to come.