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Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Stephanie Pereira-Ayala

Escrito por: Emely Gonzalez 🇸🇻


Headshot courtesy of Stephanie Pereira-Ayala


Women’s History Month is a world-recognized month dedicated to celebrating diverse perspectives and fostering international solidarity among women.


Every year, the National Women’s History Alliance comes up with a theme to focus on for Women’s History Month. This year's theme is “women who advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion.”


According to the NWHA, this month they “honor local women from the past and present who have taken the lead to show the importance of change and to establish firmer safeguards, practices and legislation reflecting these values.”


In our own community at the University of Maryland, we have also outlined the active efforts of equity, diversity, and inclusion.


As the division of research has defined these principles, UMD Alumni Stephanie Pereira-Ayala, Marketing and Communications Specialist at Elizabeth Seton High School, gives us her own definition of diversity.


Ayala says “diversity is taking into account anybody and everybody no matter who you look like, even what you speak or sound like.”


Before joining the marketing department at Elizabeth Seton High School, Ayala started her own digital marketing agency with five years in the running, which she describes as “helping businesses grow their business and digital platform…create content, and manage social media platforms.”


As Ayala has been in marketing and sales for 17 years, she emphasizes how “the industry is always changing and evolving.”


Ayala emphasizes how important respect is and she carries this value with her, even in her undergraduate years. Ayala was a transfer student to the University of Maryland her second-year where she went with her heart and changed her path from a student athlete with a political science major to joining UMD’s marketing business program. 


Helping her find “what I did love and what I was good at, which was talking to people, meeting people, making connections, and the creativity part of helping businesses grow.” 


Ayala mentions that as she took the marketing position at Elizabeth Seton, it also came with a teaching position in the school’s Young Women’s Entrepreneurship Program.


“With all the different positions and jobs, being able to teach at a high school has been the most rewarding because I’ve got to meet the girls – helping them and making an impact," said Ayala.


Ayala believes that all three principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion play hand in hand, describing it as “want[ing] everyone to feel part of the team.”

 

Ayala states that not only is it about being part of the team but being your true self.


“...Just be yourself. Your right people are going to find you and are going to love you and appreciate you for just being yourself.”


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