Indira Jeffrey – Empowering Women Means Empowering Whole Communities

Indira Jeffrey
Indira Jeffrey is a global leader for women empowerment, strategic planner, and innovator. She shares her wisdom and tells us why you should " Get out of your comfort zone", how you can "Learn to overcome cultural challenges" and how "Empowering women empowers whole communities" Hosted by Siebe Van Der Zee

Subscribe with your favourite podcast app. 

About Indira Jeffery

Indira Jeffrey is a global leader for women empowerment, strategic planner, and innovator.

Indira has worn several hats during her more than 25 years of experience, such as business consultant, project manager, adjunct professor for a high education institution, private banker, and paralegal.

Currently, Indira works as a program manager for Latin America for Thunderbird School of Global Management, directing the teams in Chile and Peru on the promotion, awareness, and expansion of the business program DreamBuilder focusing on underserved communities. During her tenure at Thunderbird, Indira so far has helped empower more than forty thousand women worldwide.

In November 2021, during Indira’s business trip to Peru, the Mayor of Yanahuara, Angelo Huerta, named her, an honorary guest of this municipality. This distinction is the first made to a foreign collaborator for the DreamBuilder program’s contribution to that region’s economic development.

Indira also is a partner at Sunburst Strategies, LLC. As a business consultant for this firm, she manages strategic planning, digital marketing, and international operations.

Indira has a solid 16-year career in banking and finance with Fortune 500 companies in the USA and Mexico (Charles Schwab, JP Morgan Chase, and HSBC), with Charles Schwab Co. & Inc she held several roles such as Manager Banking Operations and Risk Analyst, ensuring compliance with department policies, procedures, objectives, and strategies. Additionally, Indira was a member of the operations team that tested the remote deposit capture implementation projects.

Academically, she holds a Global MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management & Tecnologico de Monterrey, Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, Certificate in Business Affairs, by Group Sup de Co, La Rochelle, France, Small Business Leadership Certificate by Arizona State University, Circular Economy by Ellen McArthur Foundation and Project Management for Development by the Interamerican Development Bank.

Indira serves as a member of the Board of Advisors to the government of Guanajuato, Mexico, at the Secretariat for Migrants and Foreign Affairs. In addition, she participated in binational trade missions Arizona – Mexico and has organized international trade events.

Indira is an active member of the community and is a member of several organizations such as the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Global Chamber, Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency, recently she joined the Phoenix East Valley Partnership.

Indira’s goal is to give back to the community to make the world a better place through education, economic development, and sustainability.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1. Get out of your comfort zone. 05:10
Lesson 2. Learn about other cultures, learn another language. 07:11
Lesson 3. Put yourself in the shoes of others. 10:39
Lesson 4. Why changing careers can help you to find your purpose in life.14:14

Lesson 5. Passing on your knowledge to the less fortunate can be a rewarding experience. 19:30
Lesson 6. You can love two countries at the same time. 21:35
Lesson 7. Learn to overcome cultural challenges. 28:46
Lesson 8. Empowering women means empowering whole communities 31:32  
Lesson 9. When staying in a place is painful, you need to move to somewhere else. 36:38
Lesson 10. Slow down and enjoy life. 40:10

Indira Jeffrey – Empowering women means empowering whole communities

[00:00:06] Siebe Van Der Zee: Hello and welcome to our podcast. 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn where we talk to businesspeople, journalists, ambassadors, artists, sports heroes, leaders, and luminaries from all over the world. In other words, we will be talking to interesting people about their interesting experiences. My name Siebe Van Der Zee and I’m your host.

I’m originally from the Netherlands happily residing into beautiful grand canyon state of Arizona in the United States. I’m also known as the Dutchman in the desert. I hope you will enjoy this program. This program is sponsored by PDF the professional development for. You can learn more about PDF at professionaldevelopmentforum.org.

Our guest today is Indira Jeffrey. Indira a was born and raised in Guanajuato in Mexico. She is the program manager for Latin America at the Thunderbird school of global management at Arizona state university in Phoenix, Arizona. In this role, she is guiding teams in Chile and in Peru, on promotion have a business program called dream builder with a special focus on underserved communities.

We’ll be talking about that a little bit more.

Like so many of us, Indira has had multiple careers. She started in banking and finance, working in Mexico and in the United States for financial institutions like Charles Schwab, JP Morgan Chase, and HSBC. you can find further details over her background on our website, 10 lessons learned.com.

Indira is considered a global leader for women empowerment, especially for women that live in underserved regions. Can you imagine the lessons that she has learned in her life and in her career? Welcome, Indira thank you for joining us.

[00:01:58] Indira Jeffrey: Thank you very much for the invitation, Siebe. I’m very happy to be here today, in your podcast, I admire the work you do.

And because you spread the word about experiences of Common, people like myself.

[00:02:16] Siebe Van Der Zee: Well, it’s wonderful to have you. And I am curious about the dream builder program. Perhaps you can share a little bit about what that means and what a stands for.

[00:02:27] Indira Jeffrey: Absolutely. Yes. The dream builder program is a program that is a sponsor, and it was funded by Freeport McMoRan in collaboration with Thunderbird school of global management.

The program is started in 2013 and the goal, to create this program was to benefit the women. That were the wives of the miners in Peru. And in Chile, of course, the mines are located in vulnerable communities. And the reason the program was created also was to improve the economic in those areas, with the creation of these small businesses.

[00:03:15] Siebe Van Der Zee: Wow. there’s a story and we’re going to obviously hear more during your 10 lessons, but that’s fascinating. That’s such a big topic to talk about. So, thank you. before we get into the 10 lessons, I’m curious with your experience with all the things you have done. If you think of yourself as a 30-year-old, are there any lessons that you have learned that you would like to share with yourself as if you were 30 right now?

Which could be

[00:03:43] Indira Jeffrey: yes. Thank you for the compliment. Yes, actually, you know? Yes, because of the current economy, I say I will buy real estate first. Yes. It’s one of the lessons I invest more in myself, and I wouldn’t stop traveling.

[00:04:04] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah. I liked that a lot, buy real estates. I think I understand what you’re saying, even though we don’t know what the market does.

Right. It moves up. It can move down, but, perhaps over time. You have experienced, like I have that real estate could well be a solid investment for the longer term.

[00:04:27] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. But you know, when you’re 30, you don’t think very often about the future. I think when you’re 30, you are just, you know, trying to, you know, find a stable job, start a family.

And if you have a family, you are, you know, in men, it matters, on, you know, all the things that you have to do for your family. It’s not very often that, you know, a 30-year-old will think on buying real estate. Right.

[00:04:56] Siebe Van Der Zee: It’s true, but it’s a good lesson and I appreciate your sharing that with our global audience, because it makes sense.

Right. So, if we look at, your 10 lessons and, I see a lot of wisdom in there.

[00:05:10] Lesson 1:     Get out of your comfort zone.

[00:05:10] Siebe Van Der Zee: let’s start with number one, lesson, number one, get out of your comfort zone. easier said than done, perhaps,

[00:05:17] Indira Jeffrey: you know, like you say before, I’m originally from Mexico and I moved to the United States in 2003. that was a big change because, you know, I had to learn a new language, being immersed in a new culture, a new way of working.

I started working right away with an attorney and there were a lot of changes, but since I remember, and I’ve been always. Out of my comfort zone. And because of that, I have a lot of, good things coming into my life. I also have challenges, but I think is the best thing a person can do. Just, get out of the comfort zone and be able to be flexible as well, you know, to welcome new things into your life, because if you don’t have that mindset of, and preparedness to get new things into your life, your life is going to be like, horizontal line.

that is okay. Right. For some people, but yes, you know, you can have a lot of opportunities if you get out of your comfort zone.

[00:06:29] Siebe Van Der Zee: In some situations, and I, as you know, I’ve lived in Latin America as well. In some situations, it is not that easy to change because the environment people around you may not give you the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. Is that something that you recognize?

[00:06:49] Indira Jeffrey: I do, but I always, thought that, and this is because my father wants told me if you don’t move, nothing will happen. So, I think if it is now a hope, you know, within your environment, we just need to move.

[00:07:07] Siebe Van Der Zee: Nope. I like that. Yeah. getting out of your comfort zone.

[00:07:11] Lesson 2:     Learn about other cultures, learn another language

[00:07:11] Siebe Van Der Zee: Lesson, number two, learn about other cultures. Learn another language.

[00:07:17] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. I’m originally from Guanajuato. Guanajuato is, a state in the middle of the country of Mexico and, it’s a very touristic place because it’s where the independence of Mexico started. So, we have a lot of architectural colonial architecture. We have, a lot of touristic places. And I remember since I was a child, you know, seeing people from different cultures, they came to visit Guanajuato.

So, I was in that environment. You know, talking to, and making friends to Americans, to Canadians, to people from Europe. And I always was very interested in other cultures. being on that environment makes you a citizen of the world. You don’t see any differences, you know, because someone, you know, speaking in one language or in another language. But if you have that mindset, it is very easy to start opening doors for yourself.

And that helped me a lot when I came to the United States, because in here, you know, of course, like I say before, I had to be willing to speak to a different people from different countries as well. So, it was not that difficult for me. and right after I started a master’s degree in Thunderbird. So helped me more to understand that when you are able in your mind is open to other culture and then you have another language or two or three or more languages, In the professional life and in the personal life are open to you more doors.

So those are, you know, experiences. Those are opportunities that you may have if you have these two things, you know, in your life.

[00:09:17] Siebe Van Der Zee: I think it’s a very important point that you’re making. I can understand that it may be intimidating to learn another language. I’m sure you and I, when we learned other languages, we made mistakes.

And in some cases, when you start out learning a language, people make fun of you. nobody likes that. Right. But more importantly, you have to get through that barrier, and you learn. And once you learn and understand, I agree and we use the same line, become a citizen of the world. I think that’s very important for every person to understand that human behaviour can be different in different parts of the world.

And the best way to learn is to learn their language.

[00:10:06] Indira Jeffrey: Yes, I think it’s very important. And mostly nowadays, when you see a lot of you know, political, economical, and those, the issues that are around the world, we both know like right now, what is happening in in Europe is just the. You know, we need to understand each other.

We need to be more empathetic to each other.

[00:10:33] Siebe Van Der Zee: Sorry. Didn’t mean to interrupt, but that looks like it leads to the third lesson. Right?

[00:10:39] Lesson 3:     Put yourself in the shoes of others

[00:10:39] Siebe Van Der Zee: Lesson number three, put yourself in the shoes of others. You learn the language. And it gives you an opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of others. Is that the lesson that you are sharing?

[00:10:51] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. that has also, you know, relation to what you just said about that. If, you are, you know, in the juice of all others, you have to be willing to listen. I think this is very important. And that happened to me, you know, at the beginning, when I started to learn this new language English, I realized that people, they were not listening, I was trying to communicate with them, you know, putting all my effort because you know, when you’re learning a second language, you have to translate everything in your mind.

It has to make sense to you first, but then you have to make sense to the other person. So, Your brain is working like a hundred percent or 105%, and, in, at the same time, you have to be looking at the eyes of that person at the lips of the person of the gestures. Like many things are going on in one second.

And I noticed that people, they were not very patient with me. And then you got the the look like, “what are you talking about?”.

[00:12:02] Siebe Van Der Zee: Well, and I have to laugh in a way because nonverbal communication in different countries can be extremely important. But if you don’t pick up the signs or you make certain gestures that are unacceptable in their culture, then obviously that, that can be a little bit awkward,

but it is an important point. Yes.

[00:12:28] Indira Jeffrey: Yeah. But I think it’s important also, you know, when you are in a communication with someone, yes to relax, you know, if you are not understanding what this person is trying to say, just, you need to relax yourself first. And I think, it is fair to ask or to say, you know, can you slowdown or what, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say, but you know, not in a mean way.

Yes. You know, in a nice way. I think when you relax yourself and you become this nice person there, the feedback you’re getting is going to be better.

[00:13:12] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah. it’s perhaps also interesting to note where in certain countries, people will learn other languages because perhaps people that are visiting their own countries will not learn Spanish or in my case, Dutch, can you believe that?

So, let’s say Dutch people. They speak typically four or five languages because nobody wants to learn Dutch Spanish, I would say is a little different, but still, it’s not that everybody speaks Spanish in the United States.

[00:13:46] Indira Jeffrey: Nope, not everybody. And I really would like that one day, you know, in some countries in Europe, and Spanish will be the second language, like official second language, because I think, you know, we are neighbours with Mexico and Latin America.

Yeah, we will, we could get some much, we will be better neighbours.

[00:14:11] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, interesting perspective for the future, of course.

[00:14:14] Lesson 4:     Why changing careers can help you to find your purpose in life

[00:14:14] Siebe Van Der Zee: Looking at careers and lesson number four, why changing careers can help you find your purpose in life. And I think here of women and especially women in Latin America changing careers can help you find purpose in life.

How do you connect that?

[00:14:33] Indira Jeffrey: Well, you know, working with Thunderbird for good in that this program, dream builder, I’ve been able to speak to many women in Latin America mainly, and there, they don’t have differences because all of them, they want to be the bread winner. All of them. They want to provide a better life for their families.

And that has a good feeling to me. This is what I’m doing right now. My previous experience was in banking. Yeah. It was a very stressful environment. And I thought, you know, I could be you know, you know, improving my life and be rich and be, you know, because that, industry gives you a lot of opportunity to make money, but I was not happy.

 My, my insight was like, you know, because it’s the way, it’s the way I am. I’m a person that likes to help others. And of course, I was helping my customers, but it was not the same impact that I’m doing right now with this program. And to me changing careers, going from the banking industry.

To you know, these non-profit industry, it’s given me more meaning to my life. now I can tell that, I found my purpose in life that is, you know, help others to improve their lives.

[00:16:10] Siebe Van Der Zee: When you started your career in banking, in finance. Was that already on your mind that you said, okay, I’m going to be in this field of finance, but at some point, I want to find something that fits me more.

Wasn’t a plan, or was it sort of an awareness that occurred when you were already in banking for a number of years?

[00:16:35] Indira Jeffrey: No. actually I start, in the banking industry in Mexico and, I worked for three banks in there, but I always had this curiosity of becoming a consultant business consult.

Because again, you know, I want, I like to help others. So, I was thinking maybe, you know, if I’m a consultant, I will be helping people in a different way than being in a bank. And in 2000 is when I started my own consulting company in Mexico. And I started working for the government in the development, the economic development area.

And that time they asked me. To help the north area of the state. Guanajuato in that time, that was one of the poorest areas, the poorest regions. And I found that, the 80% of the population, they were women. So, my assignment was to go to those areas and to create groups and teach them, train them about business topics.

When I went to those areas, I, you know, really warmed my heart the way that they received me and the way that they were willing to learn, because the, 80% of those women. They had husbands that they go into the United States and some of them, they never came back or communicate with them. So, they have this situation where they have to do something to bring money so they can support their families. And all of them, they were able to create things with their hands. You know, they created hand crafts and I organize them. and they learn about marketing, about sales and they were able to create, co-operatives. And, you know, those were 200 women that. After, almost a year of training and learning and, you know, willing to do something for themselves, they were able to sell their products to, well, some of them locally, nationally, and internationally.

So that project gave me a lot of, insight. And I felt like that was my purpose at that moment, but it was after, you know, I stay with the banking industry for years.

[00:19:17] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, powerful. and we’re talking about of course, the lesson that you learned and obviously it’s a lesson for others that changing career can help you find your purpose.

[00:19:30] Lesson 5:     Passing on your knowledge to the less fortunate can be a rewarding experience.

[00:19:30] Siebe Van Der Zee: If I look at lesson number five, it is very much connected to what you’re saying. passing on your knowledge to the less fortunate can be a rewarding experience. it’s something that you learned changing careers gave you purpose in life and purpose in life for you also means passing on your knowledge to the less fortunate, but perhaps you can share a little bit more on that lesson number five.

[00:19:59] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Well, you know, I’ve learned myself that if you have a gift, any gift, you know, maybe you. You are very good on learning other languages or you’re very good on business. You’re good. on, you know, sales, any gift that you have as a human being, if you pass it to others meaning through training, to teaching, to, you know, being mentor to others.

That can be a very rewarding experience to yourself as a human being.

[00:20:38] Siebe Van Der Zee: And it helps you and it helps others.

[00:20:42] Indira Jeffrey: Yes, exactly. Yes. and I think that when you help others, you are helping to build these community as well. Because you’re passing something that is good, you’re passing your experience and, you can maybe also be a volunteer, you know, you don’t have to because every human being, has its own meaning to be in this world.

Right. but if you are able to volunteer. For those organizations and help the less fortunate, you know, it’s a way of passing also, your knowledge.

[00:21:21] Siebe Van Der Zee: Absolutely. Great story right there.

we’re talking today with Indira Jeffrey, a global leader for women empowerment, with a strong focus on Latin America, sharing her 10 lessons learned.

[00:21:35] Lesson 6: You can love two countries at the same time

[00:21:35] Siebe Van Der Zee: In the next lesson number six, you can love two countries at the same time.

I think I know what you mean, but please explain.

[00:21:46] Indira Jeffrey: Well, do you know when I moved from Mexico to the United States, I was 30 years old. Exactly there, years old. it took me time to get used to the United States on everything. Yeah. Culture, a way of doing business. you name it. Friendships and, or the American how can I say that?

Because I don’t want to sound like I’m out of place, but you know, it’s not the same way of making friends in Mexico.

[00:22:20] Siebe Van Der Zee: It’s different.

[00:22:21] Indira Jeffrey: as making friends in the United States is different. And I used to miss a lot of my friends and I think it took me like three years to adjust. I still love my country. And I think when I speak about Mexico in makes me very proud and about my culture and about my heritage and when I tried to, you know, pass that to my kids.

But I’m here in the United States and I love my country. I love, you know, all the opportunities that you have. When you’re in this country to grow, to be yourself, to help others. And I’m very fortunate. I’m married to an American, so I know exactly how, you know, in my house, you know, you have the American side and the Mexican side, and my kids are sometimes I’ll mix up, but know, it’s fun.

But I love my country and I know that, you know, if I go to Mexico, I love my country too. So, it’s like a, you know, your heart is divided in two pieces, so it’s that’s what I meant. Like, you know, you can love two countries at the same time.

[00:23:40] Siebe Van Der Zee: I fully agree. I fully understand what you’re saying.

And it is that experience of living and working in two countries that are dear to you. It is possible to love two or perhaps more countries. I wonder sometimes. And I think of friends that I have from, you know, let’s say Europe, living in the United States, it does happen at a certain point in their lives when they’re a little bit older and perhaps, you know, looking at retirement that they decided to go back to their native country.

Is that something that you would consider or how do you look at.

[00:24:22] Indira Jeffrey: I don’t know.

Yes. You know, right now we are very happy in the United States, and we have a house in Mexico, so we can go back anytime we want. But my husband and I, we love to travel. So, and we are, very fortunate because he also is very flexible and I think we will be traveling, you know, when we retire from, I know perhaps having a home in another county.

I know.

[00:24:58] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, no, it makes and of course it’s very personal. It depends on a number of things. I don’t think it’s an automatic that people who have lived in another country than the country in which they were born, that they all decide at a certain age or point in their lives. Okay. Let’s go back to where we came from.

It’s going to happen that the country in which they were born has changed over time and, so different aspects. But, perhaps Indira, it goes back through that concept being a citizen of the world, right? It’s not restricted to the borders of a country. You can feel comfortable in Mexico.

You can feel comfortable in the United States. That’s perfectly alright.

[00:25:42] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. And I think these desire to, you know, be able to experience to new experiences. in the happened to me last year, I had to go to Peru for work and I felt like I was at home for two weeks. I don’t know. I think it’s just, you know, the way I see things like I feel comfortable, you know, for, of course you have to, you know, adjust a little bit in the beginning with them, you know, you try to be empathetic.

[00:26:20] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, it’s a process. It takes, you know, and it’s, I’ve done, let’s say seminars on that topic in the past, and it typically takes a year to get. Used to a country if it’s definitely different than your native country. And then in the second year, you start building friendships and you get used to it.

But I moved years ago to south America, and I lived in Montevideo, Uruguay. I realized. Immediately because I was staying at a hotel initially that dinner is not served until nine o’clock in the evening. And well maybe around six o’clock, seven o’clock I get a little hungry. Of course, I was not going to change the country, but then I also realized that after dinner, typically around 10 o’clock in the evening that on the streets of Montevideo. And I lived in the town of Carrasco that the people were walking around enjoying themselves because that’s how they live. And, they were, I would say that the nicest people I’ve ever met, their culture was different than what I was used to.

But when I think of it, wow, good for them and good for different ways of living than the ones that we were taught and grown up with. Very good. it makes you feel good to experience that and, you can decide what you prefer. I still like to have dinner around six o’clock, seven o’clock, but I understand if it’s nine o’clock in the evening, I’ll get used to it.

[00:27:51] Indira Jeffrey: Yeah, well, you know, that was one of the changes that had to adjust because of the same. In Mexico, Dinner is late, you know, it’s around eight or nine. And then after that, if you are close to a Plaza, you go outside, you know, do the Plaza and then you talk to friends and then you come back and then you go to bed like around 10, 10 or 11.

And this is because also the schedule for work. And well, I just took, had that schedule. You go to work at nine. Then you have a break, you know, lunch break that is two hours lunch break from two to four, and then you come back to work from four to seven, you know?

[00:28:39] Siebe Van Der Zee: And I got used to that. It was very nice in my experience.

It kind of, again, puts us forward to

[00:28:46] Lesson 7:     Learn to overcome cultural challenges.

[00:28:46] Siebe Van Der Zee: lesson number seven. Learn to overcome cultural challenges. You’re talking about this right now. Okay. We can talk about dinner time. How do you go about learning to deal with cultural differences, behaviours that are not the ones that you grew up with or used to? How do you go about learning that and perhaps accepting it as well?

Because some of it may be contradictory to the way people are raised in their own countries.

[00:29:17] Indira Jeffrey: Well, I can tell you that it’s. Two separate things. One in the personal level and in the other and professional level. And this is happening to me right now. I’m the manager for two teams, one in Chile in Peru.

And I’m from Mexico, of course. Right? So, we have three cultures, three different cultures, even though we speak the same language, and we have the same, you know, ethnical background and, you know, traditions in everything in the professional level, it can be challenging. but I think the main ingredient to success is just to, you know, you need to sit back.

And observe and see how you can, be part of the solution and not the problem. Because, my teams, I’m very grateful with my teams. They are amazing, but are there are sometimes that, you know, I don’t completely understand their behaviour, but then I’m like, okay, wait. So, I just need to, you know, rewind everything, the situation and try to communicate.

And this is what I do, you know, like, we have to communicate, I have to do these virtually, so it’s not like I can go to the next office and try to, you know, figure out or solve problems. I everything is virtual, you know, it has to be zoom. So, we. Talk a lot over the phone, but I’m mostly do virtual meetings so I can see, you know, the expression, facial expressions and the tone of voice and everything, to try to understand exactly what it is, the problem

Because we are a team, we it. So, yeah, it can be very challenging when you are dealing between cultures, but at the same time, it’s very rewarding because at the end, we are, you know, happy and satisfied with the outcome.

[00:31:30] Siebe Van Der Zee: Good points and I appreciate what you’re sharing.

[00:31:32] Lesson 8:     Empowering women means empowering whole communities

[00:31:32] Siebe Van Der Zee: The next lesson number eight and powering women means empowering whole communities and, for obvious reasons. I’m very curious about that. What you have to say. The point I like to make is that, in the United States, in business, we use the concept of it’s a glass ceiling.

Women are almost there and, in some cases, yes, they are successful in other cases. And I speak from my experience as a male. The ceiling is made out of plain cement. There is no way through at this moment. So, when you talk about your lesson, empowering women means empowering whole communities. Share with us, please.

Your thoughts on that?

[00:32:21] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Well, then main thing that I would like to share is that, you know, Usually women in most, all the cultures are the ones that, yes. Connect with other members of the family, many are the main connectors with their kids are the main connectors between the kids and the husband or the partner are the main connectors between their household in other households, you know, meaning neighbours or their family members.

So, I know that the family is the cell of the society, but I think the women are the cells of the family, you know, the point of contact. And if you help a woman in this case, let’s talk about business to start a business, to help these, to empower this woman, you are not empowering. Yes. That woman, you are empowering her, kids, her husband.

And also, because we, as women, we tend to share, you know, anything it will communicate. We’re more communicative. You know, if that person, that, that woman feels like she has something good to share, she will be sharing these with the neighbours. It would everybody that she knows. So, I think that’s, to me, it was very important to empower women.

And just want to, I have some statistics here and I can tell you that within these two years of pandemic, women open more business than men, and that was the 56% of women open business during the pandemic. also, the rate of a women owned businesses went up to 5%. in the United States.

And like, for example, also, in the United States women own 12.3 million businesses. It’s a lot.

[00:34:39] Siebe Van Der Zee: Wow.

[00:34:40] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Yeah. So, well we’re talking about the United States, but talking about Latin America also, it was an increase. of a women business owned. And mostly because of, we know we are in the digital era. So, a lot of women, they are taking advantage of internet, taking advantage of the social media platforms to show their showcase their business, to, you know, If they have any kind of service, you know, to, just say, you know, I am a consultant, I can help in this.

and that’s a way where, you know, if I feel very comfortable in saying that the dream builder program helping on, creating these wealth, this, empower on women.

[00:35:33] Siebe Van Der Zee: And you’re saying that successful women set an example for other women because that’s perhaps, a very important, guide as far as what women can do when they see other women being successful in their fields, in their trade.

[00:35:51] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. and this is because, you know, again, we tend to share, and also, we tend to look after, older men or women that are successful and you try to imitate also, in mostly because as a woman, you want to provide to get a better life or in this case, your kids or your family. So, I think you know, if you can set the expectations and be a role model to others, yes.

Go and do it. And this is for any new woman that is listening to this podcast, you know, it’s not about us. It’s about others.

[00:36:38] Lesson 9:     When staying in a place is painful, you need to move to somewhere else.

[00:36:38] Siebe Van Der Zee: I appreciate you say that’s a powerful point. Thank you for that. moving on and that’s perhaps more challenging lesson number nine, when staying in a place is painful.

You need to move to somewhere else. it sounds like common sense, but that’s of course a very difficult could be a very difficult situation for people, but women in particular.

[00:37:04] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. well, unfortunately, when I talk about Latin America, women, don’t have as many opportunities as women in the United States to move forward or to, you know, be able to support their family when they have families or themselves.

And sometimes, you know, when you are staying in one place, let’s say in a personnel situation that you are not comfortable is painful. Also, when you are in a professional situation and you are no happy, it’s painful, right? So, you have to move somewhere else. And this, is linked to my first comment when my, that my, dad said, you know, if you don’t move, nothing will happen.

So that’s something that I learned. And also, you know, with some of my, personal experiences that if you are in pain. And it’s not like in pain, like, body pains, but you know, in pain, meaning like, you are not happy. You need to move and try to find help or try and try get together with friends that they can help you.

[00:38:27] Siebe Van Der Zee: And you’re saying also, never give up or because in some cases, of course, women can be in a very painful situation, but the alternative is not an easy solution. It’s hard to find sometimes how to get out of that current situation.

[00:38:48] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Yes. That’s my advice, my personal advice then never give up.

I think, life give us a lot of Ways to find out our way out of certain situations, but sometimes we have these blindfold in our eyes that we don’t want to see it. and even though you just try to. Talk to yourself and try to get out of that situation, whichever situation it is. Never give up and keep trying into what exactly you want your life to become.

[00:39:26] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah. And in that sense, perhaps be honest with yourself, right? If you are an unhappy, in a situation, you have to find a way to a better situation. No matter what.

[00:39:38] Indira Jeffrey: You know, to me, honesty is the main value of a human being. Because if you are not honest with yourself or you are not honest to others.

I don’t think you can go ahead in life because sooner or later, you know, whatever it is going to come and bite you. Yeah. So, I think you need to be honest, always in all means.

[00:40:06] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, well, it’s a serious issue. Of course. A good lesson.

[00:40:10] Lesson 10:   Slow down and enjoy life

[00:40:10] Siebe Van Der Zee: So, talking about obviously lesson number nine, there are some very serious aspects to that. and I. Looking at number 10. And that puts a smile on my face because lesson number 10, Indira is slow down and enjoy life.

I like your side of that story.

[00:40:31] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Well, you know, when you were 30, you are rushing all the time. I don’t know you, but I remember, you know, I was rushing on, trying to go places. And when I was thirty, I moved to the United States, you know, trying to find my place on earth.

And I don’t know. I think I was very busy, and I never thought of slowing down. I thought that, you know, life has to be like a go go all the time and trying sometimes to compete with others. And I think, you know, I’m almost 50 years old at this point in my life. I just want to slow down and enjoy life because there are a lot of things that I miss.

I just, what I think, even though I travel a lot and I had a lot of it was being very busy, but now I think what change that perception in me, were my kids.

[00:41:38] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yes.

[00:41:40] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. I have two kids a 7- and 9-year-old and they are super busy, but they also have another perception. They like to be outside. They like to do with sports.

They like to draw, you know, I never before will, you know, sit down and try to do some drawing with no, because I didn’t have time. And it’s something so relaxing to do, or, you know, read a book also, you know, it’s just like, you as a human being, you have to stop and sit back and think what if what you’re doing is helping your mental health.

And also, it is helping you to grow as a human being.

[00:42:31] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, no, you’re a busy person you’re involved. Like you said, you travel a lot. Does that mean that you seriously plan time to be able to slow down and enjoy life? Is that it is something that you have to put on your calendar on your schedule?

[00:42:50] Indira Jeffrey: I think it came as an awareness because I started having a lot of back pain and stress and headaches. And as soon as you started slowing down, you know, those pains started disappearing. So, I think it has to do with stress. And it’s slowing down. It’s not just like, not doing nothing because, you know, it’s just like maybe put aside some time for yourself to mean to be in that activity, to be, you know, like for example, if you’re listening.

music or something yes. To be on that. no multitasking. Yes. Focused on that activity and know, try to enjoy.

[00:43:39] Siebe Van Der Zee: I know it’s important. Of course, a lot of people learn that lesson. And at the same time, you know, when I think of. COVID period that took a good two years.

we had to make adjustments it was not easy to relax. and now that we are in D hopefully recovery period, it’s not easy because we have to make up to a certain extent what we were not able to do in the previous two years. So, As you can tell I’m struggling with it as well, right? Because you have to find that moment of peace and you refer it to your children.

Which typically, you know, for many people at the top of the hill when it comes to distraction in a good, positive way, you have to be, you know, involved with your kids, et cetera, but also, to really plan it in your schedule that you have to give yourself a break. You have to be able to sleep enough. If people don’t have enough sleep, it’s very difficult to feel relaxed and get things done.

Right?

[00:44:47] Indira Jeffrey: Yeah. And you know, also I think technology is not allowing us to be present. I think, too much, social media, and you know, just being disconnected from the real world, not helping, you know, mental health. I think we have to be when we have to, again, learn how to be present.

 I mean, you know, with your kids or with your friends, because I see sometimes, I try always, when I’m talking to someone just to put my phone away and to be pressing, you know, to give that person my whole attention, because I think it’s also respect.

[00:45:30] Siebe Van Der Zee: I would agree. I would agree. I’m so appreciative for your 10 lessons.

We learned a lot from you. But I’m also curious Indira. If there perhaps is a lesson in life in your career that you have unlearned that you decided I got to do it as different, I got to do this, you know, forget about this, whatever it is, anything unlearned,

[00:45:52] Indira Jeffrey: I think. Yes. sometimes you have to be more aware of, people because you know, I’m a person that trusts right away. I give the benefit of the doubt. But and because of that, I’ve been in situations that are not very pleasant, meaning, relationship with, you know, partners or, you know, and I think yeah, you, you shouldn’t be. I. to me, I need to think twice before I, agree to bring people to my life.

It’s just that. And like I say before, to me, honesty is very important, but also trust no people has to be trustworthy and I need to learn, you know, How to, slow down and not trust on people like right away.

[00:46:49] Siebe Van Der Zee: Is that something that you have truly unlearned or are you still working on that?

[00:46:55] Indira Jeffrey: I’m still working on it.

Yeah. Yeah.

[00:47:00] Siebe Van Der Zee: So, you’re still sort of fall for people in the sense that you want to trust them and feel comfortable, but you need to be more careful perhaps.

[00:47:09] Indira Jeffrey: Yes, exactly. Yeah. Yes. a lesson, you know, like, sometimes, people they may think, oh, you know, just give the benefit of the doubt to everybody.

No, you have to, you know, be careful because not everybody is like, like you think you are.

[00:47:25] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah. Well, wonderful. And thank you. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom with our global audience. in closing, you’ve been listening to the international podcast, 10 lessons it took me 50 years to learn sponsored by PDF the professional development forum. PDF provides webinars, social media discussions, podcasts, and parties and best of all it’s all for free. For more information, please visit the professionaldevelopmentforum.org. Our guest today was Indira Jeffrey from Phoenix, Arizona, from Mexico, from Latin America, a global leader for women, empowerment, sharing her 10 lessons it took her 50 years to learn.

And to our audience, don’t forget to leave us a review or a comment. You can also email us at podcast@10lessonslearned.com. That is podcast. The number 10, lessons learned.com. Go ahead and subscribe. So, you don’t miss any future episodes. And remember this podcast makes the world wiser and wiser podcast by podcast. Lesson by lesson. Thank you. And stay safe.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum, which office insights, community or discussions, podcasts, parties, anything you want here, but they’re unique and it’s all free online. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com that’s podcast, 10 number one zero, lessons learned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

 
Indira Jeffrey

Indira Jeffrey – Empowering Women Means Empowering Whole Communities

Indira Jeffrey is a global leader for women empowerment, strategic planner, and innovator. She shares her wisdom and tells us why you should " Get out of your comfort zone", how you can "Learn to overcome cultural challenges" and how "Empowering women empowers whole communities" Hosted by Siebe Van Der Zee

About Indira Jeffery

Indira Jeffrey is a global leader for women empowerment, strategic planner, and innovator.

Indira has worn several hats during her more than 25 years of experience, such as business consultant, project manager, adjunct professor for a high education institution, private banker, and paralegal.

Currently, Indira works as a program manager for Latin America for Thunderbird School of Global Management, directing the teams in Chile and Peru on the promotion, awareness, and expansion of the business program DreamBuilder focusing on underserved communities. During her tenure at Thunderbird, Indira so far has helped empower more than forty thousand women worldwide.

In November 2021, during Indira’s business trip to Peru, the Mayor of Yanahuara, Angelo Huerta, named her, an honorary guest of this municipality. This distinction is the first made to a foreign collaborator for the DreamBuilder program’s contribution to that region’s economic development.

Indira also is a partner at Sunburst Strategies, LLC. As a business consultant for this firm, she manages strategic planning, digital marketing, and international operations.

Indira has a solid 16-year career in banking and finance with Fortune 500 companies in the USA and Mexico (Charles Schwab, JP Morgan Chase, and HSBC), with Charles Schwab Co. & Inc she held several roles such as Manager Banking Operations and Risk Analyst, ensuring compliance with department policies, procedures, objectives, and strategies. Additionally, Indira was a member of the operations team that tested the remote deposit capture implementation projects.

Academically, she holds a Global MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management & Tecnologico de Monterrey, Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, Certificate in Business Affairs, by Group Sup de Co, La Rochelle, France, Small Business Leadership Certificate by Arizona State University, Circular Economy by Ellen McArthur Foundation and Project Management for Development by the Interamerican Development Bank.

Indira serves as a member of the Board of Advisors to the government of Guanajuato, Mexico, at the Secretariat for Migrants and Foreign Affairs. In addition, she participated in binational trade missions Arizona – Mexico and has organized international trade events.

Indira is an active member of the community and is a member of several organizations such as the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Global Chamber, Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency, recently she joined the Phoenix East Valley Partnership.

Indira’s goal is to give back to the community to make the world a better place through education, economic development, and sustainability.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1. Get out of your comfort zone. 05:10
Lesson 2. Learn about other cultures, learn another language. 07:11
Lesson 3. Put yourself in the shoes of others. 10:39
Lesson 4. Why changing careers can help you to find your purpose in life.14:14

Lesson 5. Passing on your knowledge to the less fortunate can be a rewarding experience. 19:30
Lesson 6. You can love two countries at the same time. 21:35
Lesson 7. Learn to overcome cultural challenges. 28:46
Lesson 8. Empowering women means empowering whole communities 31:32  
Lesson 9. When staying in a place is painful, you need to move to somewhere else. 36:38
Lesson 10. Slow down and enjoy life. 40:10

Indira Jeffrey – Empowering women means empowering whole communities

[00:00:06] Siebe Van Der Zee: Hello and welcome to our podcast. 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn where we talk to businesspeople, journalists, ambassadors, artists, sports heroes, leaders, and luminaries from all over the world. In other words, we will be talking to interesting people about their interesting experiences. My name Siebe Van Der Zee and I’m your host.

I’m originally from the Netherlands happily residing into beautiful grand canyon state of Arizona in the United States. I’m also known as the Dutchman in the desert. I hope you will enjoy this program. This program is sponsored by PDF the professional development for. You can learn more about PDF at professionaldevelopmentforum.org.

Our guest today is Indira Jeffrey. Indira a was born and raised in Guanajuato in Mexico. She is the program manager for Latin America at the Thunderbird school of global management at Arizona state university in Phoenix, Arizona. In this role, she is guiding teams in Chile and in Peru, on promotion have a business program called dream builder with a special focus on underserved communities.

We’ll be talking about that a little bit more.

Like so many of us, Indira has had multiple careers. She started in banking and finance, working in Mexico and in the United States for financial institutions like Charles Schwab, JP Morgan Chase, and HSBC. you can find further details over her background on our website, 10 lessons learned.com.

Indira is considered a global leader for women empowerment, especially for women that live in underserved regions. Can you imagine the lessons that she has learned in her life and in her career? Welcome, Indira thank you for joining us.

[00:01:58] Indira Jeffrey: Thank you very much for the invitation, Siebe. I’m very happy to be here today, in your podcast, I admire the work you do.

And because you spread the word about experiences of Common, people like myself.

[00:02:16] Siebe Van Der Zee: Well, it’s wonderful to have you. And I am curious about the dream builder program. Perhaps you can share a little bit about what that means and what a stands for.

[00:02:27] Indira Jeffrey: Absolutely. Yes. The dream builder program is a program that is a sponsor, and it was funded by Freeport McMoRan in collaboration with Thunderbird school of global management.

The program is started in 2013 and the goal, to create this program was to benefit the women. That were the wives of the miners in Peru. And in Chile, of course, the mines are located in vulnerable communities. And the reason the program was created also was to improve the economic in those areas, with the creation of these small businesses.

[00:03:15] Siebe Van Der Zee: Wow. there’s a story and we’re going to obviously hear more during your 10 lessons, but that’s fascinating. That’s such a big topic to talk about. So, thank you. before we get into the 10 lessons, I’m curious with your experience with all the things you have done. If you think of yourself as a 30-year-old, are there any lessons that you have learned that you would like to share with yourself as if you were 30 right now?

Which could be

[00:03:43] Indira Jeffrey: yes. Thank you for the compliment. Yes, actually, you know? Yes, because of the current economy, I say I will buy real estate first. Yes. It’s one of the lessons I invest more in myself, and I wouldn’t stop traveling.

[00:04:04] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah. I liked that a lot, buy real estates. I think I understand what you’re saying, even though we don’t know what the market does.

Right. It moves up. It can move down, but, perhaps over time. You have experienced, like I have that real estate could well be a solid investment for the longer term.

[00:04:27] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. But you know, when you’re 30, you don’t think very often about the future. I think when you’re 30, you are just, you know, trying to, you know, find a stable job, start a family.

And if you have a family, you are, you know, in men, it matters, on, you know, all the things that you have to do for your family. It’s not very often that, you know, a 30-year-old will think on buying real estate. Right.

[00:04:56] Siebe Van Der Zee: It’s true, but it’s a good lesson and I appreciate your sharing that with our global audience, because it makes sense.

Right. So, if we look at, your 10 lessons and, I see a lot of wisdom in there.

[00:05:10] Lesson 1:     Get out of your comfort zone.

[00:05:10] Siebe Van Der Zee: let’s start with number one, lesson, number one, get out of your comfort zone. easier said than done, perhaps,

[00:05:17] Indira Jeffrey: you know, like you say before, I’m originally from Mexico and I moved to the United States in 2003. that was a big change because, you know, I had to learn a new language, being immersed in a new culture, a new way of working.

I started working right away with an attorney and there were a lot of changes, but since I remember, and I’ve been always. Out of my comfort zone. And because of that, I have a lot of, good things coming into my life. I also have challenges, but I think is the best thing a person can do. Just, get out of the comfort zone and be able to be flexible as well, you know, to welcome new things into your life, because if you don’t have that mindset of, and preparedness to get new things into your life, your life is going to be like, horizontal line.

that is okay. Right. For some people, but yes, you know, you can have a lot of opportunities if you get out of your comfort zone.

[00:06:29] Siebe Van Der Zee: In some situations, and I, as you know, I’ve lived in Latin America as well. In some situations, it is not that easy to change because the environment people around you may not give you the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. Is that something that you recognize?

[00:06:49] Indira Jeffrey: I do, but I always, thought that, and this is because my father wants told me if you don’t move, nothing will happen. So, I think if it is now a hope, you know, within your environment, we just need to move.

[00:07:07] Siebe Van Der Zee: Nope. I like that. Yeah. getting out of your comfort zone.

[00:07:11] Lesson 2:     Learn about other cultures, learn another language

[00:07:11] Siebe Van Der Zee: Lesson, number two, learn about other cultures. Learn another language.

[00:07:17] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. I’m originally from Guanajuato. Guanajuato is, a state in the middle of the country of Mexico and, it’s a very touristic place because it’s where the independence of Mexico started. So, we have a lot of architectural colonial architecture. We have, a lot of touristic places. And I remember since I was a child, you know, seeing people from different cultures, they came to visit Guanajuato.

So, I was in that environment. You know, talking to, and making friends to Americans, to Canadians, to people from Europe. And I always was very interested in other cultures. being on that environment makes you a citizen of the world. You don’t see any differences, you know, because someone, you know, speaking in one language or in another language. But if you have that mindset, it is very easy to start opening doors for yourself.

And that helped me a lot when I came to the United States, because in here, you know, of course, like I say before, I had to be willing to speak to a different people from different countries as well. So, it was not that difficult for me. and right after I started a master’s degree in Thunderbird. So helped me more to understand that when you are able in your mind is open to other culture and then you have another language or two or three or more languages, In the professional life and in the personal life are open to you more doors.

So those are, you know, experiences. Those are opportunities that you may have if you have these two things, you know, in your life.

[00:09:17] Siebe Van Der Zee: I think it’s a very important point that you’re making. I can understand that it may be intimidating to learn another language. I’m sure you and I, when we learned other languages, we made mistakes.

And in some cases, when you start out learning a language, people make fun of you. nobody likes that. Right. But more importantly, you have to get through that barrier, and you learn. And once you learn and understand, I agree and we use the same line, become a citizen of the world. I think that’s very important for every person to understand that human behaviour can be different in different parts of the world.

And the best way to learn is to learn their language.

[00:10:06] Indira Jeffrey: Yes, I think it’s very important. And mostly nowadays, when you see a lot of you know, political, economical, and those, the issues that are around the world, we both know like right now, what is happening in in Europe is just the. You know, we need to understand each other.

We need to be more empathetic to each other.

[00:10:33] Siebe Van Der Zee: Sorry. Didn’t mean to interrupt, but that looks like it leads to the third lesson. Right?

[00:10:39] Lesson 3:     Put yourself in the shoes of others

[00:10:39] Siebe Van Der Zee: Lesson number three, put yourself in the shoes of others. You learn the language. And it gives you an opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of others. Is that the lesson that you are sharing?

[00:10:51] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. that has also, you know, relation to what you just said about that. If, you are, you know, in the juice of all others, you have to be willing to listen. I think this is very important. And that happened to me, you know, at the beginning, when I started to learn this new language English, I realized that people, they were not listening, I was trying to communicate with them, you know, putting all my effort because you know, when you’re learning a second language, you have to translate everything in your mind.

It has to make sense to you first, but then you have to make sense to the other person. So, Your brain is working like a hundred percent or 105%, and, in, at the same time, you have to be looking at the eyes of that person at the lips of the person of the gestures. Like many things are going on in one second.

And I noticed that people, they were not very patient with me. And then you got the the look like, “what are you talking about?”.

[00:12:02] Siebe Van Der Zee: Well, and I have to laugh in a way because nonverbal communication in different countries can be extremely important. But if you don’t pick up the signs or you make certain gestures that are unacceptable in their culture, then obviously that, that can be a little bit awkward,

but it is an important point. Yes.

[00:12:28] Indira Jeffrey: Yeah. But I think it’s important also, you know, when you are in a communication with someone, yes to relax, you know, if you are not understanding what this person is trying to say, just, you need to relax yourself first. And I think, it is fair to ask or to say, you know, can you slowdown or what, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say, but you know, not in a mean way.

Yes. You know, in a nice way. I think when you relax yourself and you become this nice person there, the feedback you’re getting is going to be better.

[00:13:12] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah. it’s perhaps also interesting to note where in certain countries, people will learn other languages because perhaps people that are visiting their own countries will not learn Spanish or in my case, Dutch, can you believe that?

So, let’s say Dutch people. They speak typically four or five languages because nobody wants to learn Dutch Spanish, I would say is a little different, but still, it’s not that everybody speaks Spanish in the United States.

[00:13:46] Indira Jeffrey: Nope, not everybody. And I really would like that one day, you know, in some countries in Europe, and Spanish will be the second language, like official second language, because I think, you know, we are neighbours with Mexico and Latin America.

Yeah, we will, we could get some much, we will be better neighbours.

[00:14:11] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, interesting perspective for the future, of course.

[00:14:14] Lesson 4:     Why changing careers can help you to find your purpose in life

[00:14:14] Siebe Van Der Zee: Looking at careers and lesson number four, why changing careers can help you find your purpose in life. And I think here of women and especially women in Latin America changing careers can help you find purpose in life.

How do you connect that?

[00:14:33] Indira Jeffrey: Well, you know, working with Thunderbird for good in that this program, dream builder, I’ve been able to speak to many women in Latin America mainly, and there, they don’t have differences because all of them, they want to be the bread winner. All of them. They want to provide a better life for their families.

And that has a good feeling to me. This is what I’m doing right now. My previous experience was in banking. Yeah. It was a very stressful environment. And I thought, you know, I could be you know, you know, improving my life and be rich and be, you know, because that, industry gives you a lot of opportunity to make money, but I was not happy.

 My, my insight was like, you know, because it’s the way, it’s the way I am. I’m a person that likes to help others. And of course, I was helping my customers, but it was not the same impact that I’m doing right now with this program. And to me changing careers, going from the banking industry.

To you know, these non-profit industry, it’s given me more meaning to my life. now I can tell that, I found my purpose in life that is, you know, help others to improve their lives.

[00:16:10] Siebe Van Der Zee: When you started your career in banking, in finance. Was that already on your mind that you said, okay, I’m going to be in this field of finance, but at some point, I want to find something that fits me more.

Wasn’t a plan, or was it sort of an awareness that occurred when you were already in banking for a number of years?

[00:16:35] Indira Jeffrey: No. actually I start, in the banking industry in Mexico and, I worked for three banks in there, but I always had this curiosity of becoming a consultant business consult.

Because again, you know, I want, I like to help others. So, I was thinking maybe, you know, if I’m a consultant, I will be helping people in a different way than being in a bank. And in 2000 is when I started my own consulting company in Mexico. And I started working for the government in the development, the economic development area.

And that time they asked me. To help the north area of the state. Guanajuato in that time, that was one of the poorest areas, the poorest regions. And I found that, the 80% of the population, they were women. So, my assignment was to go to those areas and to create groups and teach them, train them about business topics.

When I went to those areas, I, you know, really warmed my heart the way that they received me and the way that they were willing to learn, because the, 80% of those women. They had husbands that they go into the United States and some of them, they never came back or communicate with them. So, they have this situation where they have to do something to bring money so they can support their families. And all of them, they were able to create things with their hands. You know, they created hand crafts and I organize them. and they learn about marketing, about sales and they were able to create, co-operatives. And, you know, those were 200 women that. After, almost a year of training and learning and, you know, willing to do something for themselves, they were able to sell their products to, well, some of them locally, nationally, and internationally.

So that project gave me a lot of, insight. And I felt like that was my purpose at that moment, but it was after, you know, I stay with the banking industry for years.

[00:19:17] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, powerful. and we’re talking about of course, the lesson that you learned and obviously it’s a lesson for others that changing career can help you find your purpose.

[00:19:30] Lesson 5:     Passing on your knowledge to the less fortunate can be a rewarding experience.

[00:19:30] Siebe Van Der Zee: If I look at lesson number five, it is very much connected to what you’re saying. passing on your knowledge to the less fortunate can be a rewarding experience. it’s something that you learned changing careers gave you purpose in life and purpose in life for you also means passing on your knowledge to the less fortunate, but perhaps you can share a little bit more on that lesson number five.

[00:19:59] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Well, you know, I’ve learned myself that if you have a gift, any gift, you know, maybe you. You are very good on learning other languages or you’re very good on business. You’re good. on, you know, sales, any gift that you have as a human being, if you pass it to others meaning through training, to teaching, to, you know, being mentor to others.

That can be a very rewarding experience to yourself as a human being.

[00:20:38] Siebe Van Der Zee: And it helps you and it helps others.

[00:20:42] Indira Jeffrey: Yes, exactly. Yes. and I think that when you help others, you are helping to build these community as well. Because you’re passing something that is good, you’re passing your experience and, you can maybe also be a volunteer, you know, you don’t have to because every human being, has its own meaning to be in this world.

Right. but if you are able to volunteer. For those organizations and help the less fortunate, you know, it’s a way of passing also, your knowledge.

[00:21:21] Siebe Van Der Zee: Absolutely. Great story right there.

we’re talking today with Indira Jeffrey, a global leader for women empowerment, with a strong focus on Latin America, sharing her 10 lessons learned.

[00:21:35] Lesson 6: You can love two countries at the same time

[00:21:35] Siebe Van Der Zee: In the next lesson number six, you can love two countries at the same time.

I think I know what you mean, but please explain.

[00:21:46] Indira Jeffrey: Well, do you know when I moved from Mexico to the United States, I was 30 years old. Exactly there, years old. it took me time to get used to the United States on everything. Yeah. Culture, a way of doing business. you name it. Friendships and, or the American how can I say that?

Because I don’t want to sound like I’m out of place, but you know, it’s not the same way of making friends in Mexico.

[00:22:20] Siebe Van Der Zee: It’s different.

[00:22:21] Indira Jeffrey: as making friends in the United States is different. And I used to miss a lot of my friends and I think it took me like three years to adjust. I still love my country. And I think when I speak about Mexico in makes me very proud and about my culture and about my heritage and when I tried to, you know, pass that to my kids.

But I’m here in the United States and I love my country. I love, you know, all the opportunities that you have. When you’re in this country to grow, to be yourself, to help others. And I’m very fortunate. I’m married to an American, so I know exactly how, you know, in my house, you know, you have the American side and the Mexican side, and my kids are sometimes I’ll mix up, but know, it’s fun.

But I love my country and I know that, you know, if I go to Mexico, I love my country too. So, it’s like a, you know, your heart is divided in two pieces, so it’s that’s what I meant. Like, you know, you can love two countries at the same time.

[00:23:40] Siebe Van Der Zee: I fully agree. I fully understand what you’re saying.

And it is that experience of living and working in two countries that are dear to you. It is possible to love two or perhaps more countries. I wonder sometimes. And I think of friends that I have from, you know, let’s say Europe, living in the United States, it does happen at a certain point in their lives when they’re a little bit older and perhaps, you know, looking at retirement that they decided to go back to their native country.

Is that something that you would consider or how do you look at.

[00:24:22] Indira Jeffrey: I don’t know.

Yes. You know, right now we are very happy in the United States, and we have a house in Mexico, so we can go back anytime we want. But my husband and I, we love to travel. So, and we are, very fortunate because he also is very flexible and I think we will be traveling, you know, when we retire from, I know perhaps having a home in another county.

I know.

[00:24:58] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, no, it makes and of course it’s very personal. It depends on a number of things. I don’t think it’s an automatic that people who have lived in another country than the country in which they were born, that they all decide at a certain age or point in their lives. Okay. Let’s go back to where we came from.

It’s going to happen that the country in which they were born has changed over time and, so different aspects. But, perhaps Indira, it goes back through that concept being a citizen of the world, right? It’s not restricted to the borders of a country. You can feel comfortable in Mexico.

You can feel comfortable in the United States. That’s perfectly alright.

[00:25:42] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. And I think these desire to, you know, be able to experience to new experiences. in the happened to me last year, I had to go to Peru for work and I felt like I was at home for two weeks. I don’t know. I think it’s just, you know, the way I see things like I feel comfortable, you know, for, of course you have to, you know, adjust a little bit in the beginning with them, you know, you try to be empathetic.

[00:26:20] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, it’s a process. It takes, you know, and it’s, I’ve done, let’s say seminars on that topic in the past, and it typically takes a year to get. Used to a country if it’s definitely different than your native country. And then in the second year, you start building friendships and you get used to it.

But I moved years ago to south America, and I lived in Montevideo, Uruguay. I realized. Immediately because I was staying at a hotel initially that dinner is not served until nine o’clock in the evening. And well maybe around six o’clock, seven o’clock I get a little hungry. Of course, I was not going to change the country, but then I also realized that after dinner, typically around 10 o’clock in the evening that on the streets of Montevideo. And I lived in the town of Carrasco that the people were walking around enjoying themselves because that’s how they live. And, they were, I would say that the nicest people I’ve ever met, their culture was different than what I was used to.

But when I think of it, wow, good for them and good for different ways of living than the ones that we were taught and grown up with. Very good. it makes you feel good to experience that and, you can decide what you prefer. I still like to have dinner around six o’clock, seven o’clock, but I understand if it’s nine o’clock in the evening, I’ll get used to it.

[00:27:51] Indira Jeffrey: Yeah, well, you know, that was one of the changes that had to adjust because of the same. In Mexico, Dinner is late, you know, it’s around eight or nine. And then after that, if you are close to a Plaza, you go outside, you know, do the Plaza and then you talk to friends and then you come back and then you go to bed like around 10, 10 or 11.

And this is because also the schedule for work. And well, I just took, had that schedule. You go to work at nine. Then you have a break, you know, lunch break that is two hours lunch break from two to four, and then you come back to work from four to seven, you know?

[00:28:39] Siebe Van Der Zee: And I got used to that. It was very nice in my experience.

It kind of, again, puts us forward to

[00:28:46] Lesson 7:     Learn to overcome cultural challenges.

[00:28:46] Siebe Van Der Zee: lesson number seven. Learn to overcome cultural challenges. You’re talking about this right now. Okay. We can talk about dinner time. How do you go about learning to deal with cultural differences, behaviours that are not the ones that you grew up with or used to? How do you go about learning that and perhaps accepting it as well?

Because some of it may be contradictory to the way people are raised in their own countries.

[00:29:17] Indira Jeffrey: Well, I can tell you that it’s. Two separate things. One in the personal level and in the other and professional level. And this is happening to me right now. I’m the manager for two teams, one in Chile in Peru.

And I’m from Mexico, of course. Right? So, we have three cultures, three different cultures, even though we speak the same language, and we have the same, you know, ethnical background and, you know, traditions in everything in the professional level, it can be challenging. but I think the main ingredient to success is just to, you know, you need to sit back.

And observe and see how you can, be part of the solution and not the problem. Because, my teams, I’m very grateful with my teams. They are amazing, but are there are sometimes that, you know, I don’t completely understand their behaviour, but then I’m like, okay, wait. So, I just need to, you know, rewind everything, the situation and try to communicate.

And this is what I do, you know, like, we have to communicate, I have to do these virtually, so it’s not like I can go to the next office and try to, you know, figure out or solve problems. I everything is virtual, you know, it has to be zoom. So, we. Talk a lot over the phone, but I’m mostly do virtual meetings so I can see, you know, the expression, facial expressions and the tone of voice and everything, to try to understand exactly what it is, the problem

Because we are a team, we it. So, yeah, it can be very challenging when you are dealing between cultures, but at the same time, it’s very rewarding because at the end, we are, you know, happy and satisfied with the outcome.

[00:31:30] Siebe Van Der Zee: Good points and I appreciate what you’re sharing.

[00:31:32] Lesson 8:     Empowering women means empowering whole communities

[00:31:32] Siebe Van Der Zee: The next lesson number eight and powering women means empowering whole communities and, for obvious reasons. I’m very curious about that. What you have to say. The point I like to make is that, in the United States, in business, we use the concept of it’s a glass ceiling.

Women are almost there and, in some cases, yes, they are successful in other cases. And I speak from my experience as a male. The ceiling is made out of plain cement. There is no way through at this moment. So, when you talk about your lesson, empowering women means empowering whole communities. Share with us, please.

Your thoughts on that?

[00:32:21] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Well, then main thing that I would like to share is that, you know, Usually women in most, all the cultures are the ones that, yes. Connect with other members of the family, many are the main connectors with their kids are the main connectors between the kids and the husband or the partner are the main connectors between their household in other households, you know, meaning neighbours or their family members.

So, I know that the family is the cell of the society, but I think the women are the cells of the family, you know, the point of contact. And if you help a woman in this case, let’s talk about business to start a business, to help these, to empower this woman, you are not empowering. Yes. That woman, you are empowering her, kids, her husband.

And also, because we, as women, we tend to share, you know, anything it will communicate. We’re more communicative. You know, if that person, that, that woman feels like she has something good to share, she will be sharing these with the neighbours. It would everybody that she knows. So, I think that’s, to me, it was very important to empower women.

And just want to, I have some statistics here and I can tell you that within these two years of pandemic, women open more business than men, and that was the 56% of women open business during the pandemic. also, the rate of a women owned businesses went up to 5%. in the United States.

And like, for example, also, in the United States women own 12.3 million businesses. It’s a lot.

[00:34:39] Siebe Van Der Zee: Wow.

[00:34:40] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Yeah. So, well we’re talking about the United States, but talking about Latin America also, it was an increase. of a women business owned. And mostly because of, we know we are in the digital era. So, a lot of women, they are taking advantage of internet, taking advantage of the social media platforms to show their showcase their business, to, you know, If they have any kind of service, you know, to, just say, you know, I am a consultant, I can help in this.

and that’s a way where, you know, if I feel very comfortable in saying that the dream builder program helping on, creating these wealth, this, empower on women.

[00:35:33] Siebe Van Der Zee: And you’re saying that successful women set an example for other women because that’s perhaps, a very important, guide as far as what women can do when they see other women being successful in their fields, in their trade.

[00:35:51] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. and this is because, you know, again, we tend to share, and also, we tend to look after, older men or women that are successful and you try to imitate also, in mostly because as a woman, you want to provide to get a better life or in this case, your kids or your family. So, I think you know, if you can set the expectations and be a role model to others, yes.

Go and do it. And this is for any new woman that is listening to this podcast, you know, it’s not about us. It’s about others.

[00:36:38] Lesson 9:     When staying in a place is painful, you need to move to somewhere else.

[00:36:38] Siebe Van Der Zee: I appreciate you say that’s a powerful point. Thank you for that. moving on and that’s perhaps more challenging lesson number nine, when staying in a place is painful.

You need to move to somewhere else. it sounds like common sense, but that’s of course a very difficult could be a very difficult situation for people, but women in particular.

[00:37:04] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. well, unfortunately, when I talk about Latin America, women, don’t have as many opportunities as women in the United States to move forward or to, you know, be able to support their family when they have families or themselves.

And sometimes, you know, when you are staying in one place, let’s say in a personnel situation that you are not comfortable is painful. Also, when you are in a professional situation and you are no happy, it’s painful, right? So, you have to move somewhere else. And this, is linked to my first comment when my, that my, dad said, you know, if you don’t move, nothing will happen.

So that’s something that I learned. And also, you know, with some of my, personal experiences that if you are in pain. And it’s not like in pain, like, body pains, but you know, in pain, meaning like, you are not happy. You need to move and try to find help or try and try get together with friends that they can help you.

[00:38:27] Siebe Van Der Zee: And you’re saying also, never give up or because in some cases, of course, women can be in a very painful situation, but the alternative is not an easy solution. It’s hard to find sometimes how to get out of that current situation.

[00:38:48] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Yes. That’s my advice, my personal advice then never give up.

I think, life give us a lot of Ways to find out our way out of certain situations, but sometimes we have these blindfold in our eyes that we don’t want to see it. and even though you just try to. Talk to yourself and try to get out of that situation, whichever situation it is. Never give up and keep trying into what exactly you want your life to become.

[00:39:26] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah. And in that sense, perhaps be honest with yourself, right? If you are an unhappy, in a situation, you have to find a way to a better situation. No matter what.

[00:39:38] Indira Jeffrey: You know, to me, honesty is the main value of a human being. Because if you are not honest with yourself or you are not honest to others.

I don’t think you can go ahead in life because sooner or later, you know, whatever it is going to come and bite you. Yeah. So, I think you need to be honest, always in all means.

[00:40:06] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, well, it’s a serious issue. Of course. A good lesson.

[00:40:10] Lesson 10:   Slow down and enjoy life

[00:40:10] Siebe Van Der Zee: So, talking about obviously lesson number nine, there are some very serious aspects to that. and I. Looking at number 10. And that puts a smile on my face because lesson number 10, Indira is slow down and enjoy life.

I like your side of that story.

[00:40:31] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. Well, you know, when you were 30, you are rushing all the time. I don’t know you, but I remember, you know, I was rushing on, trying to go places. And when I was thirty, I moved to the United States, you know, trying to find my place on earth.

And I don’t know. I think I was very busy, and I never thought of slowing down. I thought that, you know, life has to be like a go go all the time and trying sometimes to compete with others. And I think, you know, I’m almost 50 years old at this point in my life. I just want to slow down and enjoy life because there are a lot of things that I miss.

I just, what I think, even though I travel a lot and I had a lot of it was being very busy, but now I think what change that perception in me, were my kids.

[00:41:38] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yes.

[00:41:40] Indira Jeffrey: Yes. I have two kids a 7- and 9-year-old and they are super busy, but they also have another perception. They like to be outside. They like to do with sports.

They like to draw, you know, I never before will, you know, sit down and try to do some drawing with no, because I didn’t have time. And it’s something so relaxing to do, or, you know, read a book also, you know, it’s just like, you as a human being, you have to stop and sit back and think what if what you’re doing is helping your mental health.

And also, it is helping you to grow as a human being.

[00:42:31] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah, no, you’re a busy person you’re involved. Like you said, you travel a lot. Does that mean that you seriously plan time to be able to slow down and enjoy life? Is that it is something that you have to put on your calendar on your schedule?

[00:42:50] Indira Jeffrey: I think it came as an awareness because I started having a lot of back pain and stress and headaches. And as soon as you started slowing down, you know, those pains started disappearing. So, I think it has to do with stress. And it’s slowing down. It’s not just like, not doing nothing because, you know, it’s just like maybe put aside some time for yourself to mean to be in that activity, to be, you know, like for example, if you’re listening.

music or something yes. To be on that. no multitasking. Yes. Focused on that activity and know, try to enjoy.

[00:43:39] Siebe Van Der Zee: I know it’s important. Of course, a lot of people learn that lesson. And at the same time, you know, when I think of. COVID period that took a good two years.

we had to make adjustments it was not easy to relax. and now that we are in D hopefully recovery period, it’s not easy because we have to make up to a certain extent what we were not able to do in the previous two years. So, As you can tell I’m struggling with it as well, right? Because you have to find that moment of peace and you refer it to your children.

Which typically, you know, for many people at the top of the hill when it comes to distraction in a good, positive way, you have to be, you know, involved with your kids, et cetera, but also, to really plan it in your schedule that you have to give yourself a break. You have to be able to sleep enough. If people don’t have enough sleep, it’s very difficult to feel relaxed and get things done.

Right?

[00:44:47] Indira Jeffrey: Yeah. And you know, also I think technology is not allowing us to be present. I think, too much, social media, and you know, just being disconnected from the real world, not helping, you know, mental health. I think we have to be when we have to, again, learn how to be present.

 I mean, you know, with your kids or with your friends, because I see sometimes, I try always, when I’m talking to someone just to put my phone away and to be pressing, you know, to give that person my whole attention, because I think it’s also respect.

[00:45:30] Siebe Van Der Zee: I would agree. I would agree. I’m so appreciative for your 10 lessons.

We learned a lot from you. But I’m also curious Indira. If there perhaps is a lesson in life in your career that you have unlearned that you decided I got to do it as different, I got to do this, you know, forget about this, whatever it is, anything unlearned,

[00:45:52] Indira Jeffrey: I think. Yes. sometimes you have to be more aware of, people because you know, I’m a person that trusts right away. I give the benefit of the doubt. But and because of that, I’ve been in situations that are not very pleasant, meaning, relationship with, you know, partners or, you know, and I think yeah, you, you shouldn’t be. I. to me, I need to think twice before I, agree to bring people to my life.

It’s just that. And like I say before, to me, honesty is very important, but also trust no people has to be trustworthy and I need to learn, you know, How to, slow down and not trust on people like right away.

[00:46:49] Siebe Van Der Zee: Is that something that you have truly unlearned or are you still working on that?

[00:46:55] Indira Jeffrey: I’m still working on it.

Yeah. Yeah.

[00:47:00] Siebe Van Der Zee: So, you’re still sort of fall for people in the sense that you want to trust them and feel comfortable, but you need to be more careful perhaps.

[00:47:09] Indira Jeffrey: Yes, exactly. Yeah. Yes. a lesson, you know, like, sometimes, people they may think, oh, you know, just give the benefit of the doubt to everybody.

No, you have to, you know, be careful because not everybody is like, like you think you are.

[00:47:25] Siebe Van Der Zee: Yeah. Well, wonderful. And thank you. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom with our global audience. in closing, you’ve been listening to the international podcast, 10 lessons it took me 50 years to learn sponsored by PDF the professional development forum. PDF provides webinars, social media discussions, podcasts, and parties and best of all it’s all for free. For more information, please visit the professionaldevelopmentforum.org. Our guest today was Indira Jeffrey from Phoenix, Arizona, from Mexico, from Latin America, a global leader for women, empowerment, sharing her 10 lessons it took her 50 years to learn.

And to our audience, don’t forget to leave us a review or a comment. You can also email us at podcast@10lessonslearned.com. That is podcast. The number 10, lessons learned.com. Go ahead and subscribe. So, you don’t miss any future episodes. And remember this podcast makes the world wiser and wiser podcast by podcast. Lesson by lesson. Thank you. And stay safe.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum, which office insights, community or discussions, podcasts, parties, anything you want here, but they’re unique and it’s all free online. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com that’s podcast, 10 number one zero, lessons learned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

 

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Related Posts

Sheriff Paul Penzone

Paul Penzone – Leave people with the feeling they are respected

May 10, 2022

Sheriff Paul Penzone shares why "Authority is privilege, not entitlement", the importance to "Never forget others opened the door for...

Read More
Eric Miller

Eric Miller-Know Your Own Bias

May 3, 2022

Eric Miller, CEO, Entrepreneur, Director speaks with us why it's important "To learn your tools", "Never to understate the importance...

Read More
David Redhill

David Redhill – Be a sponge, a squirrel and be a thief.

April 26, 2022

David Redhill speaks to us about why you should "never say no to opportunity", the importance of " Being a sponge,...

Read More
Sheriff Paul Penzone

Paul Penzone – Leave people with the feeling they are respected

May 10, 2022

Sheriff Paul Penzone shares why "Authority is privilege, not entitlement", the importance to "Never forget others opened the door for...

Read More
Eric Miller

Eric Miller-Know Your Own Bias

May 3, 2022

Eric Miller, CEO, Entrepreneur, Director speaks with us why it's important "To learn your tools", "Never to understate the importance...

Read More
David Redhill

David Redhill – Be a sponge, a squirrel and be a thief.

April 26, 2022

David Redhill speaks to us about why you should "never say no to opportunity", the importance of " Being a sponge,...

Read More
Robyn Henderson

Robyn Henderson – Be clear on your Why? What? How?

April 19, 2022

Robyn has authored and contributed to more than 30 books on networking, business and career development and self-esteem building over...

Read More