Meet our newest SVL Executive Cultura Ambassador, Anna Dapelo-Garcia! Her inspiring journey from a humble beginning to breaking glass ceilings is a testament to what determination can achieve. Join us in welcoming her to the SVL family!
“It was a significant moment in my life when I created Lean In Latinas. I wanted to create a space for Latinas to learn, share and grow together. What started with a Circle of three Latinas in my backyard over five years ago, is now a Lean In Global Affinity Network with over two thousand members and growing!”
Anna Dapelo-Garcia, a Mexican American, was born and raised in East San Jose, California. She grew up living in a paycheck-to-paycheck home environment and never heard the word “college” growing up. During most of her twenties, she held a variety of jobs with only a General Educational Development (GED), which is a high school equivalency credential. However, she was willing to work hard, had street smarts, and then found her passion in the healthcare industry starting at an entry level.
After acquiring a Master of Public Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Mary’s College while working full-time, Anna became the first Latina Executive Director at her place of employment. Along with this she also became the founder of Lean In Latinas. She had realized that after climbing the management and leadership ladder, she wanted to give back to her community through her work with LeanIn.Org.
In 2013 she was named as a Silicon Valley Business Journal Woman of Influence and graduated from the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Leadership Institute. In 2017, she was named as Woman of the Year by the Women’s Health Care Executives. She served as a State Commissioner with the California State Senate for Cost Control in State Government. She was Vice Chair and Board Member for the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley and is currently Vice Chair and Board Member for the University of San Francisco. In 2015, she was appointed as a Regional Program Leader by LeanIn.Org and featured in The New York Times for creating Lean In Latinas, a not-for-profit organization. In 2018, she received a Top Latino Leaders Award by the National Diversity Council. In 2019, Anna was appointed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to the Women’s Equality 2020 Leadership Council and was chosen by the Silicon Valley Business Journal for a Latino Leadership award. In 2021, Anna was then appointed to the Santa Clara County Hate Crimes Task Force. She has been featured in Forbes, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Wall Street Journal.
Although she has received many recognitions for her work, it was not always an easy path to her success. She fought numerous instances of imposter syndrome, being the “only” as a Latina in the workplace while balancing her career with motherhood. However, she was determined to make a difference and achieve what others didn’t think she could! Her perseverance and support by mentors and sponsors, helped propel her career.
Today, in addition to a full-time career, volunteering as founder of Lean In Latinas, she spends time with her family including grandchildren Enzo, Esteban, and a new grandbaby expected in January 2024!
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