AL DÍA Women of Merit Honoree: Maria del Carmen Diaz
Maria del Carmen Diaz is one of the AL DÍA Women of Merit honorees, in the non-profit field.
The AL DÍA Women of Merit event is a celebration of women who are breaking barriers and emerging in leadership positions across the nation.
Maria del Carmen Diaz, a leading member of Make the Road PA & Philadelphia's Domestic Workers Alliance, is one of the honorees at the event, in the non-profit field.
In the lead-up to the event, AL DÍA asked each of the honorees about their biggest career challenges and accomplishments, gender equality in their industries and their of advice for other women looking to make their way into their particular field of work.
Here are Maria del Carmen Diaz's responses:
My biggest challenge was being part of a new alliance without me having experience in these things. After facing other obstacles, growing our group, forming protests with other alliances that also fought for labor rights, and meeting with members of the municipal government, that was the most significant achievement of my life
The bill of rights for domestic workers in Philadelphia meant that women now have protection against wage theft, sexual harassment and other discrimination. We also ensure that a female-dominated trade now has the same protections as other jobs.
A federal law is yet to be obtained so that the more than two million domestic workers in this nation can defend themselves from the abuses that today they tolerate in silence for fear of losing their jobs. In terms of immigration, we must continue to pressure members of the federal government to create a way to legalize the 11 million undocumented people who live in this country. In the meantime we must fight so that groups that have already had legislative advances, such as those that apply for DACA or TPS, can aspire to have citizenship.
They must value themselves and realize that their work has a lot of value. Thanks to new laws and standards that have been achieved, there is no reason to shut up when a woman experiences injustice. By joining alliances that focus on your community or your type of work, you will keep them aware of the defenses and benefits that you can turn to.