Ismailey Pozo Quinones, mechanical engineer, mother, Cuba

Tell us about yourself - who are you?

My name is Ismayle Pozo, I am Cuban, and I live in Bradenton, Florida. By profession, I’m a Mechanical Engineer and I have an MS.c in Integrated Management Systems. I have been a teacher, lover of all types of manual work, now I am housekeeping.

What are some defining moments in your life?

Three decisive moments are when I finished my studies as an engineer; The second was when I left Cuba and separated from my family. It was hard; It was like being reborn. Another defining moment has to do with the loss: first of my pregnancy and then of my father.

Who are some influential women in your life?

The most influential women in me are my first and closest ties, the women in my family: my mother Lázara Quiñones, my maternal grandmother Santa Palacios and my aunt Olga Palacios.

My mother has been an invaluable mentor in my life, imparting essential lessons about resilience and success through her role as a caregiver and matriarch. Her guidance has shaped my understanding of leadership and instilled in me a deep sense of compassion and empathy. Mentorship from women to women is transformative, empowering individuals to navigate challenges and amplify their voices for collective progress.

What does “womanhood” mean for you?

think that femininity is a social, historical and cultural construction; therefore subjective, variable over time and in each culture. It is a condition immanent to the essence of women. Femininity is always and is in all women. I believe that women have "many biological silences", we have had to lose many historical causes, which therefore makes us historical warriors as well. I believe that there is something exclusive to women that distances us from men and other species: intuition and with it a capacity for expansive emotional understanding. It's not that men are not intuitive, it's that women are more so. The Cuban writer Virgilio Piñera said that men are 1/4 part man and 3/4 parts child, while women are 1/4 part woman and 3/4 parts mother. I agree with him. We have the ability to gestate, mother, guide, and the most spiritual of all mysteries: bring to life.