Juliana Salazar has broken the glass ceiling.
Now she is teaching us that “the sky is the limit”.
Incredibly passionate for sports and quality journalism: that is Juliana Salazar Meza. A sports journalist for Caracol Radio, she is considered one of the more prominent correspondents in Colombia. She graduated from Universidad de Manizales after studying social communication and journalism; she demonstrates through her hard work that her passion propels her forward. Juliana has worked for news media companies, radio stations, soccer teams and even for the government of her own city. In all of those places she’s been identified as a role model due to her effective communication and professionalism.
In many places men’s sports are still preferred over women’s sports, and this is especially true with soccer. Because of this, it used to be thought that only men should lead in, participate with and talk about sport topics. Nevertheless, Juliana Salazar has broken the glass ceiling by both working and leading in her field. Nowadays, she is building her own future and is paving the way for other people seeking to be like her. She told us, “The fact is that you become a little dot of inspiration for someone. No matter how big, I believe when this happens, the work has meaning.”
Starting with her first job, she discovered her passion and place in the world were both in sports and journalism. She worked her hardest to reach the place she wanted to be, no matter what. “There were days when I felt sad, but I always had my family’s shoulder and the belief in what I wanted to do.”
Throughout her career path, she has seen some restrictions on women in sports journalism. Frequently, it is said women journalists should not be in men’s locker rooms or that while other sports may have a place for women, soccer is a sport specifically just for men. Luckily, that was not a daily occurrence for Juliana and she had several supportive individuals cheering her on.
No matter the obstacles, she always kept moving forward with her mantra: “I’ll always answer with my work. If you tell me something, I’ll answer you with my hard-work”.
Her goal has always been to produce excellent work and create a framework of evidence that justifies why she, and other women, are holding and should be holding these high-ranking places in sports journalism. Stories like Juliana’s are becoming more common nowadays, helping some men grasp that sports journalism is a shared-field where women have all the tools to be successful and lead.
Her leadership mindset, daily motivation and consistent professionalism has helped her to establish a big legacy in her field. Juliana also understands her responsibility and her everyday challenge to be a standard-bearer for women’s equality.
“Each day I assume more challenges and the work others give to me. If they give you challenges, it is because they understand you are capable of reaching them. So, you have to train and show the reasons why those challenges are being given to you, and why that type of confidence is put in you.”
In order to make a change, it is necessary to demonstrate that you are capable. The path to reach it is long, but you have to start by leaving a mark on it. The challenge to keep changing society’s mind is huge and the best way to initiate that change is to show an example, such as the one given by Juliana’s leadership.
Having impactful and exemplarily women in leadership positions helps other partners have a more open mindset to a world that does not discriminate based on gender. Furthermore, it helps those same partners be convinced that this can work and should be implemented.
Lastly, Juliana gave us advice for anyone who wants to follow her path, especially for women who want to pursue a career in sports journalism.
“I love soccer! That is one of my main passions; it is in my blood, is the thing I want to do all my life! However, being a little dot of inspiration for those women that want to get into it is so important. I tell them ‘The way is hard; there are hard days, days when pressure is hard. Please, when you feel that you have fallen down or someone made you do something bad, please stand up and show your capability to work. Don’t give up so fast. Train yourself and have passion!’”
Juliana reminds us that “the sky is the limit” and we cannot quit, because our mission has not yet been completed. Our mission is to make an impact and make a difference. We also cannot forget that in order to have an impact it is necessary to build credibility and be capable of achieving all the goals given to us.
We at the WomanStats Project would like to thank Juliana Salazar for her time and for being willing to share her experiences with us. These stories are the ones that make our hearts beat faster and happier, stories that inspire us in our own lives. We are committed to transform, empower, and encourage women so that they can reach their biggest dreams.
*All photos were graciously provided by Juliana Salazar