Elyan Zamora photo

International Women’s Day: Women execs weigh in on who inspires them, how they maintain work-life balance

Elyan Zamora, CEO & Co-Founder of Cook’s Tortas weighs in on who inspires her and how to maintain a work-life balance on International Women’s Day

Q. When it comes to promoting females to leadership roles, how has the restaurant industry changed since you first began your career?
 It truly has changed and continues to change and evolve. When I began working in the restaurant industry, 22 years ago, there were very few women, having to work twice as hard to succeed. Today, just looking around, as an emerging Franchise, we are surrounded by professional women in our PR team, as bankers, real estate agents, in our marketing team, and everywhere else we look. We are a team comprised mostly of women.

Q. Name a female leader (any industry) who inspires you and why.
All women inspire me; my mother, coworkers, teachers, friends… Our strength and our ability to make it seem as if days have more than 24 hours. We are professional, passionate, and kind. Many of us, as mothers, do whatever it takes to be there for our children and our family while managing our work responsibilities. We get things done even when we’re afraid! In my home country of Mexico, 10 women are killed every day. Each one of them deserves my admiration along with the millions of women who, day after day, persevere against tremendous misogyny regardless of how afraid they may be, or how much pain they must endure. They all have my admiration.

Q. Whether you have children or not, how do you maintain a healthy work-life balance? Or is that even possible?
. It’s not easy but is possible. Why? Because we are women! I believe you need to have a clear understanding of why you work so hard. I work for my family. I have an amazing son, but I also have an incredible husband and partner in life and my loving mother and father. We all work together to make Cook’s Tortas the successful restaurant it has been for 12 years now, but we never forget why we work so hard. We make many sacrifices, but we always make room for family.

Q. What is your advice for women seeking a promotion and/or a raise? Any tips?
A. Do what you love, be passionate, work hard, and do it for you! We don’t need to prove anyone anything. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want. Know your worth and never underestimate yourself.