DJ Carisma On Being A Latina Role Model & The Only Female At Power 106

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Being the only female in any given industry or workplace can be daunting, even in 2014. The fact that there are still sectors where women are pioneering and trailblazing might just be a little indicator that the feminist fight is not yet won, because we still have a long way to go. Thankfully, it is more acceptable to have women venture into areas where they have not yet trod before, so we have the women of the past to thank for that.

Whenever one woman breaks the dam and raises the bar high, she makes the way ahead possible for so many others behind her. In a feature interview with Latina Magazine, DJ Carisma talks about her career and how she is breaking barriers.

She is currently the only female DJ at Los Angeles radio station Power 106, and spoke about being an inspiration for other young Latina women. While you reading this may not be Latina and feel you cannot identify with her story, we encourage you to read ahead and be inspired by how a young woman is using her identity as a source of empowerment for those in her community. It is a concept that can apply everywhere, to everyone, and should!

Aside from being a DJ on Power 106, she also hosts two other radio shows, and is an artist who is about to release her debut self-titled album. When asked how she feels about being the only female in a boys club at the popular radio station, DJ Carisma talks about what a thrill it is.

“I’m still the only girl DJ! I’m holding my own in a world full of boys. I love it! It makes me stand out. I kind of have no competition. I’m in my own world, you know,” she said, while expanding on how she has had to go the extra mile to not be seen as different for her gender.

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“I feel like I’ve had to work extra hard to prove to them that I didn’t just get that position because I was a female. I am actually just as good a DJ as any of these guys out here. I constantly feel like I have to work extra hard to keep the content coming. To keep proving that I’m just as good as you all. It doesn’t even matter that I’m a female. I’m DJ Carisma. I’m just as good as all of them.”

Clearly hard work anywhere pays off. It just sucks to hear that there are situations existing in 2014 where women still have to prove themselves above and beyond men. But the more women like Carisma do that, here’s hoping it will be less needed in the future for other young women.

Her love of music was born out of another gender struggle which forced her to find her own feet in the industry. In hindsight that struggle was the launchpad to who she is today.

“I was always that girl that loved music. In high school, I was like, this is what I want to do. Boys wouldn’t let me use their equipment, so I had to save up all of my money to buy turntables. So, I started making all the mixes for school dances and basketball games. That’s when I knew this is what I wanted to do.”

DJ Carisma counts Erykah Badu and Jennifer Lopez as some of her idols, and has some strong advice for other young Latina women who are now looking up to her as a role model.

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“First and foremost, respect yourself! This is a man’s world. They will eat you alive if you let them. Respect yourself. Work hard! Never give up. You just can’t give up. Keep it coming, and there’s going to be a point where they can’t turn you down anymore.”

She is passionate about her role model status because she believes she is filling a vital gap in the Latina community.

“When I was growing up, there wasn’t too many besides Selena and Nautica de La Cruz. There weren’t too many women that have done what I’ve done at a professional level. I really wanted to do it for the Latinas — my people. It was important to me to make it. So, now that I’ve made it, I feel like I can be that influence and inspiration for all these young girls that are growing up here in California. All these girls can see that I’ve made it — that I’m the first real big female DJ to ever do something like this. I’m proud of myself.”

“When I was growing up, there weren’t too many local heroes. It’s our time to shine! Me, being one of the first big DJs to be this major, and to be Latina. I’m trying to change the game, as well.”

Her enthusiasm and passion leaps off the page with her words. You can tell she is excited to be positioned where she is. It’s important for all female communities to have positive and inspirational role models they can look up to, because often in the media they are hard to find. There is a saying “be your own hero”  or “be your own role model” that is well shared on Instagram and other social media networks.

DJ Carisma not only became her own hero, but in turn became a role model for other Latina women, and for any female who needs reminding that being a pioneer is not only exciting, but important.

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