This profile is part of a five part series in which the Kapor Center for Social Impact is sharing stories from our diverse tech community in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month!
How do you identify/What is your background?
I identify as Latina. I was born and raised in Medellín, Colombia. After finishing high school, I moved to San Francisco for six months to study English. I fell in love with the city and always knew I had to come back. After graduating from college, getting my master’s, and working for P&G and Colgate for two years, I decided it was time to move to San Francisco, and enjoyed the rest of my 20’s in this magical city.
I started my career in the US at La Cocina as their Marketing and Communication Manager. It was an incredibly fulfilling experience, as I had a direct impact on the lives of low-income immigrant women entrepreneurs as I helped them to launch and grow their food businesses.
After two years at La Cocina, I decided to find a position in tech. I joined Evernote in 2012 as one of the first customer support agents. I was able to launch CS for Latin America and Spain, moving my way up to Senior Marketing Manager for Latin America. After almost 4 years, we grew the region from 2 million to 20 million users and I was ready to try bringing my talent and skills to a new company and product. In 2016, I joined the International team at Weebly, where I launched Latin America, Spain and Taiwan, and localized the website and product in 16 languages. I’m currently working at Asana, where I’m now leading the company’s international marketing and localization efforts.
I sit on the board of Latinas in Tech, a non-profit organization that operates under the umbrella of the Latino Community Foundation, with the mission to connect, support and empower Latina women working in technology.
How has your ethnicity/nationality/sexual preference/culture played into your story/brand?
My culture and background has been really important to my continued success and growth.
I came to SF with a strong background and experience in CPG but zero experience in technology. I didn’t graduate from a US University, and I didn’t have a strong network of people working in tech. After finding a great mentor, and meeting some Latinx in tech, I decided to build my narrative around my nationality, my working experience in Colombia, and the fact that I spoke three languages. This shift definitely helped me to get my first job at Evernote.
What brought you into tech?
When I moved to San Francisco, I was exposed to a lot of tech companies. At La Cocina, I had volunteers who worked for well-know Silicon Valley companies, and I even started dating an engineer (now my husband!). Everything was new to me, and I started absorbing a lot of information, attending events, and meeting people. I was curious about the products created in Silicon Valley, and I wanted to contribute. As I started looking for new opportunities, I found a role that combined both my experience in Marketing and my knowledge in the Latin America market, helping me feel connected to my home, which was also really important to me.
What do you enjoy most about your role and the work you do?
I enjoy making Asana available in other languages and creating go to market strategies to get more people to use our product across the world. I love learning about language nuances, and how this can impact the way you internationalize a product for a specific market. I feel fortunate to have the impact that I have at Asana, and help teams from all over the world achieve their goal no matter where they are or what language they speak.
How do you think tech can help bring more opportunities to the Latinx community?
- Understand our challenges: Authentically and respectfully join the conversations we are having, participate and sponsor events, groups, meet-ups, and conferences relevant to our community.
- Review hiring process, encourage your executive team to take Unconscious Bias Workshops and apply the Rooney rule if possible.
- Look beyond their immediate circle of references of employees.
- Create an environment where we can be our authentic ourselves , so we don’t feel uncomfortable.