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Women in Tech: Adriana Vazquez

Conexus' Principal Consultant, Yaingy Chan is proud to present the inaugural feature of our Women In Tech series. With a deep-rooted passion for diversity and inclusion, Yaingy has poured her dedication and hard work into this initiative, recognising the crucial role of women in digital and technology professions. We aim to shine a spotlight on the invaluable contributions of female leaders across various technical roles. Women In Tech serves as a testament to our commitment to highlighting the important work of the female workforce as they continue to shape and innovate within the tech industry.

In this edition, Yaingy speaks to the Global Director of E-Commerce and Digital Presence at one of UK's leading education publishers and former EMEA Director, IT, Digital and E-Commerce at one of America's Multinational Beauty Brand, Adriana Vazquez.

"I have been working for twenty-five years, starting as a business analyst, progressing to senior leadership and board of director roles," explains Adriana. She continues, "My journey has been rewarding, challenging and inspiring. I have had the opportunity to work on interesting global and regional projects, led diverse and talented teams and contributed to the sustained growth of the companies."

"Some of the challenges I have faced as a woman in tech include balancing work and personal life, especially as a mother and a leader. I overcame these challenges by building a network of allies (inside and outside the companies where I have worked) who have supported me throughout my career."

Yaingy: In your opinion, what role can mentorship and sponsorship play in supporting the career progression of women in technology? Have you been involved in any mentorship programs, and if so, what impact have they had?

Adriana: Mentorship and sponsorship are crucial for supporting career progression as they provide access to fundamental guidance that can help people advance and succeed in their careers. 

I have personally been involved in mentorship and sponsorship programs, both as a mentee and as a mentor/sponsor. These programs have had a significant impact on my career as they have enabled me to support other people and expand my network both within and outside my organisation and industry. 

Yaingy: How do you, as a leader, approach stimulating an inclusive and diverse work culture within your team or organization? Can you share specific initiatives or practices that involve collaboration between men and women, proving successful in creating a more inclusive environment for women in tech? 

Adriana: As a woman in a leadership position, I enforce workplace policies that support diversity and inclusion such as flexible work arrangements and equal pay. I also seek and listen to the feedback and input from every member of my team, ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table. During recruiting, it is paramount that I have a diverse candidate pool to ensure equal opportunity for everyone.

In my companies, I have also led employee resource groups, creating a community that brings together men and women who share common interests and goals. These groups (in-particular my ENGAGEmen initiative) provide them with opportunities to connect, learn, and support each other. 

I have also collaborated with an external organisation that supports and promotes women working in the tech industry and I have acted as a mentor and a judge for the Technovation Girls program.

​Yaingy: Can you share any experiences where collaboration between men and women was pivotal in navigating this balance? 

Adriana: I led a global project team in Switzerland that consisted of men and women from different nationalities and cultures. The project was challenging and complex, requiring a high level of coordination among the team members. 

The collaboration between men and women on the team was instrumental in ensuring the success of the project as it enabled us to leverage the diverse skills, knowledge and perspectives of the team members to create innovative and effective solutions for the project. Additionally, it is imperative in a leadership position to identify and overcome any barriers and conflicts that could arise from any differences among team members. 

Yaingy: How has this impacted your decision-making when hiring into your team? 

Adriana: I'm certainly more sensitive to and appreciative of the value of diversity—diverse teams represent the different markets we serve and operate within. It's encouraged me to be more intentional and proactive in seeking diverse candidates and ensuring that the hiring process is inclusive. 

Yaingy: Considering the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles in tech, what advice would you give to aspiring female professionals, and how can both men and women contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for women in technology within organisations? 

Adriana: The advice I would give to aspiring female professionals is to really believe in yourself and your abilities. Pursue your passion with confidence, celebrate your own achievements and inspire others with your stories. Men and women should implement practices that support diversity and ensure that candidate pools are as inclusive as possible when hiring for a new position. Ultimately, we as women make up half of the world's population, so (within reason) as close to 50% female candidacy should be strived for.

Adriana's journey exemplifies the resilience and leadership required by women to navigate the tech industry, with her commitment to mentorship and sponsorship evidencing the importance of uplifting others as we climb the ladder. By championing initiatives that promote collaboration, equality, and support networks, we can create an environment where all voices are not only heard but valued. As we continue our Women In Tech series, let's heed Adriana's insight and strive for a future where gender parity is no longer a goal but a reality. Join Conexus in celebrating the achievements of women like Adriana and empowering the next generation of leaders in technology.

If you're interested in taking part in our Women in Tech project, contact Yaingy Chan to find out more.


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