Maria Martinez: passionate about developing the next workforce generation.



How did you get to this position and what advice or mentorship did you receive that helped you get to where you are today? Please answer the following questions: What are your most important work and professional values? What is the philosophy you lead your teams with?

I started my career at AT&T and Motorola, and then eventually became CEO of Embrace Networks, before joining Microsoft and now Salesforce. I've been lucky to have many amazing mentors during my career, and I've learned from them that It's important to take risks and not be afraid to fall or "re-calibrate" along the way. Every failure is an opportunity. Bold thinking and risk-taking have led to some of my most memorable professional achievements. I've also learned, especially in the tech industry, that being nimble goes a long way. Being open to new Ideas, roles and challenges has opened up tremendous opportunities for me and has shaped me as a leader. Lastly, and most Importantly, I've surrounded myself with people who support me and want me to succeed. In turn, I'm motivated to do the same for others. Building an amazing team Is the most critical lesson, in my mind.

What steps do we need to take to address the Hispanic Technology pipeline shortage?

I see this as both a supply and demand Issue. On the supply side, this is fundamentally a matter of removing stereotypes that are still associated with certain subjects or fields. We need to change the "STEM story" for Latin Americans--and women in particular--and early education Is the place to start. This means making sure all K-12 schools are invested In a STEM curriculum and offering courses like computer programming to under-served populations. Young girls and minorities need to know that STEM careers are a possibility before it's too late to alter their trajectory. On the demand side, those of us In STEM fields today have an obligation to connect the dots for them. Creating internships and formal mentoring opportunities, as early as high school, can give this group the access and confidence they need to pursue STEM careers.

How can we improve Latino representation in the technology industry at the C-suite level and how can we instill a culture that considers Latinos for these positions?

I think this a generational issue In many ways. We need to develop a pipeline of future Latino leaders, as well as promote more examples of successful Latino leaders and hold them up as examples in the tech industry...

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