My visit to the Hispanic IT Executive Council conference in D.C.

A group of people in a room - Convention
Thanks to Capital One for hosting me at their offices this week to cover the Hispanic IT Executive Council D.C. IT Leadership Summit so that I could bring this content to my readers.

You think you are up to date on technology?… wait 5 minutes. That was one of the overarching themes of the Hispanic IT Executive Council conference hosted by Capital One in their headquarters in Virginia this week. The title of the summit is UX Success: The Power of Perspective.

Attending were over 200 Latino professionals in the IT field that gathered to learn about the latest trends in technology, diversity and inclusion with a mission to empower Hispanics to triumph in this ever-changing field.

One of my favorite parts was the roll call. This is where each and every attendee stands up, says their name, job title, company they work for and of course, their country of origin. I was impressed, there were people representing almost all nations in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and of course, Spain. It was incredibly inspiring to see latinos and latinas from all walks of life with Chief Information Officer, VP and many other titles that represent a great deal of achievement and responsibility. It was incredibly inspiring to see top Hispanic IT Executives sharing their perspective and providing advice on how latinos can advance their careers to get to where they’ve gotten.

I spoke with Emilia Lopez, Managing Vice President, Capital One Credit Card Business, about her journey and asked her about the advantage that more diverse companies have over their competitors. “The more diverse perspectives you have analyzing a problem from different angles, you can actually get to a better answer because you are poking and asking questions from different angles […] it helps individuals from different backgrounds to value each other more because they see how a different angle gets a better outcome…”, said Lopez.

The recurring theme here is that increased innovation comes from diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds and Latinos should try to capitalize on this.

There were many interesting presentations but one that resonated with me was from Ramon Baez from HP Enterprise and a board member of HITEC. He spoke of the challenges that companies face to actually adapt and transform themselves. “Culture eats strategy for lunch,” said Ramon, referring to the importance of employees embracing top management’s initiatives and becoming part of the changing force.

Nuria Simo, the CIO from the Inter-American Development Bank shared her experience working for different global organizations and how she realized that you learn more when things go wrong than when they work well.

Guillermo Diaz, Jr, the CIO for Cisco Systems, talked about the importance of building long lasting relationships. “When you think ROI you think Return on Investment but I think Relationships Over Issues.”

Shari Wenker from Accenture shared the need for IT executives to be conscious of their personal branding. “Personal branding is a leadership requirement, not a self-promotion campaign,” she said while encouraging everyone to understand the image they are projecting into the workplace.

In the end, there were many learnings, interesting tips and valuable advice, highlighted among them all was the theme of the conference itself, the power of perspective and how it helps us to embrace disruption, keep learning and reinventing ourselves to succeed in this rapidly changing world where we need to fail fast, recover quickly but most importantly, keep moving forward.

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