Saturday, December 4

Gretel Perea: it’s time for Latinos in tech companies | Digital Trends Spanish


How can a Latina fill key positions in technology companies? What factors combine to make it a strategic piece within companies? To get some answers, just look at the career of Gretel Perea, Director of Communications for Roku in Latin America, with an experience of more than 20 years in the area of ​​public relations.

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month – which is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 and celebrates the contributions of people of Hispanic origin in the United States – the executive contributes her ideas about the role of Latinas and offers one or another personal detail.

“I am Venezuelan; my dad was a diplomat for Venezuela, so I have lived in more than six nations. I grew up from country to country, so that culture and working in international markets is very important to me, ”he says.

Gretel Perea is the Director of Communications for Roku in Latin America.

Before your arrival at the company of streaming, also had a strategic interest in Dell and Evernote. They were just 300 employees when he came to the now recognized productivity app with a mission to lead communications in Latin America together with one other person.

“When I entered Evernote we had almost 2 million active users in Latin America and when I left, 20 million, in a period of three years, from 2013 to 2016. We work with a low budget, but very strong and with a lot of creativity,” he says.

One of the things that has helped him in his career, which includes his work at Roku, is knowing the Latin American region and providing ideas and launch and product strategies.

At the beginning of 2020, before the declaration of a pandemic, he was in charge of supervising the presentation of Roku in Brazil. He refers that the firm has just announced —August 2021— a sponsorship with the São Paulo soccer club with the purpose of “raising” the brand in the South American country.

Although the company thought that 2020 would mark the beginning of the decade of the streaming, the health emergency accelerated everything. “The streaming it is a reality, as is also demonstrated by the fact that the large platforms are targeting Latin America, and even anticipated their arrival in the region ”.

This 2021, for example, two important services arrived in Latin America: HBO Max and Star Plus, with a catalog that did attract attention due to its variety.

Passionate about diversity and inclusion

Although Gretel Perea is no longer part of Latinas in Tech —A nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect, support, and empower Latina women who work in technology — was one of its co-founders.

Remember that the first (informal) meeting you had with other colleagues in the technology sector took place in 2014. “It was nice. We met 10 women and shared how we were both personally and professionally. There came a point, after other meetings, when we no longer fit in a bar because there were already 40 of us ”.

In 2015, Google opened its doors to them in San Francisco, where around 100 Latina women in the technology area congregated. What Perea was looking for was to make everyone’s work visible, not the same “two faces” that were seen at the discussion tables in Silicon Valley.

“I dedicated five or six years of my life to Latinas in Tech, to grow the organization; we now have more than 16,000 women and more than 20 chapters on an international level. It is a community, but it is also that link with technology companies that now want to hire (more people of Latino origin), ”says Perea.

He adds that one of the turning points for corporations when it comes to inclusion was the pandemic and the death of citizen George Floyd, which had an international impact. “They realized that they have to be more diverse and have different talents.”

Perea continues to meet every month with women, although now with those who occupy managerial positions in technology firms, something like what Latinas in Tech originated. Carla Piñeyro Sublett, Marketing Director at IBM, and Ana Villegas, with the same position, but at National Instruments (NI), there are two of them.

“We need more vice presidents, we need more women at that level, so that’s where I see the opportunity to support us and create that community of high-ranking women,” she says.

In his words, it is time for Latinos, since technology companies are “open and want diversity”, so you should not be afraid to apply to an important position.

“What we contribute to companies tech It is something spectacular, in the sense of that different perspective due to our culture and passion ”, concludes Perea.

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