Profiles in Diversity Journal First Quarter 2021

Page 72



Senior Director, Operations; Site Lead, Buenos Aires Office

LEADERS Worth Watching



Education: Bachelor´s degree, economics, Universidad de San Andrés Company Name: S&P Global Inc. Industry: Financial Services Company CEO: Douglas L. Peterson Company Headquarters Location: New York, New York Number of Employees: 22,500 globally Your Location (if different from above): Buenos Aires, Argentina Words you live by: Freedom, responsibility, respect. Who is your personal hero? I don´t have personal heroes, but there are people who I admire for particular reasons. Nelson Mandela is one of them. What book are you reading? The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han What was your first job? Summer Job in the finance department of a food products company Favorite charity: Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the OGA, my school’s Graduates Association, focused on educational programs in the community. Interests: Playing the piano, classical music, reading, and cooking Family: My two daughters

A Workplace Committed to Diversity During the last 12 years, I’ve been working in management positions and as site leader in Buenos Aires, where I live. I’ve had the opportunity to see our local office develop into a workplace with amazing characteristics and a predominance of multicultural and multi-academic profiles. This was the result of hiring, with a focus on the linguistic skills required for the core of our work and the availability of this type of talent in our city. As people left and new colleagues joined, this diversity remained and became a distinctive aspect of this office. It delighted many of us working there; we celebrate these different cultures and typically slide in a comment related to this fact when answering the usual “Where do you work?” question. It was something visitors from other offices always highlighted, and our internal employee surveys nearly always mentioned our diversity when asked to describe the workplace. For one of our Employee Resource Group conferences, we invited a


2021 First Quarter

professor of constitutional law and human rights who specialized in gender identity legislation. She had visited and learned about our office prior to this event and was aware of the audience to whom she was speaking. She ended her remarks praising the diversity she could see in our office, noted that consistently over the years we had a high percentage of women in leadership positions, and then paused for a final comment—she said that it was not enough. She prompted us to think about which other groups of underrepresented minorities were not part of our office population, and to realize that if we did not make a conscious effort to understand why, we would just be settling. At that point, I felt that this could have been the result of unconscious bias. This conference was a trigger to think about what else we could do— about our possibilities, given the types of roles we needed to fill. As we sought to further diversify our office, we encountered hurdles related to deeper

structural problems in our community, such as access to education and transportation, among others. When thinking about the problem of unconscious bias and how to combat it, there are two tools I feel are within reach. First, structural problems will require the coordinated work of different social actors and the development of practices that give each of us the opportunity to contribute in impactful ways. We can choose to participate in, and even, drive this. And second, was settling for a relatively good hiring result a form of bias, a blind spot? Most probably. Neuroscientists have been publishing new information about the functioning of our brain, our perception of reality, and the role of implicit biases in our day-today decisions. How could these tools and this knowledge help overcome unconscious biases and help create more diverse and fair workspaces? There is still a lot of work ahead, but I like to think that these options are possibilities available to all of us.


Paula Rojnica