In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, we interviewed Kety Esquivel, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at AnitaB.org. In her position she has taken a role to empower women including Latinas, Latinx, and Hispanics to take a more active role in adopting technology to improve the world.
A native of Rochester, New York, Kety grew up in a multicultural environment, where she had a foot in each world. Outside of her house she was a “good American girl,” but at home, her Mexican father and Guatemalan mother always made her feel very Latina and taught her to adopt a huge passion for Latino culture and technology.
Technology Always Caught her Attention
Kety’s first experience with technology occurred was when she was a kid, with the first computers. However, it wasn’t until 2003 when she began to observe the great potential that social networks have. “I was leading the Latino Outreach for a Presidential Campaign and I realized the power of technology to create communities,” Kety says. She also realized that there were very few women in the technology industry, and since then she has been interested in contributing to make the industry more inclusive.
For the AnitaB.org executive, it’s clear that Hispanics always had a lot to contribute. “We are so sociable that I knew that we were going to organize and get involved quickly,” adds Kety. She also points out that the contribution is not only limited to using technology, but is also reflected in innovation.
The Influence of Technology
In her new position at AnitaB.org, Kety seeks to become a positive influence for technology to be used for the good of humanity. One of these aspects is to ensure that the majority of the population is represented in products and services. “Making sure that there are more women in technology helps it to be represented in the same way it is in the world,” she explains.
We couldn’t help asking about the negative effect that social media is having on society, especially about “fake news” and what we can do, as citizens, to become more responsible in the way that we use these channels. Kety points out that technology is one of the many tools that humans have and it is up to us to ensure what our destiny will be and how we end up using the tools that we create. And that is achieved precisely by ensuring that at the end of the day, all groups are represented, both women and men, African Americans and Hispanics, among others.
The Latino Community has Much to Contribute
At her previous position at Edelman, Kety always advocated for brands to take into account the Latino Market in the U.S. “We are a country within a country. With the exception of Mexico, the U.S. is the second biggest Spanish-speaking country. This is the message that I share with technology companies,” she said during an interview for Digital Trends in Spanish.
For her, the Latino population is very loyal to brands and is a “sleeping giant” that implies many challenges. Gradually, brands have realized the power of the Latino, Latinx, and Hispanic community, she adds.
Kety highlights that “this conversation takes time, because people in leadership positions are not always Latinos.” However, she says she feels optimistic about this new reality and that those who don’t take it into account could lose the Hispanic community in tech.
2019 Grace Hopper Celebration
Kety Esquivel’s optimism is frankly contagious, and from her new position at AnitaB.org, she wants minorities — especially women — to access and shape technology for the common good.
Grace Hopper Celebration is precisely the place to advance this mission. From October 1-4, women in technology and industry leaders will gather in Orlando, Florida to jointly discuss how to achieve greater representation in technology.