Maria Castañón Moats: Dreaming Big to Succeed
Story By: Kimberly Olguin
Standing atop a corporation among the frontrunners in her field, Maria Castañón Moats vividly recalls the dreams that led her to her destiny. To this day, her mother’s words of wisdom echo in her mind; “It doesn’t cost us anything to dream, so let’s dream big,” her mother often insisted. These few words of encouragement would go a long way for the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) executive.
It has been 27 years since Moats began her career at PwC, in her hometown of El Paso, Texas. She has held a number of positions and worked in offices throughout the country. Along the way, her proficiency grew in several areas, including business strategy, quality and regulatory relations, innovation, risk management, business development and human capital. Moats’ career thrived with the abundance of opportunity.
The extent of her occupations reached out beyond various industries, where she continuously challenged herself to explore the unknown.
“I’ve served a variety of clients, from those in apparel, grocery and electronics retailers, to global and local manufacturers; and I’ve learned from each one,” she says.
Direction was essential to guide her desire to succeed through the new endeavors. Mentorship also plays a major role in the triumphs of Moat’s career at PwC.
“There’s no shortage of leaders who make it their business to help our people grow and learn,” she says. “I learn something new every day, whether that’s a technical skill, industry trend or in my personal growth.”
This influence has permitted Moats to blossom in the company, and she’s a firm believer that others can attain their goals with the same approach.
In due time, she was given the opportunity to guide her colleagues as she progressed at PwC. In 1994, Moats returned home to El Paso and joined the auditing team there, being named partner later in 2004. She was the Chief Diversity Officer from 2011-2016. Now, she is the Leader of U.S. and Mexico Assurance and Audit Practice at PwC. Moats’ platforms have grown to encompass more people, as well as her ability to impact them.
In an organization consisting of teams comprised by more than 50,000 people, Moats says it’s an honor to inspire those around her.
“My favorite days are those when I’m able to meet and spend time with our teams who are making a difference to our clients and within our communities,” Moats says.
As the future lies ahead, she also says she would like to see certain changes happen within the industry. Diversity is an asset Moats wants to see more of.
“While diverse perspectives and experiences are crucial, so is diversity in gender and ethnicity,” she says. “And the data tells us again and again that companies perform better when leadership is diverse.”
Today she is working on turning this concept into reality.
“I hope that my legacy will be one of a mentor and friend, someone who invested in her teams, providing them with opportunities to grow, and above all, the courage to dream big,” she says.