Carlos Amesquita: Encouraging Leaders to Empower Other Leaders
By: Latino Leaders Staff
Carlos Amesquita is the CIO (Chief Information Officer) for The Hershey Company. For nearly 30 years Carlos held a prominent career with with Procter & Gamble, where he held several IT and Shared Services leadership positions. His last position was Director, North America Global Business Services & IT. Carlos actively participates in the Board of Directors of HITEC since 2011, and has been a member of the organization since 2008.
In this Q&A Carlos addresses the Hispanic technology pipeline shortage, the challenges and opportunities ahead for the company, the philosophy he applies to lead his team, among other important information.
How did you get to this position and what was given to you in terms of advice or mentorship that pushed you to where you are today? What are your most important work and professional values? And what is the philosophy you lead your teams with?
I have prepared my entire professional life for a CIO position. Early in my career, I started looking for opportunities to manage teams, lead critical projects, lead a small IT organization, and then eventually lead an entire region and global IT organization. Having the willingness to take these growing responsibilities, including facing many family relocations, allowed me to have the privilege of learning and preparation to grow my career. I also was privileged to have influential mentors at different stages of my professional life. Mentorship has been a key component to my personal success, and now I feel an obligation to give back to other IT professionals. Along this journey, I embraced and nurtured the values of principle-based leadership, courage, honesty, and hard work. My main philosophy is to continually challenge people through increasing responsibilities, while providing a supportive environment to maximize possibilities for success. I always encourage talented people to take risks and be bold. This accelerates development and more often than not, pays dividends. Therefore, trust, openness and straight-talk are also important elements of my personal philosophy.
What steps do we need to take to address the Hispanic technology pipeline shortage?
It all starts with education. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training is the cornerstone for all technology-related careers. First, we need to not only encourage, but mentor and sponsor younger Latinos in the technology field. Then, we need to make a concerted effort to bring diverse talent into corporations. Lastly, we need to sponsor and mentor this talent so they can develop to the fullest of their potential. This will not happen by chance. It takes a deliberate and concerted effort to achieve this.
How can we improve Latino representation in the technology industry at the C-suite level and how can we instill a culture that considers Latinos for these positions?
It all starts with availability. We can only increase Latino representation in C-suite positions if we increase the odds, which is about having enough Hispanics to choose from. For example, I believe if each of the Latinos in high-level positions sponsors and develops three high-potential technology leaders in the next few years, and these new leaders gain higher positions and do the same for another three technology leaders each, we can achieve increased representation over the next decade. But to realize this goal, we all must continue to do our part.
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