I grew up in a small town by the sea on the eastern side of Cuba. It was a simple, yet fulfilling childhood, where I spent my free time making jewelry from old buttons, tending to my cactus collection, and exploring the sand and waves. I attended the University of Havana, but it wasn’t until I moved to the U.S. and started my career in the tech industry as a web producer in Miami, Florida in the late 90s that I realized I had become part of a larger and more diverse community.
My role back then was to create original content and build digital experiences for Latin America and the Hispanic audience in the U.S. As I developed meaningful relationships with other Latino people and those in the United States with Latin American heritage, my social circle became far more diverse, representing a wide range of rich cultures. Five years later, I moved to Redmond, Washington when I was hired by Microsoft to launch and lead MSN Latino, the Spanish version of MSN for the U.S. Once again, my personal identity expanded, and I was able to experience the difference in the Hispanic demographic between the West and East Coast. Over time, my accent changed. My vocabulary changed. Despite the differences, I developed a deeper appreciation for what Hispanic people have in common: our shared family values, our strong work ethic, our traditions, and our sense of responsibility. Today, I identify not only as Cuban, but Latina and Hispanic American.
In 2012, I joined Xbox as the Director of Programming for the Latin American region. My team was responsible for curating and publishing localized content for our passionate Xbox audience. The first console release I was part of was the Xbox One. It was a thrilling experience to travel across Latin America and directly connect with gamers just after the console’s release. Currently, I lead a multidisciplinary team as the General Manager for Customer Experience with Microsoft Gaming. Next year, I’ll celebrate 20 years with Microsoft.
I am proud to represent Latinas and women in leadership. Paving the way as a foreign-born woman in a male-dominated industry has been no easy task, but gratefully Microsoft has given me the opportunity to work with leaders who value diverse perspectives and who see my potential. I am proud to be a part of Xbox’s evolution from being a console-centric business to a player-centric business which has allowed us to bring the joy and community of gaming to many more players and communities around the world outside of the traditional console markets. I’m also proud of that little girl, exploring the warm shore in Cuba, who dared to dream big dreams.
I am honored to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Xbox. For me, this time is about celebrating our rich culture as Hispanic and Latino people in America, whose identity has changed and expanded to include not only our countries of origin, but the identities of other Latin American cultures and American culture as we are…