Pablo Viera is a Branch Account Executive in the Latin American (LATAM) market, but he does a lot more than his job description. Pablo joined Branch in early 2022, and he’s already played an integral role in supporting, growing, and improving the ¡Viva! Employee Resource Group (ERG) and Hispanic and LatinX communities — in addition to supporting our goals in the LATAM market.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Pablo shares his story of coming to the United States and finding his niche in the tech market. It’s well known that underrepresented populations often face workplace discrimination in the form of pay inequity, promotional bias, and macro as well as micro-aggressions. The tech industry is known to be even less equitable in representation. Pablo’s story of searching for a welcoming workplace environment highlights the importance of corporate investment into diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces in tech.
“When I came to the United States seven years ago, I was looking for employment. In Argentina, I was the founder of a fintech startup and a nonprofit, but when I was applying to jobs in the US, I felt like none of my rich experience mattered. My success was disqualified because I came from a third-world country. Someone interviewing me once told me, ‘I don’t care about your experience in Argentina; I care about your experience here.’ I had another colleague once insult me by saying that Spanish-speaking sales people sounded like the ‘flea market of the company.’ I soon learned that my salary was lower than people younger and less experienced than myself.”
Pablo realized that he was fighting an uphill battle to find an employer that valued him, his experience, and his culture in the US. The closer he looked, the more discrepancy he discovered in his treatment in the tech world.
“It’s hard for minorities to achieve high management positions and competitive salaries. I talked to my colleagues at one of my first jobs in the US and was surprised by just how unfairly I was being promoted and compensated compared to them, even when I outperformed them. I realized I needed a new strategy to find a company and a role that valued just how experienced and talented I was.
I looked for companies willing to invest in the LATAM market. Because when a company values hiring people who know the politics, the rich history, the economy of each country, I knew that they would value my expertise and diversity as an employee and expert in my field. I was referred to Branch by a friend of mine who knew Mike Molinet, the COO and co-founder. I started to look at Branch and the company seemed like it met the criteria I had set.”
Unfortunately, underrepresented populations often have a tougher interview process in corporate America. On top of the bias individuals often face from the get go, they are also challenged with the additional complexity of looking for a company and a team that will respect their unique perspectives in the workplace. That’s a tall order, and it requires a keen eye during the interview process.
“During my interview with Branch, I asked tough questions. And I found that everyone I spoke to at Branch during the recruitment process understood the importance of the LATAM market and looked at me as an expert. They were extremely responsive to every question I asked and never doubted my experience or knowledge.
I was even more pleased to hear that Branch has the ¡Viva! Employee Resource Group. ¡Viva! allows voices to be heard — it creates an opportunity for a community of people to communicate about their talents, goals, and professional aspirations. We get to share our culture with one another and have a channel to create a subculture in our workplace. More than that, we get to educate our coworkers in an official way on our experiences and culture.”
Branch is lucky to have impressed Pablo during the interview process, and he chose us as the next step in his career. In less than a year, he’s optimized our position in the LATAM market, lived our values, and added to our culture of humility and drive.
“It’s clear that management here is committed to supporting ¡Viva! with their time and money, and that’s important. Conversations are important. Diversity, equity, and inclusion at Branch are more than a PR piece like at some other companies I’ve worked at — it’s a clear value here.”
What Pablo loves most about ¡Viva!
- “¡Viva! ERG is a space where you can meet your colleagues in both a personal and informal environment and where members share their culture, language, and history. It is a welcome place for LatinX tech professionals as well as allies.”
- “¡Viva! allows a safe space to discuss uncomfortable ideas that open up debates within the company in search of a more egalitarian work environment, and we continue to raise awareness about the importance of diversity, bringing visibility to Branch team members across the organization.”
- “¡Viva!, like many of the other ERGs at Branch, gives an opportunity to amplify the voices that we often do not hear in tech. That allows us to improve as people, not just employees.”
¡Viva! Mission Statement:
We are here to develop a strong network as well as promote the cultural diversity and professional development of our members. Together, we will make an impact within the Hispanic and LatinX communities inside and outside of Branch.
If you would like to work with amazing people like Pablo, check out our open roles.