Adriana has been able to cultivate her strengths and passions into a fulfilling career. She took experiences as they came to her. From Brazil to the US, to Germany, and to countless other countries, she underwent a whirlwind of career changes and educational opportunities. She credits some of her success to the people who gave her the chance to try and to start over from scratch multiple times.
Managing a team of 100, particularly a global team, requires a great deal of time and dedication. While for some this may be overwhelming, for Adriana it is her passion. She genuinely feels rewarded through her work. She works hard, but doesn’t like to consider herself a workaholic, as the work she does comes from the heart.
As someone who grew up with a busy mother, she wants to be a role model to her two daughters for pursuing a career that they love. She has made it a priority to be involved in her daughters’ lives and schedules her day to be able to attend their activities and be present as a parent. This balance may involve taking late night calls after a family dinner or responding to emails in between drop-offs at school, but it is a system that works for her. Adriana is a strong advocate for flex hours, allowing people to focus on both their careers and personal lives.
Adriana doesn’t like to think about obtaining power, instead she allows it to live in a dynamic state by focusing on using her abilities to influence people, to incite change in them. In practice, Adriana uses her influence within her team by challenging the status quo. For example, she challenges what roles exist in her department, questioning if they are positions that will make her employees feel that they are contributing something of value. It is through these types of challenging questions that growth can emerge.
Debunking HR myths
Adriana put our HR doubts at ease by debunking the myth that HR is meant only for management. In her experience, the department is made of real people who are passionate about the employee experience. She has entered Pegasystems with a mission to challenge how HR works and change the world’s perception of HR “one employee at a time”. She wants to bring depth to the roles in her department. “I don’t want HR to be notetakers, I want HR to be challengers.”
Although she still at times gets uncomfortable speaking in rooms with large crowds of native speakers, Adriana’s trick is to focus on what positive attributes she brings to the table. She finds strength in her passion and knowledge base, overcoming, or at the very least, taming her insecurities. While technicalities may fluster her at times, her nomadic career path has enhanced her awareness of diversity and how people may interpret things in different ways.
Words of Wisdom
Everyone gets frustrated and irritated at times, and Adriana is no exception. She says her best advice is to “Figure out what things you can change, and go make those changes. For things you can’t change, just move on.”
Thriving in a Male Dominated Work Space
Adriana’s response to being the first woman on Pegasystems’ executive team in 15 years was “I like a challenge.” One of her key tactics to thriving in this environment is to be prepared and know her subject matter. Showing that she is competent and responsible in her own work is the first step toward a good impression. Additionally, she has attended trainings and plans to get two certifications on her company’s product within her first year, as a means to learn the material that her peers are interested in discussing.
Adriana says the process to obtaining trust differs among companies and cultures, but there are some key concepts that you can implement in any space. Perception is everything, so altering the way you come across to others can help instill trust among employees, peers, and clients. Her suggestions include:
- Marketing yourself to others; show them that you’ve completed your deliverables.
- Respectful and direct conversations; take the time to respectfully approach the person you need information from rather than incorporating a middle man