Ana Marfils Schneider Electric cross-country career journey

Ana Marfil's Schneider Electric cross-country career journey

 October 06, 2019

Ana Marfil, Diversity and Inclusion Leader for Schneider Electric US, manages the initiatives and efforts to drive a more diverse and inclusive company. She is passionate about helping others develop, and believes firmly that inclusion drives business performance. Ana shares her Schneider story. 

A career that started in Mexico then moved to the US

"I joined Schneider Electric five years ago in Mexico, where I am originally from. Coming from the banking industry, I was looking for an environment that valued innovation and flexibility, and that cared about people. I had heard great things from my network about the culture at Schneider, so I applied for a role at the first opportunity I had. I joined as the Talent Manager for Mexico and Central America, where I was able to design and implement a strategy to drive the talent management culture. I had many exposure and development opportunities and realized that Schneider truly values innovation and genuinely cares about people," says Ana.

"Two years later however, my fiancée got a job offer in the US from the company he worked for, so I had to present my resignation to join him. When I called my functional manager at the time to say goodbye, she offered me a US based role supporting Talent Management now for North America. I felt so valued as a talent that the company wanted to retain, and was thrilled because I would be able to continue my career with Schneider."

Ana became the first one person in her family to have a job offer in the US, and even though this was a great source of pride for her family, they were very sad to see her leave. "Though excited for the opportunity, I was a little nervous because I had heard of many instances where Mexicans have been discriminated or poorly treated in America. However, I was pleasantly surprised (and grateful) that from the day I arrived, the people I met made me feel welcome and valued," Ana comments.

Feeling inspired by supportive Schneider colleagues 

Ana Schneider Electric group photo

Ana has been through many life transitions the last three years: she changed countries, got married, became a mother, bought a house, moved to a different role. And all through those moments, her managers and coworkers were there for me.

"My managers and coworkers created a safe space for me to overcome the challenges each transition presented, and enabled me to continue growing and delivering results. They focused on me as an individual, rather than on my ethnicity or gender," Ana explains. "Also, the policies that Schneider has in place to support employees, such as the Global Family Leave policy, made it easier for me to navigate the transitions successfully. I also am proud to share that Schneider was listed as one of the Best Employers for Diversity by Forbes in 2019, based on an employees’ survey and Forbes’ research on companies’ inclusive policies and practices."

Proud of her heritage and unique perspective

Coming to the United States made Ana realize that because of her ethnicity she was instantly part of a minority, however she has never felt isolated. "On the contrary, working at Schneider in the US has made me feel proud of my heritage and the unique perspectives I can bring to the table, not only because of where I come from, but because of who I am," she says.

Now, as the Diversity & Inclusion Leader for the US, Ana is proud to have the opportunity to support Schneider in its journey to be a more diverse an inclusive company. This is not an easy task, but it is helped by the fact Ana works alongside passionate colleagues in Schneider's Employee Resource Groups, who firmly believe in making a difference and creating a culture of inclusion and belonging. "They fuel and inspire me every day!" she says. 

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year since 1968, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the US from September 15 to October 15, with the purpose of recognizing the contributions and vital presence of Spanish-speaking people living in the US, especially from Latin American descent.

"I am especially proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month as I am now one of the nearly 59 million Hispanics in the US, the second fastest growing ethnic group after Asians. This is an opportunity for me not only to learn about and honor what my fellow Hispanics have historically contributed to America, but also to reflect on my own journey and identity as a Hispanic/Latina in the US," sys Ana.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to celebrate diversity in another of its many forms. The occasion is celebrated at Schneider by raising awareness of the Hispanic community in the US, and highlighting their contributions in many fields, such as STEM and military. Schneider's Hispanic employees also share their stories on the company's corporate social media handles, and Schneider highlights the work that the Hispanic Professionals Employee Resource Group is doing to drive inclusion for the Hispanic community in Schneider.

"Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to reflect on how important it is to foster a space where we can feel valued just for being ourselves. Leaders have a huge opportunity to make a difference whenever they mentor, support, develop, and take a risk on a talent from a diverse background. This can make a huge difference in the life of employees, therefore impacting positively in the business performance. It has certainly made a difference for me," Ana concludes. 

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Feeling inspired by Ana's career journey? At Schneider Electric, everyone's ideas are valued and women are empowered to fulfill their career ambitions.

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