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Diageo supports finance leader, Maria, to progress her career

Diageo supports finance leader, Maria, to progress her career

 May 22, 2018

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“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right,” is a famous quote by Henry Ford and one of Maria Andres’ favourites.

It’s served her well throughout her career with Diageo. Maria spent her early life in banking and joined Diageo after a career break. Promoted several times to a senior leadership role in finance, she’s been with Diageo for 14 years and she has never looked back.

Early career path

Born and raised in Spain, Maria spent her senior high school year as an international student in the US, before returning to Spain to study at the University of Madrid. Achieving her degree in economics and business, Maria furthered her education with an MBA at IESE Business School.

Learning a great deal about mergers and acquisitions in the retail sector during the early part of her career with a Spanish investment bank, it wasn't long before Maria sought a role out of consultancy and into the world of business. Maria joined an exciting telecoms start-up in the finance team, which was “an interesting adventure,” comments Maria, “but sadly not successful. The company experienced difficulties following 9/11 and we all lost our jobs.”

Open and friendly culture with strong values

Following a career break to start a family, Maria soon wanted to get back to work and gave her CV to a friend who worked at Diageo. She was offered the job on International Women’s Day 2004 and hasn’t looked back.

“What first attracted me was the open and friendly culture with a ‘celebration’ spirit,  a great industry, strong values and people orientation,” says Maria. “I’m excited about working with such a diverse group of people across functions, and across countries.”

Excellent career progression at Diageo

Maria’s career progression at Diageo has been fast-paced and exciting. Joining the company in 2004 as a commercial finance partner, Maria rapidly progressed to commercial finance manager, Western Europe logistics director, supply chain director for Spain and Portugal, culminating in her role as finance director for Spain and Portugal.

“For me, it was exciting to have the opportunity of cross-functional experience as I moved to another function,” says Maria. “As Supply Chain Director for Diageo Iberia, I took with me all my finance experience to use it in the supply chain arena, while I gained very valuable experience, which helped me understand the more ‘operational’ side of this business.”

“After five years outside of finance, it was also great coming back to the function to a more senior role as Finance Director for Diageo Iberia.”

Maria states that openness, commercial acumen, rigor and having a “doing the right thing” approach, as well as having people oriented mindset is what has helped her to develop as a finance/business leader with Diageo.

Career advice from an inspirational female leader

When asked about what career advice she would give to others, Maria said, “be authentic and be confident in yourself. If you can do this, you will get anywhere and will be able to achieve anything.”

Fantastic career opportunities at Diageo

For an exciting and challenging role like Maria’s, take a look at Diageo’s current vacancies. Join a team of over 30,400 people who are growing a global business, together.


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