Diversity & Inclusion Executive Sponsor (#IMdandi)
Maricel is principal at TELADATA, a design build solutions firm for data centers and IT, founder of Technology Convergence Conference, and a founding Board Member of Infrastructure Masons.
Why did you get involved with iMasons?
As an immigrant from the Philippines who moved to the United States at a young age, diversity has played a key role in shaping my personal and professional journey. Growing up, I struggled with not fitting in, and my mother instilled in me that being different is important to make a difference, and that in order to make a difference, you must act. I applied this advice throughout my career in the technical infrastructure industry to overcome challenges I faced early on due to my age, gender, and ethnicity. Through hard work, speaking up, and my contributions, I quickly moved up the corporate ladder. I’ve always been passionate about sharing my experience and empowering other minorities, so when my mentor, Dean Nelson, shared with me his idea of helping him start Infrastructure Masons, where digital infrastructure professionals can connect, grow, and give back, I was immediately interested. I was drawn to its mission, the impact I can make by bringing awareness to this industry, particularly to women, and how I can give back by becoming a mentor to younger generations.
Why championing D&I is important?
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) matters because beyond the gender, race, age, and sexual orientation, it brings people together with different backgrounds and viewpoints in the workplace. This fosters creativity, innovation, a better culture, and is important in attracting and retaining talent. Although this topic is a focal point for many businesses and while as a society, we’ve made progress, there is still a lot more that we can do. That is why Infrastructure Masons established a D&I Committee that consists of Member Resource Groups focusing on IM Women, Millennials-GenZ, Hispanic/LatinX, and Military Veterans. The mission is to create a community where individuals feel a sense of belonging, can provide input and guidance to highlight the value of diversity, and raise the visibility of the community within the industry. Amber Caramella, Chief Revenue Officer at Netrality Data Centers and Executive Sponsor of IMWomen Worldwide, commented, “In my role as Executive Global Sponsor for IM Women and Advisory Counsel Member, I have been able to collaborate with industry leaders across the digital infrastructure community to help drive awareness to under-represented groups working in the digital infrastructure industry globally and promote the career advancement of women currently working in technical infrastructure and data centers”.