Carolina Rodriguez – Country Manager Spain & LATAM at financeAds 

My name is Carolina Rodriguez, I have been working at financeAds International for 4 years and my current position is Country Manager Spain & LATAM.

I am Colombian, born and raised, but I moved to Germany (Münster) 10 years ago to study International Business, back then when I was 20 years-old. In 2013 I moved to Berlin to do a Masters Degree in Marketing Communication and immediately, I fell in love with the city. Berlin’s unique eclectic vibe and of course its diversity, in all life and work related aspects, captivated me. For the last 7 years I have done my very best to keep embracing this diverse and inclusive city.

What does diversity in the workplace mean to you?

Diversity is one of the things that I cherish the most in the workplace. Believe it or not, Colombia is a very traditional and conservative country, especially in the workplace. People usually dress very business-formal if they work in an office and due to the big multinational and corporation influence, the work environment and organizational culture is mostly hierarchical. Therefore people need to fit certain standards and show off a high social status in order to be successful. 

You are probably already thinking how Berlin strongly differs from all of the above. Berlin taught me that you don’t have to fit the norm to achieve success and that it is absolutely okay to stand out and be different. Diversity in the workplace means to me to learn how to use all these differences to your advantage to a point that your workplace is a better place thanks to it.

What do companies have to change or start doing to become more diverse?

Companies need to start acknowledging the fact that being diverse is something positive, first of all. To me the key of turning a workplace into a more diverse one is putting people from different backgrounds in top-middle management positions. Managers should lead by example and that is the best way to start embracing inclusion and diversity, to spread it from the top to the bottom.

Why do you think diversity in teams & companies is important?

The strong start-up scene in this city has shown me all the different ways in which diversity and inclusion contribute positively to the economy, the work environment and the balance between work and private life. Throughout all of these years at financeAds I started to see things in a different perspective, I learned from my colleagues not only different and better work-related methods, but I got to see as well, aspects of colleagues’ private lives that were completely unknown to me before, like Voguing (please go to a Voguing Ball). These interactions help create better bonds between colleagues, more fluent communication and definitely a healthier workplace environment.

What does diversity mean at finleap/in the ecosystem?

Working at a finleap venture, which is active in more than 10 countries across Europe and Latin America has an added value to me that I hadn’t seen before working at traditional German and Colombian companies. Diversity at my work is being able to share my day-to-day with colleagues from 7 different countries, and a broad range of ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs, just to name a few, and embrace all of them. This has made me learn so much about the positive interaction of human beings and how being inclusive is a fundamental factor towards succeeding as a person, both in private and work aspects.