Today, we want to highlight and acknowledge the talent and dedication of all the women who contribute to the technology sector. Many women are leading the way in innovation and digital transformation around the world, and today we focus on the perspective of one of them: Sara Arminio, HR Manager of Innovery Spain & LATAM.
Through her work at Innovery Spain & LATAM, Sara has shown herself to be a leader in talent development and management, working tirelessly to create an inclusive and motivating work environment for all members of the company. In this interview, we will learn more about her work and how she has contributed to the success of Innovery Spain & LATAM. Let’s get started!
HOW IS TALENT MANAGED IN THE ICT SECTOR?
S.A: We ask ourselves that question every day, because our sector is very dynamic and constantly evolving. In our HR team, in addition to using tools that best fit the profile we are looking for, what we use the most is CREATIVITY and INNOVATION.
In this sector, we are fortunate to know and work with a lot of talent. This, in itself, is already a challenge. In the selection process, we try to learn their language, be approachable…in short, we seek to make them feel comfortable and at ease and allow us to see, at least, a small part of that great potential. It’s about creating a relationship of trust from the very first contact.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITIES TO HAVE WHEN MANAGING HUMAN RESOURCES IN AN ORGANIZATION?
S.A: Empathy, a lot of it! You are our “clients,” we work for and with you. The HR team is a very balanced team of four people, between Spain and Mexico: Carla Alía, Lucía Heredia, Miguel Ángel Cotillas, and myself, who are characterized as being very “human.” You cannot work for people if you are not one yourself, and I am very proud of this team. We complement each other very well because we all have the same goal, and each one specializes in different areas, with different points of view that we share daily. These qualities are, obviously, human qualities.
Professionally speaking, it is necessary to have a complete business vision. We are always in contact with employees, regardless of the position they hold in the company. We need to know how we can help them in their day-to-day, which is not easy, especially for managers, because they have to manage the technical and human part of their teams, and we are aware that the human part is very complicated. They always count on our support; we are a very close team. I would also highlight curiosity and agility. We must be in constant learning to identify and work on new trends. I must exercise humility at this point and say that we learn a lot from all of you. In a digital era, where there is also talk of a talent war, we cannot fall behind. And of course, we will always seek transparency.
Finally, but not least, the training of the HR team. With the exception of psychology training, which we bring to the table, our knowledge of legislation, payrolls, occupational risk prevention, training, development, technologies, recruitment techniques, coaching, compensation and benefits, communication, accounting, etc., is part of our DNA. The department is very well trained and prepared to manage all kinds of needs that may arise in the company.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED AS A TALENT MANAGER IN THE ICT SECTOR, AND HOW HAVE YOU SOLVED THEM?
S.A: I must confess that INNOVERY is the first ICT company I have worked for. It was love at first sight. Michele Illiano and David Marcos are to blame for my decision to join INNOVERY! They spoke with such passion about the company and the ICT sector that I wanted to be a part of this world without hesitation. When I first joined, I met a team that enjoyed their work, was in a phase of strong growth, but had not yet had the opportunity to get to know each other in many cases.
I felt that there were no synergies between departments and the sense of “belonging” was a bit lacking. The pandemic was a key factor in this widespread feeling. The market was starting to move, and we had to move at the same speed. One of the challenges was to focus on this “sense of permanence.” I never liked saying “retain talent.” People are not retained, they are attracted! HR focused on this.
We needed to get to know each other, see that there were more colleagues behind a screen, managers supporting us, and feel part of a team… We have encouraged team building, resumed Summer Parties, increased training, improved our Madrid office, making it more welcoming, where we all have a space to work as a team when we need it. We are developing the company’s organizational charts so that everyone knows where we stand, especially now with the new structure of the company. Communication has also been, and continues to be, a key factor in all these challenges. HR is working on this point together with the Marketing area. It is essential that we all know “what’s cooking” in the company, being completely transparent. Dynamic Working, in my opinion, has been a game changer. A policy that we are very proud of, that helps us establish a balance between our professional and personal lives, which goes beyond traditional telecommuting, allowing us to adapt to this “dynamism.” I had never implemented such a flexible policy, with such care and so focused on people and their needs, and what is most important to me, based on mutual trust between INNOVERY and employees, in my entire professional career.
In the area of selection and recruitment, I am struck by the few women who apply for vacancies. I believe that women could contribute a lot to this sector. At INNOVERY, we support female leadership and continue to work on equality and diversity policies. The statistics are clear: in our sector, 2 out of 10 employees are women. We have a lot to improve, and we will continue to contribute to changing these figures.
Our latest and most challenging goal, as you all know, is the integration of the two companies, INNOVERY and Open3s. It is a fact that integration is complicated, fortunately in HR, we are not alone, all departments are aligned and in constant communication, sharing synergies and working as a team with very good synchronization. We have very involved and conscientious managers, with many aspirations, who are currently getting to know their teams and providing them with all the tools they need for their professional development. We also have great support from our CEO. As I mentioned before, it is essential to have a global view of the business to know how and where to focus our efforts. Our CEO has a clear vision of what we can achieve as a company, and what is even better, that people are the key to achieving it.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE NEW GENERATION OF WOMEN WHO ARE TRYING TO FORGE A PROFESSIONAL FUTURE IN THE ICT SECTOR?
S.A: I would tell them to run away from advice! But from my experience, I could tell them what I apply in my life, and that is not to allow anything or anyone to make me think or believe that I cannot do something. For that, it is very important to be in continuous training, to study, and to keep learning. Our sector is very competitive and innovative, you always have to look towards the future, stay up-to-date, be curious…When we launch an “innovative” idea from HR, my first thought is always “this is already obsolete, let’s go for more.” But this is common sense, it does not depend on gender and applies to everyone.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AS A WOMAN? WHO INSPIRES YOU?
S.A: My mother!!!! I hope that someday my son admires me as much as I admire my mother. She has set the bar very high for me.
And on another level, Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, piloting a Lockheed Vega 5B. I wouldn’t get on that plane even if you paid me!! Hahaha but back then, that’s all there was. I share her restless, adventurous spirit, in search of the freedom that being up there makes you feel. Unfortunately, and as illogical as it may seem, since I became a mother, I’m afraid of heights. It’s something I’m working on.
And in my daily life, and professionally, I’m influenced by and look up to my colleagues, great women with big challenges, aspirations, and knowledge that leave me excited every time I talk to them. I love listening to you, absorbing everything you know (it’s impossible, but I try), because you are a tremendous source of intelligence, professionalism, humanity, struggle, and inspiration.
There are 32 women in INNOVERY, between Mexico and Spain, and if there’s one thing I’m proud of, it’s being able to learn from you every day and be part of these 32 magnificent women.