March 27, 2020
Categorized: Inclusion | Meet IBMers | Women at IBM
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(4 min read) The women of IBM are doing some amazing things to change the world, so let’s celebrate them! This March to celebrate women’s history month and #IWD2020, our incredible female IBMers are sharing their stories with you. Today, meet Daniela Fleischmajer, CMO with IBM Services Latin America. She has worked at IBM for nearly 20 years. She lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina with her husband, four children and a Maltese dog named Lupe.
Want to learn more about the incredible women at IBM and how you can join them and work at IBM? Head over to our Careers Page to learn more!
Tell us about your work at IBM!
I have had many different jobs at IBM but they have always been tied to Services. I started my career with IBM as a student. After a year, IBM hired me. Over the course of my career, I have worked in purchasing, finance and planning, sales, and operations. Now I am in marketing. All my roles have been regional, which has given me the ability to understand the different markets in Latin America.
What advice would you give yourself starting your career?
If I had to give advice to the person I was when I started at IBM, it would be “Attitude will always make the difference.” It does not matter if we do not know something, if we do not achieve the results, or if we are wrong — the correct attitude will always make the difference. Also take risks, try new things, and do not stay in your comfort zone. Always have a growth mindset!
What women inspire you?
I admire Rosa Parks (a U.S. civil rights activist) for her bravery on that bus. She demonstrated that small actions can make a difference. One quote that I love from her is, “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” Anne Frank was also an amazing example of how attitude and hope allow us to get through adversity. And then Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She refused to be boxed in by her gender. She’s the definition of a rule breaker.
On a more personal level, I admire my mom. She is the strongest person I know. She had ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer (three times), and thrombosis, and she is alive. Her recipe? Attitude and a bit of luck! Before each operation or treatment, she would buy new pajamas, get her nails done, and go to the hairdresser. Then she was ready to face anything. This month makes me remember all these women. They really are an influence on my day-to-day.
Do you have any books that you would recommend?
“Into Thin Air” details the experience of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which eight climbers were killed after being stranded by a storm. One of the most important things I learned from this book is the value of collaborative leadership. Leading people as they work together can accomplish both individuals and collective goals.
The other is “Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage,” about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. When his ship was crushed by ice and sank in the Weddell Sea, Shackleton demonstrated his ability to respond to constantly changing circumstances.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career and how have you tackled them?
This was a challenge that I set for myself a few years ago. I thought I wanted to be the Executive Assistant for our Latin America General Manager. I admired him a lot and followed his career closely, but I didn’t know him personally. So, I used my network contacts to get a meeting with him.
Then, I developed an elevator pitch, describing why he should consider me for the job. I prepared by rehearsing with my husband and my boss. During the meeting with the GM, I explained why I would like to be his next Executive Assistant. I told him my abilities, my knowledge, and my desires. He gave me tips, offered to help me, and consider me for the position. A month later he moved to another role in a different region, but I was proud to have challenged myself and overcome my fears.