Blog: HER Story Ana Espadas
Mapping meaningful trails with Ana Espadas
As enterprise architect at CompuCom, Ana Fabiola Espadas Zimbeck is good with maps—business mapping, that is. She aligns needs with strategy, creating technology maps so businesses can deliver their solutions. Her job is putting all the pieces together end to end to ensure that strategy is implemented successfully. She is unafraid when enterprises want to veer from the beaten path with their technology. Ana is also fearless when tackling issues of diversity and inclusion in her professional life.
I was recently honored as a CompuCom Women in STEM Trailblazer. This award is internal, open to any woman companywide, and working at any level. It celebrates a person who has shown support for other women or acted as a motivator or agent of change.
Receiving this award has confirmed that what I have been doing, and continue to do, is heading in the right direction. Sometimes, you decide where to push, where to challenge, whom to challenge, and you aren‘t sure if you‘ve made the right choice. This recognition was a nod of approval for the choices and challenges I‘ve made.
Furthermore, it was recognition that, even during the upheaval of the pandemic, the company saw my efforts. I worked with the CompuCom community of women juggling kids and work and life during the pandemic. There was so much going on during the closures, so much chaos and extra pressure placed on women, so much extra effort needed from us professionally to help keep businesses secure and working. I didn‘t have time to stop and reflect on what I was doing. So, receiving this award was also meaningful because it came during a time that was so hard.
In love with a job that is always exciting
My role at CompuCom is exciting. I can use my creative thinking and problem-solving skills with each new strategy. Things are evolving and changing so quickly that every day I have the opportunity to propose solutions, be creative and be challenged, and work with different people in different areas of the company. I genuinely love what I do.
Many people don‘t understand the importance of enterprise architecture in a company. My goal is to demonstrate, to the industry, the critical role that enterprise architecture plays in being successful in a tech-driven world. It is also essential that women are part of the architectural process. They bring a unique lens and different ways of thinking to the equation that greatly benefits companies.
I grew up STEM
Technology was always an option for me. My mother and father are in engineering, so I was raised with a science and math mindset, always creating and analyzing. My mother and grandmother were both trailblazers of their time—working mothers who stepped into leadership in different industries. My grandmother worked in healthcare, and my mother for the government. They always told me; you can do it. It never mattered what it was.
The digital revolution had just started to take hold when I was gearing up for college; it captured my attention, so that‘s the path I followed. My family encouraged me because it was another it I could do.
I went to the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and earned a degree in telecommunications engineering and computer science. I loved the courses, but I had to work while I studied.
When you are young and get your first taste of a salary, you can lose sight of work/life balance and want to leave school. That was true of me. I liked the money, and I also loved the work. But I stuck with schooling and got the credentials that I needed.
I think that women especially can get distracted from their dreams (and getting the certifications they need to achieve them). The promise of good pay, getting married, having children—it is easy to get sidetracked. But don‘t give up on your dream, on your schooling. It‘s so important to hang in and hang on.
Four pieces of advice
What follows are four bits of advice to women just starting out that I learned from my experiences:
1) Stick with your dreams and your education.
2) Get a mentor. Learn from others. It‘s free to learn from other people, and it can be invaluable to you.
3) Embrace the idea of doing, even if it scares you. Many people wait for the perfect moment or ideal situation. In my experience, perfect moments never really exist. Sometimes you just need to leap.
4) Lean in, keep walking, keep moving. When times are hard, keep moving forward step by step.