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Inspired to lead: Meet leaders from Pinterest Mexico
The Life at Pinterest Team sat down with two leaders who are members of Latin@, our Pinclusion Group for Latiné employees and allies. Maria Laura Corral Acosta is Head of Sales, Spanish Latin America, and Francisco Navarrete is Senior Engineering Manager. Both Laura and Francisco started at Pinterest in 2021 and are based in Mexico City.
What led you to the Pinterest team?
Laura: I love this product so much, I opened my account in December 2010 and have been an avid user ever since. Once I started following the company more, I understood the mission and values behind Pinterest, and I was hooked. The opportunity to launch Pinterest Ads in countries that I love and build the team from the ground up was too good to pass up. It has since exceeded every expectation and I am living my dream job.
Francisco: I joined the Pinterest team for several reasons. Firstly, I was drawn to the amazing product itself, which is used by over 465 million people monthly worldwide to find inspiration to create a life they love. Being part of a company that brings positivity and empowers people was a key motivator for me. Secondly, I found the complex engineering challenges involved in building and scaling such a platform very appealing. Pinterest utilizes cutting-edge technology which presents an exciting opportunity to work on innovative projects. Thirdly, the positive experience I had during the interview process, with very talented and kind interviewers, recruiters and managers, gave me a glimpse at the company’s culture and made me eager to join a team of both highly skilled and supportive individuals. Lastly, the chance to be one of the first hires in the newly established office in Mexico was a unique opportunity to contribute to shaping the office culture, hiring talented individuals and witnessing the growth and evolution of the company.
How do pieces of your culture show up in your work and leadership styles?
Laura: Latin America is not a monolithic culture, and I am reminded of this daily given that my team and I manage four different countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Navigating the cultural differences also reminds us of the richness of our culture, from our music, to our accents and slang, to our food. This flexibility and respect for differences is an asset as a leader, as we are in service to our teams, and our duty is to adjust our style (within reason) to our audience. I hope to do that better each day.
Francisco: Pieces of my latin culture show up in both my work and leadership styles through the values of community, warmth and hospitality. Growing up in Mexico, I have witnessed the importance of strong community bonds and close knit relationships. In my role as a leader, I strive to create a team environment where members feel welcomed, supported and connected. This sense of community translates into closely knit teams that work together effectively, feeling safe to express their ideas and concerns without fear of judgment. Additionally, the value of hospitality and warmth influences my approach to serving internal stakeholders. As my team manages multiple internal tools, we aim to provide a positive experience for those who use our applications. We prioritize empathizing with our users, offering friendly and helpful support, and ensuring their needs are met.
When you think about our Pinterest values, which one resonates the most with you?
Laura: Aim for Extraordinary is my favorite. I believe firmly in always challenging my team to do more, do better, and grow. To do so, I must first lead by example, and so I always try to embody this virtue as much as possible. Nothing useful gets done in a comfort zone, no one grows that way. I also get bored easily and being as challenged as possible is the best way to avoid this.
Francisco: When I reflect on our Pinterest values, the one that resonates the most with me is "Act as One" as I strongly believe in the power of teamwork and collaboration. Throughout my career, I have observed the limitations of individual efforts and the exponential impact that can be achieved from the support, expertise and cooperation of a group. "Act as One" reminds us that by working together, we can accomplish greater achievements, build stronger relationships, and establish a foundation for sustained progress.
What advice do you have for Latiné talent looking to join Pinterest?
Laura: Be true to yourself is always my best advice. In my career, I have always chosen to speak up when it was the right thing to do, regardless of whether it was convenient or easy. When it matters most, it generally isn’t easy. In the long run, committing to your values and sticking to them, accompanied by listening because being uselessly stubborn isn’t the same as righteousness, will always bring you to safe harbor. Pinterest isn’t a perfect company, none are, but every time I have spoken up, someone has listened - and if that isn’t safe harbor, I don’t know what is.
Francisco: If you're considering joining Pinterest, my advice would be to prioritize two key factors: following your passion and emphasizing soft skills. Firstly, pursuing a career that aligns with your genuine interests and passions will bring greater job satisfaction and motivation. Take the time to identify your interests and find a career path at Pinterest that aligns with them. Secondly, in addition to technical skills, developing strong soft skills such as communication, teamwork and business acumen are integral to success at Pinterest. These skills will allow you to maximize your output through collaboration and also enable you to make better decisions by understanding the "why" behind our work.
What are you currently Pinning?
Laura: I am planning a trip to Japan, so that has dominated my Pinning - from fashion to food to experiences to cultural activities.
Francisco: I’m about to move to a new apartment, so I’ve been using Pinterest to find industrial design ideas for decorating it.