- Alessandra Ginante Yockelson is chief talent officer at fintech company Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
- She said any aspiring professional can achieve their career goals with the right approach.
- Build your professional and personal confidence and champion diversity at every stage, she said.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Each year, more than half of a million professionals apply to job vacancies at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a fintech company based in Houston, Texas. Only 12,000 of these applicants were hired globally in 2019.
Despite the seemingly low odds of landing a position with this enterprise tech leader, HPE’s chief talent officer Alessandra Ginante Yockelson said that nearly 40% of hires in 2019 were gender diverse.
As a woman and immigrant, Yockelson understands that each professional faces unique intersectionalities. She believes that any aspiring professional has the ability to achieve their career goals even if they’re confronted with societal barriers.
“I come from a very humble family in São Paulo, Brazil,” Yockelson told Insider. “I had to overcome a lot of adversities in the beginning.”
She advises job seekers in every industry to follow these three pieces of advice.
1. Build your confidence professionally and personally
“Believe that no matter where you start from – no matter how limited your resources are or how victimized you are by institutionalized racism – there’s a way forward and a strength in you that will show,” Yockelson said.
Experts suggest that low levels of confidence negatively impact your career, especially if you’re a recent graduate.
To build confidence as a person and professional, consider first embracing your past accomplishments, identifying your weaknesses, and strengthening your resume. Other suggestions include:
- Learning how to align the skill set, achievements, and knowledge you’ve already developed with the requirements of the role you seek
- Highlighting the skills or certifications that you lack and identifying ways to formally improve them
- Continuing to enhance your resume through freelance projects and volunteering
- Seeking out support from peers to help you remain on-track to achieving your goals
- When feeling lost, consider taking aptitude tests to help you refocus on your unique motivational drivers, expositional traits, and learning style
2. Utilize free resources
Yockelson recently earned her doctorate in business administration. “Education, I truly believe in my case, has opened doors,” she said.
The pandemic has expanded online opportunities and free resources. Princeton, Harvard, and Yale are among the many universities that offer online courses through edX and Coursera, which also features courses led by companies like Google Cloud.
Yockelson insists that job seekers keep in mind that academia isn’t the sole provider of education. She encourages everyone to seek out diverse experiences outside of their comfort zones, even if that means simply grabbing lunch with people you don’t know at work.
3. Proactively champion diversity at every stage
Regardless of industry, all professionals have the power to champion diversity at every stage of their careers.
Leaders can immediately increase diversity on their teams by expanding the scope of job requirements, standardizing the interview process, and intentionally sponsoring employees belonging to minority groups.
By purposefully and publicly making an effort to counter the “invisibility effect,” leaders can elevate their existing employees while encouraging other diverse candidates in the workforce to pursue these roles.
Achieving certain career goals may seem impossible for those affected by intersectionality in the workplace, but Yockelson is determined to give these diverse professionals hope.
“If they knew my story, they would believe that they could do it as well,” she said.