Ivanna Gutierrez – Proud of Her Hispanic Heritage
Recognizing our diverse team and their unique heritages, DHG is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month during the month of September. Ivanna Gutierrez is a Risk Advisory Consultant in DHG’s Charlotte market who is proud of her Hispanic family roots and traditions. She joined DHG earlier this year, and her background is in IT with direct experience in the financial services industry. Ivanna’s focus areas include web development, business analysis, and project management.
I was born in New York; my mother is from Puerto Rico, and my father is from El Salvador. My Hispanic heritage is a big part of my life. I grew up speaking Spanish at home and spoke English at school. My father grew up during the civil war in El Salvador, and because of this, he instilled in me the importance of working hard, appreciating opportunities like a good education, and being close to family. We celebrate our heritage by always being ourselves wherever we are, by speaking Spanish, dancing salsa, cumbia, and merengue at family gatherings, and passing down family recipes. We also help out in the community and give free Bible studies in Spanish and English.
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at DHG?
It makes me feel valued as an employee. At the RAS Conference we celebrated being our true authentic self, and this helps me be more open with who I am. It also helps me connect with our clients, many whom have traveled abroad or are interested in different types of food and cultures.
Why are you passionate about women in technology, and what are some ways women are making an impact in the technology sector?
From a young age, I enjoyed playing video games with my dad, and it made me curious as to how video games were made. I attended a technology high school and had great mentors. Seeing other girls with similar backgrounds who were also passionate about learning about technology kept me motivated to work harder. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is a male dominated education path, but it is great to see the shift to including women in IT - everyone has that ability to have great ideas. In high school, I won the Aspirations in Computing Award from NCWIT (National Center of Women in Information Technology). Every year this organization recognizes about 40 girls around the country, and this network opened my eyes to where a career in technology could take me – such as where I am today at DHG. From NCWIT, there was a grant to share technology opportunities and skills to middle school girls, so I created summer camps for minority middle school girls to spark an interest in technology at UNC Charlotte. It was a great experience for both the students and for me.
What are some of your Life Beyond Numbers hobbies outside of work?
I love to cook and bake recipes passed down from my grandmother, spend time with my extended family, give free Bible studies to people in the community, and learn about different cultures and languages. I have been learning Arabic for the past three years with friends.