“Making a Difference In STEM”
Dulce told me her story with a lot of passion, especially when we talked about her family, her work and about women in business.
Dulce comes from Valencia, Venezuela where she graduated from Computer Sciences Engineering at University Simon Bolivar, one of the most prestigious technical universities in Venezuela.
As a schoolgirl, she realized she had a natural talent for natural science, physics and mathematics. Her childhood dream was to become an architect but everything changed at university where she had the opportunity to experience different study lines in sciences and that’s how she discovered Computer Sciences engineering. The decision for the studies came to her as a sign, she was led by her intuition. It was the right decision she never regretted.
From there, Dulce went on to win a highly competitive scholarship from the Venezuelan government to pursue graduate studies in the USA. She chose to pursue an MBA in International Management from the prestigious Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona where she lived for two years.
“I have an entrepreneurial spirit and it was important for me to learn how to manage a company not only from a technical perspective but from all aspects of a business. Learning about marketing and finance was key for my professional growth. I also have a great passion for new cultures and global matters.”
She managed not only to receive her MBA but later she also got a master’s in science in Engineering Management from the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas (USA) where she lived and work for 11 years.
With a career focused upon Telecommunications and IT, she went from IBM to Avaya. While living in Dallas, she met her husband Fabio and got legally married in January 2005 in a very intimate ceremony. In May 2005, they also celebrated their religious wedding with family and friends. In April 2006, they moved to Rome.
In Italy, she worked for the Leonardo Group for several months and later for Cisco Systems where she stayed for 5 years. She consistently achieved her sales goals and was recognised with a Sales Champion Award.
In 2013, after reconnecting with a friend from Thunderbird, she decided to invest in a new business venture becoming a stakeholder and a Managing Director of eSource Capital in Italy. Esource Capital part of the Esource Capital Group is a Google, Amazon and Microsoft partner worldwide and one of the most important partners in Latin America. The company has 450 employees worldwide and has expanded in over 27 countries. Dulce is not only responsible for the Italian office but for the sales in the EMEA market.
“Working with the European market has been a big challenge for us not only because we have to deal with many different political systems, cultures and languages but because we have had to adapt our strategies to a labour, legal and tax environment very complex”.
Becoming an entrepreneur, Dulce on one hand has a lot of responsibility towards employees, customers and stakeholders. On the other hand, she feels more independent and feels she found a genuine professional growth”.
“At my company, I’m wearing many hats, I feel some days are very stressful and sometimes I feel that I’m always working however I’m learning every day, I have the opportunity to have a say in the direction of the organization and I feel my job is very exciting.
Her leadership model is setting up goals and helping her employees to reach those goals. In this way, her employees can work with some degree of autonomy and independence towards specific objectives while enhancing their skills and growing professionally.
“In Esource Capital, it’s important to be surrounded by great professionals but more important is to be surrounded by people willing to work in a simple environment, eager to work towards our company’s goals and people we can trust”
The biggest priority in Dulce’s life is her family – her husband and her twin boys, Andres and Daniel, who are 11 years old. Giving them Spanish names helps her be closer to her Latina-American roots.
Dulce’s family supports her work as an entrepreneur. Her husband helps with a lot of the household and parenting activities when necessary and her sons respect the time she needs to dedicate to her job. They learned that she has a big responsibility with employees and customers. “When I am working from home, there is the rule that they can’t interrupt me and they must behave correctly and finish their own work autonomously. I’m committing back to them dedicating my time completely to them when I call it the day”. She dedicates herself to her family fully when she is out of work, either going for long walks in the countryside or riding bicycles. Before the pandemic, Dulce and her family traveled a lot.
During the pandemic times, Dulce missed going to the cinema and traveling internationally, however, they started their own tradition “Pizza and movie night”. They ordered pizza and watched a movie on a big screen from their own projector with enhanced sound. Since they can’t travel internationally, they are vacationing in beautiful Italian places.
She likes cooking and trying different cuisines and she is interested in a healthy lifestyle. Dulce is keen on biking and has completed two challenging biking experiences, the Camino de Santiago – St James Way (a 820 Km route through Spain) and the August’s Hotter than Hell race in Texas (a 100 miles route under a 100 degrees heat).
Dulce joined PWA in 2006 shortly after arriving in Rome, looking to connect with international like-minded professionals who had worked abroad like herself. In 2007, she joined the Board as Secretary. Quickly realizing that the greatest difficulty of attracting ever moreinternational members was due to a shortage of funds, a limited budget and above all lack of visibility, she whole-heartedly pursued transforming PWA from a club to a full-fledged legal entity. Dulce and the 2007 board were instrumental in giving new life to the Professional Women’s Association; Not only navigating the byzantine bureaucracy to register our Statutes, but also setting up a PWA bank account with the help of Valerie Baxter. PWA could then transparently and proudly promote itself as a professional association. “2007 was an important inflection year, for the first time PWA started attracting not only members but also important financial sponsors. Funding activities was key to changing the whole direction of the association.
Dulce is also a member of the CDTI (Club di Dirigenti di Tecnologia Informatica) of Rome. As part of the CDTI initiatives, she is acting as a mentor of innovative Italian startups.
In Dulce’s opinion, women in business are important, not only to reduce the gender gap and have a different perspective of situations but because women have better soft skills and are very productive. They tend to value their time better and look for efficiencies so they can dedicate more time to their families. Statistically, women are very transparent in business.
Currently, Dulce is part of the board of directors of the “Terziario Donna (TD) Roma association. The TD association, part of Confcommercio – Imprese per l’Italia, groups Small and Medium Businesswomen entrepreneurs in Rome working in services, tourism, retail and distribution. TD helps women entrepreneurs (or wanting to become) with information, training and assistance. It also promotes gender equalities activities. As part of the board, Dulce is responsible for the TD STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) initiatives.
“As an Information technology entrepreneur, I realized that there is a great need for technical resources in the world. Having a technical education is a passport to secure a job and have a successful career in Italy. Even though the issues with gender equality, an entry level technical job is better compensated than other entry-level jobs in Italy due to the current shortage. Women need to understand the value of our own financial autonomy. Everything starts with having a job “