Role of Women as CEO in technology


We Talk About How to Stand Out as a Female CEO with María Laura Palacios

Today at N5 CIZ, Julian Colombo talks with María Laura Palacios, CEO of G&L Group. We will have the opportunity to see not only her beginnings, but the lessons she learned in her career and her advice for female professionals.


How do you balance a flawless career and an entire family? What was your biggest mistake in your professional life and what did you learn from it? What makes a woman stand out in her environment, based on your experience? Find out the answer to this and much more in today’s interview. Here are the key points from the interview and the most valuable lessons we learned.


Still, we recommend watching the full video so you don’t miss a talk full of valuable tips and interesting experiences.

Beginnings of María Laura Palacios

Maria was always a restless and adventurous person, she has had the opportunity to live in various countries, including France and Brazil, and has accumulated all kinds of stories.

She tells how Brazil marked her. He lived there for some great years, and he agrees with Julián on how nice the people are there.

His father was a nuclear engineer. She opted for science too, but computer science. A passion that had started thanks to her uncle, who brought a computer to her home for the first time when she was just 14 years old.

Programming as a hobby, he discovered that he could earn income from what he loved, and that changed his perspective forever. Maria would end up studying systems engineering.

Balancing Professional Life and Family

Maria is not only a very meticulous and attentive professional, but also a “super mom” who always finds time to spend with her family. She tells how passion is key when it comes to achieving this balance between professional and personal life.
Even with children, she knew that work was not something she was going to quit. From the beginning she made it her goal to enjoy both. Even her husband knew it, and supported her in this.
María talks about how having a supportive family was vital to this. His father, for example, even renounced his contract to have more time to enjoy with his grandchildren.

How to Encourage Professional Women to Follow Systems

The debate on the role of women in areas such as technology is quite recent. It was not until the difference in positions held by women and men depending on the industry was critically looked at that anything could be done to correct this.

For Maria it is a marketing issue. She believes that to encourage women to take on these roles it is necessary to dispel many of the myths related to systems. Many times people associate this field with negative ideas that can make them doubt and that are very far from reality.

As María mentions, “there is a marketing [related to these areas] that makes all the stereotypes masculine”.

Therefore, what you have to do is cut all those stereotypes. Show the reality of the systems environment. It is not a matter of quotas, according to her. It is about teaching everything that is possible.

Competition Is Not Always Rival

Late in the interview, Julián asks his signature question: he asks María to tell him about an error that has marked her enormously on a professional level.

She recounts how during the 2001 crisis, the main client for the company she founded decided that she was going to choose from all the companies that provided technology consulting to keep one.

For Maria, her biggest mistake was not allying herself at that time with one of her competitors. She had decided that this was a crusade she must go through alone, and she did.

Her mistake, according to her, was to understand the competition as a rival and not as a complement. That made her miss a great opportunity.

Although competition is often understood as something to compete against, the truth is that many times we can benefit from it. If we put our emotions aside and see it analytically, we will find opportunities to promote a current product or reach a larger audience.

Mary’s Secret Project

In contrast to the question about his biggest mistake, Julián is interested in knowing what was one of the biggest successes in Maria’s life.

María tells how that happened while she was working on a secret project – for which she also worked alongside N5. It was a very demanding thing, for which just putting together the team took a lot of effort. However, in the end all that work paid off.

Unfortunately the CEO cannot reveal what it was all about. But Julián tells how Maria’s leadership was crucial to the success of a project that, in his own words, was very “unlikely success.”

Tips For Professional Women

If Maria had to give a young girl advice to go far in the professional environment, she would tell her to do things with pleasure and to put passion in everything she works for. It is not the same to do things just to do them, than to do them with enthusiasm.

Sometimes things are not easy, but it is part of the day to day. It is not something traumatic, but one more event. You have to take things positively and smile more. Even mistakes are good when they are turned into something positive.

Besides that, she would recommend that you study and dedicate yourself to doing what you like. When you do things you don’t like, they never go well.

But in addition to this, what they must avoid at all costs is to pigeonhole themselves in a university degree. The world is much bigger than that.

If we also add those of Fran Muñoz to these excellent advice, then we have a guaranteed recipe for success.

Conclusions of the Talk

As we have had the opportunity to observe, Maria is about a woman who has not only grown enormously professionally, but has achieved that many cannot – while she finds time to be a great mother. These are the key points of the talk:

  • An adventurous spirit and an open mind can take you far
  • Passion is key when it comes to standing out in any environment
  • It is necessary to ignore gender stereotypes of certain careers and follow what one likes
  • Sometimes your competition can be your best ally – if you see the opportunity.
  • With good leadership and enthusiasm, even “unlikely success” projects can succeed.
  • You have to take life positively and look for the good side even of bad things. That is the only way to learn and improve.

Editorial: Marcelo Frette

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