How hard is it to become a Latina leader? Throughout her career, Beth Marmolejos has risen to leadership roles and achieved great success in her field. Her story offers some insights and advice to other aspiring Latina leaders.
Bethania “Beth” Marrazini-Marmolejos is a passionate, hard-working corporate executive with 25 plus years experience in the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries. She is currently employed by Anthem in New York City where she serves as an IT Executive Advisor for the New York and Wisconsin markets.
Beth began her corporate career in 1987, working as a Data Sales Entry analyst for MEDCO Health Solutions Accounting Department in Franklin Lakes, NJ. She began this job with no college credits and through her years with the company she was able to earn both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Eighty-percent of her courses were paid for by her employer as long as she maintained her grades. After ten years of intensive coursework, Beth graduated with honors earning a Bachelors in Accounting and a Masters in Finance.
While she worked toward earning her degrees, Beth continued to move up through various roles within the Finance department at MEDCO. These experiences helped prepare Beth for the leaderships roles that would soon follow in her career.
Seeing challenges as opportunities for Latina leadership
One story Beth shares is when at MEDCO, her company bought a subsidiary called “Accredo” for $2B. At this time, both the President of that subsidiary and Beth’s boss, the Vice President of Financing and Pricing, decided to leave. “That challenge was a blessing for me,” says Beth. As the Senior Manager of Finance, Beth was propelled into a major leadership role helping the company through the acquisition and integration of the subsidiary.
“Then, I was young and did not realize what a huge undertaking and responsibility this was, I just faced the situation head on and did my job,” she explains. “That being said, the opportunity opened doors for me to be flying on the company’s jet with senior leaders to Memphis…and got a promotion to Director of Finance after the acquisition was completed,” says Beth. “The moral of the story is that I was able to remain calm and focus despite the challenges, and ended up getting promoted.”
Later in 2013, Beth left MEDCO to work in New York City for Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield under the leadership of Brian Griffin, an old colleague of Beth’s from MEDCO. Here she continued to rise quickly, earning the title of Director after only six months of starting at Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Beginning in 2016, Beth started working as IT Executive Advisor for the state of New York and Wisconsin for Empire’s parent company, Anthem. Here she continues to be someone people love to work with. She believes her Latina roots give her an edge above her peers and have led her to success within her field. She faces every situation with a can-do mentality and positive energy– traits that have been fostered in her through her Latina upbringing.
When working with others she always treats people with respect. “I truly and genuinely make everyone feel valued and that comes from the Latina in me! We love people!” says Beth.
“Latinindad,” a challenge or a benefit for Latina leadership
Beth also cites that one challenge she has faced throughout her years in her field is often being the only Latina in her department. At times she has felt that she needs to “tone down” her passion and enthusiasm to project at a more Executive level. This act of self-censorship is difficult because “As you know, we Latinas are very passionate!” says Beth.
Another challenge has been dealing with people that do not share her same business ethics and moral compass. These people often become hindrances as they do not understand Beth’s enthusiasm or misinterpret her desire to help as having a hidden agenda. Still, Beth does not let these people discourage her.
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Throughout her years of experience she has learned many insights. To other Latinas searching for success in their own careers, Beth shares that “when you treat people with respect…that creates a good reputation that you can leverage to obtain better opportunities within your organization.” She believes that the key to obtaining leadership roles is to be a “can-do type of person” and to be happy, positive, and knowledgeable as these traits will attract others to want to work with you.
Beth’s story shows what can be achieved through hard work and a good attitude. She has risen through various positions in her field and now occupies a Latina leadership role across many organizations. She hopes to help other Hispanic professionals achieve success, especially Latinas, by opening doors to help them move forward.
“I am eager to…make sure that more people that look like me are at the leadership table with me.”