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    HomeManagementMaribel Diz: A Catalyst for Change at Visa.

    Maribel Diz: A Catalyst for Change at Visa.

    Maribel Diz is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Visa for Latin America and the Caribbean and lives in Miami, Florida. She is a first generation American born of Cuban parents who came to the US to find a better life filled with choices and freedom.  

    Maribel lives aligned with her purpose to change lives and uplift people to see their potential and the impact they make. She is passionate about her job and committed to Visa for the last 27 years. “People always ask, “Why have you stayed at Visa for so long?” Not only do I love the company, but I especially love its dynamism. No day is the same and when dealing with humans, it always promises to be interesting. Our craft is important and critical, we are the company and its culture. We must never underestimate the power of Human Resources and its reach.” Maribel confessed smiling.  

    We would like to get to know your story. Who is Maribel and what is her story?  

    I was exposed to the importance of hard work and grit at an early age, understanding that being patient and prepared was key. Education has always been of key importance to me, and I made it a point to always make time to learn. I am a Doctor in Business Administration and apply my skills and knowledge. I am fascinated by human behavior and always strive to leave things better than when I find them. I am a wife of 28 years and still get butterflies when I see my husband walk in a room. I am a mother of two wonderful young adults who are starting on the journey of figuring out how they will impact the world. I am a sister to a brilliant educator and a daughter to two loving parents who are still kicking strong. I am an executive with a strong voice in the room, and I am an inspirational servant leader.  

    Who or what inspires you the most in your career? Any person, book, or experience that has had a profound impact on you?  

    I have been blessed to have many smart experienced people come into my life. I have made it a point to observe, listen, and apply what I learn from each of them. I have also been exposed to not-so-great leaders of which I also learn from, but in this case, I do not apply what I learned. Instead, I make it a point to NEVER do as they do. 

    Can you tell us about your greatest achievement as Senior Vice President Human Resources at Visa?  

    I feel responsible for our employee base. I play a critical role in building our culture and ensuring that we hire the best and the brightest, providing opportunities for continued growth. Then, something that blends the personal and professional that I consider an achievement, is being able to apply my Doctoral dissertation research, around the combination of Gen Zers and Millennials in the workforce, into my work at Visa. Together, these two generations already make up more than a third of the workforce, and in less than 10 years, they will represent 60%. Not a lot has been studied about this combination and how it will affect management, so using my research I was able to help our managers understand best these generations. For instance, Gen Z and Millennials were specific in describing what behaviors they look for in a leader. All participants including leaders concur that being a caring leader that values work-life balance is important. “Caring and balanced,” “relatable and authentic” and “honest and trusting” are characteristics the two generations valued most in a manager. 

    How can we understand these generations? 

    Interestingly, these younger generations are not all about fun, though leaders thought so – placing a higher value on fun in the workplace than Gen Z and Millennials. Instead, they are more concerned that managers be serious, respectful, and confident. They are also looking for a leader that leads by example, a protective leader that provides guidance, has their back, coaches, and provides feedback. Another area where perceived notions differ from the findings: leaders feel that Gen Z and Millennials are looking for a motivational leader. The respondents, however, made clear they are looking for an inspirational leader. It is a fine line, but the difference is around a leader that touches their instincts, excites them – inspirational vs. a leader that provides reasons and pushes behind actions – motivational.

    The findings are fascinating, and I can talk about it for hours, as it has become a passion of mine, and these and many others have truly helped us guide and counsel our leaders at Visa and help them retain this talent pool.  

    Visa has a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion. How do you ensure that these values are not only embraced within the organization but also reflected in the talent acquisition and retention strategies? 

    Currently our region has a 50/50 gender split. This makes me incredibly proud. We not only hire the best and the brightest but ensure that we have representation in gender, diverse cultures, generations, etc. We look at the person in its entirety. This goes beyond the talent acquisition process. We need to ensure that once we hire, we have the right environment for the individual to thrive. That means having active resource groups, providing clarity on development opportunities, and learning frameworks, competitive benefits and providing activities for employees to give back to society/communities to make a broad impact. Retention is an outcome of all these activities.  

    Metrics can be the rock and roll anthem of HR. Could you share some of your favorite HR metrics that can really make a difference in driving business success? 

    I am a data junkie. I look at lots and lots of data (e.g., time to hire, turnover/attrition, exit interview data, internal requisition fills, career promotion data, exiting demographic, cost per hire, training and development hours, employee engagement data, etc.). I especially like to understand what the numbers are telling me and match them to the company’s P&L. I find that if I am numbers savvy, it will allow me to best tell a story to the business and/or anticipate regional needs. 

    Who is Maribel? 

    Full Name: Maribel Diz 

    Occupation: Human Resources or as it is known now—the People Team 

    Nationality:  American 

    Where do you live? Miami 

    Do you have kids? Yes, a daughter (25) and a son (21) 

    Pets? Yes, a cat by the name of Macy 

    Favorite Food: So many but mostly Mediterranean  

    Hobbies: Orchids, traveling and learning about new cultures and experimenting in the kitchen with complex recipes 

    Favorite place in the world: Amalfi Coast 

    Let’s Rock:

    How would you describe yourself in one word?  

    Exuberant. I always find the positive in all situations (although sometimes it is hard and a stretch) no matter how hard. I am genuinely happy for others when good things happen to them and always find joy in mostly everything that I do. I love to laugh and find that it is contagious. It really disarms people and helps one get closer to them.  

    Favorite movie or TV Show:  

    Sixth Sense. I love movies that take down a path where I am feeling one way and then at the end, it is all different and I had it all wrong. I love that! I am not a fan of predictable movies.  

    Favorite Book:  

    Lord of the Flies. I read this book in my junior year in High School, which really impacted me. It taught me at an early age that humans are complex and complicated beings. It also taught me the there is a dark side in all of us which makes it important to have rules in society to help us coexist.   

    If you could turn into an animal, what would it be?  

    Eagle 

    Favorite music band or gender:  

    Jason Mraz 

    Your grounding activity is…  

    Having nightly dinner with my family and sharing our highlights and lowlights of the day. One thing that was especially important when my husband and I got married was having our meals together. Our children now think it is weird when their friends do not eat meals as a family. We passed this on to them that they will carry when they build their families. Our legacy.   

    What are 2 things that cannot be missing from your backpack?  

    Laptop and journal 

    Do you like sports? Not really Are you a fan of a sport team? N/A 

    What contribution do you feel you make to a better world?  

    I would like to think that I live by my purpose which is ‘Changing Lives.’ I like to uplift all of those that I encounter and help them see their potential and the impact they make.  

    One piece of advice that you were given and would give:  

    Given-Never let them see you sweat.  

    Give-Do not worry about things that you do not have control over. 

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