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Jimena Almendares, first from right to left, poses with other executive women.
The former figure skater (first from right to left) is a frequent speaker at events. Photo: @jalmendares.

Jimena Almendares, the Latina executive who stands out at Meta and Life Time Inc.

The Latina leader is a member of the Board of Directors of Life Time Inc., and an executive of Meta Products.

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“I believe in different iterations of oneself. Every decade is a new book chapter, but sometimes it’s only after the fact that you realize how all of the pieces fit together. I don’t need to see the full path ahead to be certain that it will probably aggregate into something amazing,” said Latina executive Jimena Almendares in an interview with Hispanic Executive magazine.

Almendares, a product executive at Facebook, currently works on cross-functional projects as part of the Facebook App Leads team. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at Life Time Inc., a health and fitness chain with clubs across the U.S., where she has been prominent as an advisor during the initial public offering as well as in the gym's social turnaround to home workouts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almendares stated:

Emotions are actually very important for product building. People who are interacting with a device are in reality trying to achieve a goal, and they experience a lot of emotions in relation to what they’re doing.

The Mexican-born executive, who is also a three-time national figure skating champion, perfectly complements her current roles thanks to her understanding of the product and its scale. Previously, she served as Vice President of global expansion at Intuit, led the Payments Business and Quickbooks Money Movement Platform product team, and was CEO and President of Intuit Payments Inc., a subsidiary that oversees the money transmission activities licensed to Mint and Quickbooks.

“In figure skating, there was the daily discipline of looking at where you want to go and where you are right now. As an executive, it’s about seeing the long-term goal, figuring out the pieces you need to construct, and taking it one piece at a time to get to that future,” noted Almendares.

The Mexican, who began her career in Europe, with international roles in supply chain management and strategic consulting at logistics companies, such as DB Schenker and consulting firm Capgemini Ernst & Young, respectively, moved to the U.S. with a growing interest in the technology sector.

Through starring roles at firms like Zynga, Meetup, OkCupid, and Intuit, Almendares developed a leadership style that revolves around what she describes as the power of opportunity.

“In many cases, just sharing a vision for the future helps people see how they can fit into it. And a lot of the spaces they end up filling are beyond what they originally expected of their role or what they thought they could do,” highlighted Almendares.

Almendares, who is also a board member of the nonprofit Out for Undergrad, which connects LGBTQ+ college students with corporate career opportunities, sees Life Time as her true introduction to the boardroom.

“Your role changes a lot. You’re no longer in charge of the execution; you’re recommending and trying to fill the gaps in terms of the perspective the board needs,” she pointed out, referring to her role as director.

Regarding her decision to assume functions as the only woman and independent member on the Board of Directors of Life Time, in addition to her role in Meta, Almendares made the right decision and invited other women to also do so.

“I’m really glad that I didn’t listen to my less confident self. I often hear from women that they’re interested in boards, but they don’t know when to start. The answer is that board careers are a journey. The sooner you start, the better a board member you will be,” underlined the Mexican executive.

Almendares has an MBA from MIT, and an MA and BA from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. She was also recently awarded with the 2020 Fast Company Queer 50, 2019 Latino Leadership Award (by the Silicon Valley Business Journal) and the 30 Under 40 (by Expansión/CNN Magazine Mexico).

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