2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty Honoree: Amaris Hernandez Padgett
MÁS EN ESTA SECCIÓN
The third annual AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event serves to highlight and showcase some of the most diverse and impactful young professionals across the Philadelphia region.
At this year's event, taking place Friday, Aug. 26, Amaris Hernandez Padgett will be one of the 40 honorees.
Amaris Hernandez Padgett is an Information Systems professional who has worked out of the Delaware Valley for over 22 years.
In 2021, she founded Cybher, LLC, with a focus on performing cyber security assessments, helping businesses create long-term IT road maps, and planning program implementations for clients. With her diverse background as an IT leader in education, banking, energy, insurance and non-profit industries, she brings a wide array of experience and a unique perspective to her clients.
Hernandez Padgett started her professional career as a Data Manager with the School District of Philadelphia. After serving 8 years with the District, Hernandez Padgett began consulting for Bank of America on new business applications and product deployments. In 2013, she joined Philadelphia Energy Solutions as a Senior Systems Analyst, managing back-office applications and the refinery security systems. She continued her career with LAMB Insurance Services, where she oversaw IT strategic projects for the firm.
In addition to her professional experiences, she is also currently the Vice-Chair of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs for Governor Tom Wolf, where she is able to bring local issues and the needs of the Latino community to the forefront in order to promote policy and statewide action. She is also currently the National President for the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women (NACOPRW).
Hernandez Padgett attended Central High School, earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Drexel University, and completed her Master's in Business Administration from Villanova University.
As part of the lead-up to the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event, AL DÍA asked each of the honorees a set of identical questions and collected their responses.
Here are Amaris Hernandez Padgett's responses:
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your professional career?
This is always an interesting question because being part of the 1% of Latinas in tech, most people would think my biggest challenge has been working in a male dominated field, but I never found this challenging. IT is an industry where if you know your stuff, it doesn’t matter who you are, you get respect in the field. However, I did feel that as I continued to seek more senior level roles, as a Latina, I faced more scrutiny on whether I was as capable as my male counterparts. So, I created my own opportunities by starting Cybher, LLC.
What are steps that can be taken to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in your industry? Why is it important to do so?
I was exposed to STEM in 7th and 8th grade through a program with the National Science Foundation at Drexel University. I would have never thought about going into a technical role if it wasn’t for this program. For some reason, girls in middle school excel at STEM fields but the interest to go into them decreases as they get to high school and even more so when choosing a college major. I think to improve diversity there should be targeted and intentional programs at younger ages. In the corporate world, I think the approach is the same. It’s not enough to have a role or an initiative for DE&I, the strategies must be intentional and specific.
What does being a leader mean to you?
Being a leader is working with a team to accomplish goals, listening to and respecting all opinions, and using experience and judgment to make decisions and stand by them. It means taking accountability, not just for the successes, but also the mistakes, and giving accolades to the people that deserve them. In my career, I’ve learned that focusing on my strengths, what I offer to the table, and trusting team members with their expertise has helped me succeed.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to be doing what I love, IT consulting, and building other investments so that I can continue to volunteer and give back to my community and travel, which are my passions outside of work.
The 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event will take place Friday, Aug. 26 at The Vie at Cescaphe. To learn more or purchase your ticket, click here.