Laura Marquez’s job description is centered on one important mission — to bridge the gap and widen the doors of opportunity for the Latino community. It’s a mission that has remained consistent throughout her career. While serving in the Obama Administration, she was the Director of Outreach and Recruitment within the White House Presidential Personnel Office. Now, while at Google, she is the Head of Latino Engagement.
“Since Google is known for driving impact in new and innovative ways,” explains Marquez. “I am excited about the opportunity to impact my community through this lens.”
Her role affords her the opportunity to walk into Latino communities and serve them with technology in the way that makes the most sense to them.
“Our products impact people at such a personal level, from Search to Google Maps to Google Photos, and we continue to innovate to better serve the user,” shares Marquez. “We activated Person Finder post-Hurricane Maria to help friends and family locate loved ones in Puerto Rico, and another Alphabet company deployed Project Loon, a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space to restore wifi connectivity for over 100,000 people on the island.”
On a personal level, Marquez ha made it a point to carry her Obama legacy with her through this next stage of her career. Together with other Obama era political appointees, Marquez established Latinos44, a non-profit 501(c)6 membership organization, that helps Latino Obama administration alums stay connected, support, and mentor each other, while making an impact on the Latino community as a whole.
“I think the biggest lesson I learned was that everyone counts,” says Marquez. “Every single person can have an impact and do incredible work to move an agenda, a mission, or a movement forward.”
Below Marquez shares more insight into how she works to empower the Latino community, what her advice for Latinas is, and her thoughts on the impact of mentorship.
Vivian Nunez: What made you decide to jump from the public sector to tech, specifically to Google?
Laura Marquez: After several rewarding years in the public sector working with state and federal agencies, I decided to make the jump because I believe the corporate sector has an important role to play in communities and I wanted to help shape the direction of that work. Google presented a special opportunity as our products touch the daily lives of people in so many different ways. Now serving in the private sector, much of what I do is in line with my mission to serve the broader Latino community. The only difference is that my efforts are now within the tech space, but look to accomplish a similar mission — to widen the doors of opportunity, to build relationships and establish partnerships that address critical gaps access to resources, opportunities, and information, and to deepen community engagement and empowerment.
Nunez: How does your role as the head of Latino Community Engagement at Google connect specifically with the Latino community on the ground?
Marquez: As Head of Latino Engagement, I am charged with working to connect Google to the Latino community in purposeful ways. Part of this includes ensuring we are widening access to technology from a digital inclusion perspective to ensuring we are partnering with Hispanic Serving Institutions to develop and deepen the Latino tech pipeline, or supporting organizations like CHCI and Unidos US, in their work to empower Latinos across the country. My team and I are working to ensure Google’s engagement footprint demonstrates our values of inclusion and mission-driven impact, and that we are good community collaborators. We have an opportunity to identify gaps and work in partnership with trusted organizations to develop viable solutions.
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