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Spotlight on Latinx Achievement: Esther Ledesma Pumarol

Updated: May 17, 2022

Tell us a little bit about yourself? How do you identify as a Latino/a/x and what does that mean to you?

I’m a strategist, marketer, connector, and storyteller. I’m a proud Latina, Immigrant and trailblazer. I currently work as a Global Senior Product Manager for Medtronic, and serve as advocate and supporter for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity initiatives inside my work environment, and in the local community. I support initiatives focused on STEM education within the Latinx community and serve as a board member for LatinoLEAD. I also serve as the chair for the Hispanic Latino Network Twin Cities, and lead national initiatives for the Hispanic Latino Network at Medtronic.

I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic from very humble beginnings and relocated to the US close to 10 years ago. I went to school and graduated with a bachelor’s in industrial design from the Instituto de Santo Domingo. I have a master’s degree in New Product Development from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, and a master’s in business administration (MBA) with an emphasis in international business and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin.

I’ve been in Minnesota for about 4 years and have found here a vibrant and inspiring Latinx/Hispanic Community. In this phase of my life, identifying as a Latina has meant to take the reins f my path and witness how it can influence many others. To feel empowered and motivated to empower others, specifically the upcoming Latinx generation who’s figuring out how to build their path and find their identity. Being Latina in corporate means I lead and work to drive change on the challenges our community confronts, to serve as a voice and advocate for causes I deeply care about and ultimately, influence critical decisions that are being made about our community.

I have been published twice in two different anthologies: Green Card STEM voices, by the local Non-Profit Green Card Voices, and Hispanic Star Vol. I by the We are all Human Foundation in New York. More recently, I was awarded the Society of Hispanic Professionals Engineers 2021 Diversity STAR Award.

What inspired you to the work that you do at Medtronic and how did you get there?

Most of what I do and where I am today has come as product of the experiences and challenges I had early in life. Personally, I’m very driven and passionate towards the pursuit of my goals and growth. After relocating to Minnesota for work with my previous employer, it was through a member of my network that I learned about Medtronic and the amazing work they do locally and globally. I was able to join the team over two years ago, and this experience has served as a catalyst for my professional/personal development and advocacy work.

Why did you want to serve on the board? Why would you encourage others to serve on the board?

After serving for several years as part of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers board, and supporting STEM education advocacy initiatives, I felt that I could have a bigger impact in the local community by supporting LatinoLEAD. During the last couple of years, I’ve witnessed the momentum and great support this organization has received, and after partnering in the past with Irma in other events, I felt it was time for me to jump in and help create the change I want to see in our community. The team and the board have been very welcoming and I’m beyond excited for what’s to come this year!

How was your experience being a part of the inaugural leadership conference, LiderCon 2021?

From working behind the scenes and being part of the conference execution, it was energizing and thrilling to see how many members of our community came together to learn and celebrate from each other. It was a great opportunity to learn from regional and national leaders and more importantly, to put front and center the critical role that representation plays in our community. We need more of these spaces and these opportunities, so I’m more than thrilled to support and help organize this year second edition of the conference.

Why do you think the work of LatinoLEAD is important for our community in this new year?

I consider LatinoLEAD a critical component of how our community will continue to grow and organize ourselves locally. We all have an immense amount of power to influence and achieve growth in many aspects within our community, however, it’s important that we become aware of it and furthermore, learn to organize and direct ourselves to pursue that collective growth and development that we much need.

I see in LatinoLEAD an opportunity to support the Minneapolis community of Hispanics and Latinx through the work and initiatives the organization is putting forward. We are in a decisive moment where our representation as part of the population continues to increase, and therefore investing in our community and development is beyond critical to ensure we can create a better future for our communities.

Do you have any words, tips or thoughts to inspire the LatinoLEAD network?

Yes. After working in spaces and environments where I am usually the only female Latinx at the table, I want to encourage anyone on the fence about going to school or pursuing a professional career to not give up and keep going. Take the space, find people who can help and support you to ensure you can cross the finish line. There’s a whole community with resources and people to serve you no matter the stage of the process you are in. It’s on us to be the change we want to see in the world, to influence the way our community grows and evolves for the upcoming generations coming after us. I’m here for you, and totally open to connect to support you!


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