Maria Hernandez

In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a TechWomen100 Award.

Now in their third year, the TechWomen100 Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in tech – the emerging tech talent and role models for the future.

We spoke with Maria Hernandez, who won a TechWomen100 Award in 2018.

Having been with Cisco since 2000, Maria is the UK&I lead for Country Digitisation. In this capacity, Maria is focusing on accelerating the UK Digital Agenda, progressing projects that advance digital adoption such as digital skills, productivity improvements, innovation, IoT, smart environments and cybersecurity. Maria is also responsible for branding Cisco as a thought leader in this space.

Previously, Maria has been focused on cross-vertical IoT initiatives and in particular Smart cities, enabling organisations to become digital with the use of technology. A key aspect of her role was the development of the ecosystem and partner landscape necessary to make IoT happen.

Before turning her focus to the use of ICT within Enterprise and Public Sector organisations, Maria held various positions as Finance Manager within the technology sector in Spain and in UK. Maria holds an MBA as well as an Accountancy and Economics Degree.

How did you feel when it was announced that you’d won a TechWomen100 award?

When I received the notification that I had won, I felt very proud. It is a prestigious award and it was a great recognition for all my achievements to date.

Please tell us what has happened in your career since winning the TechWomen100 award?

The announcement was shared in Cisco’s UKI internal newsletter that goes to our 5000 employees in the region, which was great exposure.

This award reenergised me and my career and propelled me to go for a promotion which I was successful with. I become Cisco’s Head of Innovation for UKI, a very exciting job with a lot of potential.

The award has also given me a platform to be more vocal about issues that I care about such as “technology for good” and women in technology. I present regularly on these topics which I really enjoy.

What advice would you give to someone else going through the award’s process?

Focus on achievements and outcomes.

What tips would you give to our other members to enhance their careers?

My advice would be:

  • Don’t get too comfortable on the job. If it becomes easy, it is time to jump to the next thing and challenge.
  • Manage your career, own it or someone else will manage it for you.
  • Focus on stakeholder management, build a strong sponsorship network.