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NextGen Collective spotlights Conectados BlackRock Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Analyst Jasmine Nuñez. Read on about her work, the causes she’s passionate about, and more.
Where are you from?
I was born in Wayne, New Jersey, but was raised in the Bronx, New York with my loving mother and grandmother. My parents were born in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States in the hope of a better future.
What do you do today?
I am a diversity, equity, and inclusion analyst at the asset manager BlackRock. In my current role, I help to manage the firm’s DEI initiatives and programs. I partner with the team to ensure accountability and progress with our key governance structures.
Who inspired you the most in your life growing up?
Mi querida madre (my mother). She means the absolute world to me, she is my best friend, my sister, my rock, she’s just my everything. My mother is hard working and inspirational, but most importantly, she’s an excellent mother. When I was 13 years old, I suffered an unexplainable pain – I lost my father. The day I lost my father, my mother made a promise to me – to stand by my side through it all. At that point in time, she became my mother and father figure. My mother dedicated her life to me, never once giving up on me or my dreams. She pushed through multiple challenges to make sure I valued my education. She supported me through high school and college and she believed in my goals when I joined BlackRock. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of her sacrifices, and I will be forever grateful for her. There is a phrase that my mother would always tell me, “Mi hija, es tu deber siempre levantarte, y mirar hacia adelante, nuncas te dejes caer.” My mother continues to be my greatest source of inspiration. She inspires me to be a better person, to be a hardworking woman, and to grow without any barriers.
What lesson did you learn early in your career that still serves you today?
You never know who in the room is watching you. Be present and always do your best. No matter the audience you may be engaging with, always show up as yourself, be open, share your opinion, and give 100 percent. This advice has been especially important to me because it is how I have met mentors and sponsors who have helped me navigate my career.
How can Latino professionals better advocate for themselves?
Believing in our own abilities and strengths so that we can be confident in the fact that we belong in the room, in the meeting, in the conversation! Showing up and supporting each other as Latino professionals is key. Building my comunidad or my “board of directors” over the past few years has helped me be more confident and comfortable as a leader. My comunidad includes Latino leaders who are actively changing the face of the workforce and non-Latino leaders who are strong allies and mentors. They are the leaders I aspire to emulate.
What podcast or life hack can you not live without?
A life hack that I started in high school is to be dedicated to developing and iterating on my personal and professional journey. I crave structure and measurement, so having a perspective on my journey and the goals I hope to achieve has helped me stay focused and committed to my development. However, I am aware that there will be times that I need to be more flexible because that it is when one grows and truly see what we are capable of.
When you get a new idea what’s the first thing you do with it?
The first thing I do is call my family. My family has always been extremely supportive. They are my sounding board, advisors, and frank feedback providers. Additionally, my family comes to the table with multiple different perspectives and views, and I trust and listen to their advice because they know me better than anyone.
What behavior or personality traits do you attribute to your success?
My perseverance, discipline, and curiosity have attributed to my success. My perseverance helps me navigate tough experiences. Perseverance is critical to helping me be resilient and achieve success, and life has shown me that hard work and determination lead to amazing outcomes. My discipline helps me stay focused on reaching my goals and pushes me to always look ahead. My curiosity has allowed me to try new things and be open minded – to always ask questions to gain a new perspective or understanding of a challenge or solution.
Which causes are you passionate about?
Being a first-generation student, it is extremely important for me to help underrepresented students navigate the college and job application process. Given my mom and family supported me through my college and career experiences, I believe it is important to pay it forward to ensure that others around me feel supported and can learn from my experiences. For example, I regularly host panels and serve as a mentor and an ally for junior talent who are new to BlackRock.
What is one non-work related goal that you would like to achieve in the next five years?
I want to travel to fifteen countries over the next five years. My “traveling itch” started my freshman year of college when I took a trip to Italy with my philosophy class. It was an unforgettable experience for me, and it was my first time traveling outside of the country (other than the Dominican Republic) and without my family. I was exposed to a different culture, language, history, and tastes. I learned the importance of immersing myself in something unfamiliar or new to develop appreciation for different opinions.