Latinas in the Automotive
Industry, You Can Do It!
By Lismar Berro
Senior Purchasing Manager, Ford Customer Service Division
Ford Motor Company
As a Latina in the STEM field I have had many “firsts” in my career,
opportunities where I have been the first woman and the first Latina
on a team or in a leadership position. These circumstances come with
their own set of challenges. Not just technical or function-specific challenges; but
social ones, created by prejudice or bias - like that certain jobs are not for women
or Latinos, or that women are not as qualified as men for technical jobs.
In these moments, I always remember my Mom’s words, “If anyone can do
it, you can do it.” With a combination of her encouraging words and my
own sheer determination, I always get the work done and excel at doing it;
thus becoming a trailblazer, like many strong Latinas in the automotive
industry, building a path and creating access and opportunities for the next
generation of Latinas.
However, personal success is not enough to further the progress of Latinos
professionally. There is much work to be done in our communities and schools
to impact and guide the lives of students and young professionals toward growth
and success. This route towards the betterment of our community is what is at
the heart of the Ford Hispanic Network (FHN) employee resource group (ERG).
For us at FHN, it’s all about Family. The drive to bring passion, commitment,
and improving our communities at Ford Motor Company is the same approach
we bring to our families.
Founded in 1992, FHN continues to reinvent itself and constantly looks
better ways to attract, develop and retain talent at Ford. We accomplish this by
supporting the membership through mentoring, professional development
programs, networking events and more, while embracing and integrating our
Hispanic cultural strengths into the culture of belonging at Ford Motor Company.
The FHN is much more than an employee resource group. The organization
is a registered nonprofit that invests in the communities where we work through
service and educational outreach. It leads a myriad of initiatives in partnership
with schools, professional organizations, members of the community and other
Ford ERGs: public parks cleanups; serving food drives; reading to preschoolers;
conducting STEAM, robotics and mentoring programs in high schools; and
making community investments through scholarships and grants.
I am extremely proud of the contribution and leadership of Latinas in FHN.
In the past few years, three out of the six top leadership positions have been
occupied by women. The current President and Vice-President of FHN are women
and the board has a well-balanced representation in gender and across the
The quality of all that we do at FHN, the profound care we have for our
members and communities, our expansive initiatives and the extraordinary level
of energy at the core of our organization is a direct result of our membership.
Every day I am thrilled as a strong Latina, along with other members of FHN, to
embody the FHN motto: “Ford Hispanic Network, Tu Familia @ Ford.”
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Lismar Berro, Senior Purchasing Manager, Ford Customer Service Division, brings strong strategizing skills and
expertise in delivering bottom-line contributions through lean execution to her position as senior purchasing
manager for Ford Motor Company’s customer service division. In her role since June 2020, Berro is responsible
for leading total value management and cost estimating teams in the realization of comprehensive analytics and
cost optimization opportunities.
48 www.latinastyle.com LATINAStyle V ol. 27, No. 1, 2021