Prior to her recent promotion to CMO, Rodriguez headed up the Univision Agency, overseeing a $500 million-plus media inventory spanning Univision’s cable, broadcast, digital and radio properties. In her new role she will oversee all of Univision’s marketing efforts and the agency. She calls Univision CEO Randy Falco her strongest mentor, not only because of his professional accomplishments, but because he’s a champion of the Women’s Leadership Council. “I’ve seen how he has really pushed for us to create an avenue for growth and development,” says Rodriguez, who notes diversity today “is about ethnicity, gender, age and experiences.”
Who has been your strongest mentor, and why?
My strongest mentor, unequivocally, is Randy Falco, our CEO at Univision. Over the past three years, I’ve seen how he has transformed Univision into a true media powerhouse. When you get to see inspired leadership in action on a day to day basis, there is a lot of learning there as a professional and I am grateful for that. I’ve also seen how Randy has championed the creation of the Women’s Leadership Council at Univision which has been a passion project of some of our leaders, including myself. I’ve seen how he has really pushed for us to create an avenue for growth and development. Finally, Randy has always encouraged me to stretch myself professionally and allowed me to launch and create the Univision Agency, grow our strategic planning group and now more recently allowing me to lead the Company as CMO.
What qualities do you look for when making a new hire?
When hiring there are a few qualities I look for. First, they must have integrity. It’s one of our core values at Univision and it resonates with me personally. Integrity means having a strong moral compass where honesty is your north star. I believe there should be congruence between ones words and actions so if you say you are going to meet a deadline or deliver something that is exactly what you do. There is no middle ground with integrity as it really is the foundation to everything else. Through integrity, you are able to build trust and collaboration and I think those are keys to success in an organization. Another quality I also look to seek out in a candidate is intellectual curiosity. Curiosity takes form in a variety of manners. Does the candidate have the ability to stretch outside of their comfort zone? Are they constantly learning, asking questions and trying to better themselves? Are they seeking out others when trying to solve an issue or a problem or getting something done? When you are curious, I think it also represents a sense of humility and an acknowledgement that you don’t have all the answers. And finally, I look for passion, particularly for media and especially a passion towards Hispanic America. It’s what Univision is about and the most successful people at our organization are those that are passionate for what this community of over 55 million people represents to this country.
What’s the definition of diversity in 2014, and how can the cable industry do better in the area of inclusiveness?
Diversity today is about ethnicity, gender, age and experiences. Just look at the millenial generation- they are the most diverse in our country’s history and their perspective and experiences are very different from other generations and are redefining our country. That is what makes working in our industry so exciting and so challenging – we are at the forefront of these demographic changes. We need to have a way to provide a voice for these diverse audiences of all ages and backgrounds within and outside our companies. Having access to, developing and engaging with these diverse audiences is no longer a option. That is why internships, affinity and leadership programs are critical for us to create the avenues for professional success and the pipeline that reflects this diversity.