Advancing Life & Work

The Human Element: Celebrating women in the workplace with Karina Paez


With International Women’s day this month, we sat down with 
Karina Paez, Solution and Technology Architect, SAP Competence Center, Latin America. Karina is known for her collaborative style and leadership skills, and through her grit she has become one of HPE's pre-sales technical leaders for SAP in the region. She shared insights into her daily life as well as inspiration for other women looking to join the field.


At HPE, I have the freedom to be a professional woman and a mother, all at the same time.

Can you share a bit about your journey?

My professional journey at HPE started the day I responded to a job posting looking for an HP-UX configuration specialist. The role had a strong focus on transactional activities associated with presales and it required an understanding of the Linux and UNIX-based systems. My career progression until then had been on the path of network and systems administration, and I had plenty of experience with Linux/UNIX environments. The job was more about configuring price quotes than anything else but it grew on me. After six months of being hired, I was promoted to Technology Architect. The new role, focused on mission critical systems, allowed me to apply my knowledge of both critical servers and open source systems; at the same time, it opened a door for me to start working on other areas, such as SAP, core banking, industry solutions, Big Data, high performance computing (HPC) solutions, and machine learning, among others.

What is a typical day, week like? Who do you engage with and why?
The vast majority of what I focus on is solutions design, and I do that through email and from Argentina, where I am based. Focusing on solutions design involves a lot of thinking about what the customers’ desired outcomes are and to try to walk in their shoes. The products become the tools to execute the customer’s solution. I spend time visualizing and configuring the solution that’s best for them, reaching out to internal sales teams, channel partners, and quote specialists, and also collaborating closely with teams in building internal training programs to strengthen the pre-sales skills of our solution sales specialists. Continuing acquiring knowledge about technologies and solutions such as data analytics and learning new things is a vital part of my day. I also interact frequently with HPE’s worldwide teams that oversee technical certifications.

All the aspects of my day-to-day are part of the cycle of putting together a solution that satisfies the customer’s business needs.

What challenges do you face as Architect of both Solutions and Technology?
The main challenges I face are keeping up-to-date with the pace at which technologies are advancing, staying on top of the competition and keeping the perfect balance among all the moving parts and timings. Patience and understanding towards others is essential, as is thinking on your feet and adapting yourself to people’s different communication styles.

What accomplishment are you most proud?
I take pride in the ability to stay current and in my determination not to lag behind technology and industry changes. I have stayed open minded and flexible to new ways of doing things throughout my career, and I think that’s very important. I have also achieved a healthy work-life balance, something that it's increasingly difficult for some women. HPE makes balance possible for its employees, and it shows recognition and appreciation for the work I do, and that feels good.

How did you celebrate International Women’s Day
I feel privileged to be a part of a great team and to be a woman working in technology. At HPE, I have the freedom to be a professional woman and a mother, all at the same time. That’s something to celebrate every day.

karina-paez_2120482.pngAny advice you’d like to leave us with?
Working hard and doing what you love is extremely rewarding. Men and women are different in many aspects, but they both have the same ability to succeed professionally in a career in technology.  

As for advice for young women entering our industry, I would encourage them to persevere, to work as a team, to remain open-minded, and always push themselves out of their comfort zone.



HPE Community Manager
Any personal opinions expressed are mine, and not official statements on behalf of Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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