A New Way Forward

Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri made the journey from Puerto Rico to Princeton to Wall Street, and now she wants to make that the norm for young Latinos rather than the exception

By Paul Snyder

Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri knows that her story—growing up in Puerto Rico, attending Princeton University, landing roles at Goldman Sachs and TPG Capital—is not necessarily a common trajectory for people from her background. Nevertheless, she wants to do everything in her power to make it more common.

In addition to working for two of the most prestigious financial companies in the United States, Vazquez-Ubarri also sits on the board of directors for the LatinoJustice PRLDEF, an advocacy group committed to ensuring civil rights are protected and tirelessly working for the advancement of Latino individuals against prejudice and injustice. For Vazquez-Ubarri, her view of her work on the board is fairly straightforward: provide mentorship wherever possible.

“I oftentimes think about the transitions I’ve gone through in my life and the reasons why they were positive,” she reflects. “I always go back to mentorship and having a support system. From my swimming coach growing up to my great grandmother telling me stories about how she navigated work as a woman, my parents, teachers, and anyone that took an interest. If I can contribute some of what I’ve learned, or use my skill set as a board member to help people get a fair chance at pursuing their goals, then I’m living up to the mission of this organization.”

It goes beyond her role on the board and into her day-to-day work. At both Goldman Sachs and TPG Global, Vazquez-Ubarri has been instrumental in ensuring the companies don’t simply talk the talk about diversity and inclusion—they have to walk the walk, too.

At TPG, for example, Vazquez-Ubarri points out that they are starting a mentoring program that will focus on connecting new associates with mentors across the firm to ensure that they are connecting early on to the culture of the firm and getting the support they need to maximize their experience at TPG. The program will have a strong emphasis on inclusion and ensuring that mentors learn important skills around listening and coaching. That will ultimately make them better at their jobs overall.

“There’s a moment where you’ll say to yourself, ‘Gosh, it’s so overwhelming. There’s so much to do.’ You wonder if you’re boiling the ocean. But when you step back and think through how much of a difference every step makes, you realize that you can have an impact.”

Vazquez-Ubarri is excited for what the future holds for the next generation and excited to see more young Latinos get the opportunities she was afforded. Her tireless efforts on that front show no signs of stopping, either.

“Inevitably, in the conversations that I have at work or as part of my board service, there’s a moment where you’ll say to yourself, ‘Gosh, it’s so overwhelming. There’s so much to do,’” she says. “You wonder if you’re boiling the ocean. But when you step back and take a moment to think through how much of a difference every step makes, you realize that you can have an impact.

“All of us can make a difference and all of us have something to contribute,” she adds. “If all of us take, for example, one person along on the ride, we’re going to teach them something. We’re going to introduce them to our network. We’re going to connect them. We’re going to provide an opportunity. If we do that for our community, there will be so many more of us to tackle the overall situation and to make all organizations more diverse at all levels.”

Photo (event): Gillian Fry

 


TPG is proud to congratulate Anilu on her selection to The Alumni Society’s Class of 2019. We are honored to work with her and support her efforts to create a best-in-class talent organization and a diverse and inclusive environment that drives innovation and impact across the firm.

 


 

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