You could say Silvia was born to push boundaries. Her grandmother was one of the first women to study science in Mexico, giving Silvia a lifelong passion for breaking down barriers.

This passion is what drove Silvia to become a journalist in Mexico City at the age of 18, covering mainly social issues, including the oppression and displacement of women in her country. Faced with the harsh reality that her safety was at risk while practicing journalism in Mexico, Silvia decided to switch paths and pursue a master’s degree in New York, studying employment relations and the complex interconnection between employers and employees. With the support of three scholarships, she began studying at Cornell University, when suddenly her entire worldview changed. “I was there on September 11, in Ithaca, NY.” Silvia recalls. Asked by her former newspaper to conduct interviews on the ground, Silvia saw first-hand the role fear and misinformation plays in forming biases against one another, but also witnessed inspiring stories of people helping each other, and coming together for positive change. As emotional as that time was, Silvia says it started her on a professional equity career path — a path that led her to KPMG.

As the global leader of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practice, Silvia leverages her decades of experience to create data-driven equity, diversity, and inclusion programs. Using evidence-based methods of uncovering hidden biases and breaking down systemic barriers, she helps organizations build a more equitable and inclusive culture from the top down. And she leads by example. Believing that change starts from within, Silvia uses her skills and insights to empower the people at KPMG. A point of pride was seeing KPMG in Canada selected as the developer for the 50/30 What Works Toolkit*; an initiative between the Government of Canada, Canadian businesses, and diversity organizations to increase representation and inclusion of diverse groups within the workplace.

Silvia believes that when you bring diverse hearts, minds and voices to the table and give them a chance to thrive, their insights and perspectives can do anything, “We can change mindsets, we can change policies, we can change practices and it might be better for just a few in the beginning. But as more and more people get treated fairly and with respect, that’s when you start changing the world.”

The common thread in Silvia’s career has been the importance of storytelling, and its ability to give a voice to the voiceless. From exposing social injustices as a journalist to pioneering supportive diversity programs, people have been at the heart of everything Silvia does. And that’s the big story.

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