Note from BBT: These are some very intriguing times here in Brazil in relation to its black population. On the one hand, we have an ongoing extermination and genocidal agenda as police continue to swell the numbers of black and brown bodies whose lives were cut short by police operations and bullets. It’s been only a few weeks since 24-year-old Kathlen Romeu, who was three months pregnant, was gunned down in another police operation in Rio de Janeiro.
I’m still not sure who the author of the fatal shot was, but as with every black or brown body that falls on the ground, police will always attempt to deny responsibility. Let me not go that path again. As I was saying, at the same time in which black bodies are falling at an alarming rate, on the other hand, black bodies and faces are rising faster than any period in Brazilian history as well.
I can honestly say that, perhaps for the first time, black Brazilian boys, girls, men and women can see other paths to success than the areas traditionally reserved to them. Beyond the world of samba and soccer, cleaning and domestic chores, we are seeing more and more people rise from humble upbringings and excelling in professions that were usually considered the domain of white Brazilians. Yes, there are black doctors, black lawyers and even a few black CEOS, but also much more.
So much more, in fact, that Forbes magazine’s Brazil edition has devoted several articles over the past year or so on the accomplishments of black and brown Brazilians in the business and technology world. This is the case with the man featured in today’s story.
Working for one of Brazil’s multinational companies in the state of São Paulo, Renato Fonseca specializes in innovative products for customers, provides solutions in digital banking, Analytics, big data industry 4.0 as well as artificial intelligence. Known for his knowledge in systems development, Fonseca is a project manager recognized for his talent in leading staffs in areas of high performance.
In his time growing up, there simply weren’t that many black men holding down prominent positions as he does today. But his presence along with the rise of other Afro-Brazilians can, will and is inspiring others who look like to follow the same path of success.
Engineer makes history in technology among black Brazilians and joins Forbes list
By John Silva
Since the list was published, a resident of São Vicente, on the coast of São Paulo state, Renato Fonseca has become a source of pride and inspiration for many people.
A resident of São Vicente, on the coast of São Paulo, he stood out by being included in a list by Forbes, the most renowned business and economics magazine in the world, with the ten black professionals who are making history in the big technology companies. Since the publication, he has become a great example of determination and success.
Software engineer and technology business manager Renato Fonseca, 51, says he didn’t expect this recognition from one of the best-known magazines in the world, much less the repercussion that the list had among his family, friends and co-workers. For him, it is a great satisfaction to be part of this.
“Forbes conducted a survey in several companies to map black professionals who work in information technology and work with innovation. They asked colleagues who the outstanding professionals were, and several people indicated my name. It was a surprise for me, I found out through a journalist from the magazine.”
According to Forbes, the Associação Brasileira das Empresas de Tecnologia da Informação e Comunicação (Brazilian Association of Information and Communication Technology Companies or Brasscom) conducted a survey on educational training and employability, and concluded that only 30% of the workforce in the technology sector is made up of black, brown or indigenous professionals.
One of the reasons detected for not filling all the vacancies in the sector available in the country is the lack of interest from young people, as they think that this area is ‘not for them’. And this happens mainly in the lower classes. Thus, the purpose of the publication was to broaden the spotlight on the examples that worked, to inspire young people.
“SINCE THE BEGINNING OF MY CAREER, I REALIZE THAT THE COMPANIES HAVE FEW BLACK EMPLOYEES, AND I FEEL NON-CONFORMIST, I WILL QUESTION WHY. THIS HAPPENS MAINLY IN HIGH SPECIALIZATION OR HIGH MANAGEMENT POSITIONS.”
Born in Santos, on the coast of São Paulo state, Fonseca started working as a minor apprentice and, shortly thereafter, he went through a selection process to work in the area of IT. He then went to São Paulo to work as a computer programmer, and began to specialize in the area of technology. He graduated in Data Processing Technology and specialized in Programming Language.
In 1993, he was hired by the company he currently works for, where he initially stayed for five years. At the time, the place employed only a hundred employees. In 2015, he was invited to return to work at the technology company, which today is a multinational with 25,000 employees. “It’s really cool to work in a company you were part of in the beginning and see how it grew.”
However, a lot happened between these two passages, which transformed the engineer into the great professional he is today. Fonseca worked for some multinationals in the sector, worked as a professor at Mackenzie University for ten years and was sent to the United States with the objective of bringing and implementing an information technology system in São José dos Campos, also in São Paulo state.
Currently, he works by identifying the needs of its customers to bring technological innovation to them, so that they can stand out in the market, grow or even solve problems. He also works with digital banking, Big Data, Analytics and artificial intelligence solutions. He is recognized for his ability to lead high performance teams.
The engineer says that since the publication of the list, many people have come to him saying that they will also pursue their dreams. “It was really worth it, it’s nice to know that I’m an inspiration to someone. My biggest inspiration is inside the house, my mother Maria Alice. We are from a humble family and I wanted to give her better conditions. I realized that I could do this through study.”
After this recognition of his work, the engineer is already thinking about the next steps. He seeks to grow professionally and even assume a senior management position. He further takes the opportunity to send a message to young people who are starting their careers. “Focus on your dreams. Choose a profession you really like and move on. If they are well prepared, they will have a nice path.”
For young black people, he explains that there is still prejudice, but that they can never give up what they want. “In my area, for example, which develops systems, applications and websites, there is no color. Choose the professions you like and you will do well for your results. Don’t forget to go ahead, studying is the best guarantee to get there.”
Source: Cristina Monte