Paving her way in the technology field

Daysi Andrades

Written by Luis Trenard

How Daysi Andrades navigated her career in technology while contributing to effective change in Latin America and the Caribbean

At 19 years old, expecting her firstborn and out of her first year of college, Daysi Andrades started her career at the Inter-American Development Bank as an administrative resource. It was not long until Guillermo Montero, the man who would become her first mentor, invited her to be part of his team at the Office of Learning in the Human Resources Department. For Daysi, everything is about learning, “(Guillermo) asked me -Daysi do you know how to use Access? - and I said -yes of course! -. He then explained that he was starting to develop a new system and that he needed someone who could help him with a database. I said that I would love to help him with that.” After that meeting, Daysi ran to her desk and opened Access for the first time. She learned how to use the system and together with Guillermo and his team they built the first learning registration system of the Bank in 2000.

Flash forward almost 20 years, Daysi is a mother of four and leads one of the Information Technology Department’s Business Partner Groups of the Bank. They focus on looking at how to solve business problems with the use of and proper application of technology. Her team work closely with IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group; IDB Invest, the private sector-focused member of the IDB Group; and the IDB’s Strategic Core; helping them bring innovative solutions to create efficiencies that will allow the organization to develop the region. Throughout her career, Daysi has had the opportunity to work in different areas of the IDB organization, which has allowed her to understand better the business processes and challenges. “Technology is ingrained in our day-to-day, but technology in itself does not solve problems, we need to look at people, processes, and systems as well. If we look at it together, we can have an effective business outcome." 

Learning in the digital era

Daysi believes in the capacity we all have to learn new things and that everyone has transferable skills. Her wide-ranging experience at the IDB with technology has allowed her to develop new skills and create solutions in every role she has had. She is usually the first one to raise her hand when someone asks, “Who wants to participate in a new project?” She is looking for the same attitude in the people on her team. “I want to work with people who are committed to improving lives in the region and enjoy their jobs because then they will be willing to go far and beyond at their jobs,” she says, while recognizing that she is lucky to lead a team with those traits.

In a constantly changing world with emerging technologies, Daysi thinks that we need to keep pushing ourselves to stay relevant. “With the digital transformation happening across all sectors and industries, we really need to start leveraging these emerging technologies to cause a positive impact on the work that we do at the IDB.” That is why the Information Technology Department (ITE) and Daysi are focusing on looking at what is at the frontier of the industry, including artificial intelligence, robotics process automation, and virtual reality. They are trying to figure out how those technologies can enhance the work of international development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Technology for development

Daysi is committed to supporting the bridge between development and technology tDaysi Andradeso create effective change in the region. She is currently working with IDB Lab to support Latin American and Caribbean governments to achieve this goal.

For example, she is collaborating with IDB Lab on the LACChain initiative to support the development of a Blockchain network for the region. Blockchain creates a distributed and trusted network which can help ensure the financial inclusion of those most vulnerable to the digital era.

Daysi brings development to her day-to-day. It doesn’t matter if it is through a development project in the region or by bringing new people to

her team. She is committed to diversity and to provide opportunities to those who need it. “I’ve been lucky to work with so many talented people from all countries and with different skill sets. With the support from our Human Resources Department, I recruited an intern that had a hearing disability who not only excelled at her job but also taught us so many new things.” Daysi has had also the opportunity to lead the partnership that the IDB has with Laboratoria, a startup in the region that trains women to become web developers. She has brought women from that program to work across many Departments within the IDB Group, providing these young ladies with an experience of a lifetime.

Daysi is a firecracker. She is firm and direct, but also kind and empathetic. She is the type of leader who worries about creating change, not for the sake of changing, but to spark innovation and achieve results. She cares about her team and she is always willing to help others. When you talk to her, you realize that she hasn’t forgotten the 19-year-old girl who arrived at the Bank with big dreams and a lot of spark. She sees herself in every young professional she encounters, and as Guillermo did, she tries to mentor them through their journey to activate their whole learning potential.