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Daniela Domingues

The Positive Woman of today is Daniela Domingues, a psychologist and Global Director of People & Culture at Sensedia. Daniela talks about the development of her career in HR, the challenges she faced, and the achievements she has reached in both her personal and professional life. "When I finished my master's degree at 23, I questioned the career opportunities for academics and sought other applications for my knowledge. That's when I began to research more about the role of HR and understood how much there is to learn and contribute in this area. Through a trainee program, my first experience was in one of the largest financial institutions in Brazil, with over one hundred thousand employees," she says. "It was five years of learning, job rotations, fieldwork, and an immense desire to connect more and more with those thousands of people. I already understood that technology was the key to making this happen. From there, I started seeking opportunities that would bring me closer to the tech world," she adds.



1. How did your career begin? When I applied for the psychology entrance exam, I had the dream - perhaps utopian - of understanding the human mind a little better. Therefore, I was very engaged in subjects related to neuroanatomy, physiology, or experimental behavior analysis. As I became interested, I believed that this knowledge would lead me to the daily life of a hospital environment. Thus, I delved deeper into the academic environment through scientific initiation, presentations at conferences, and eventually a master's degree in neuroscience. When I finished my master's at 23, I questioned the career opportunities for academics and sought other applications for my knowledge. That's when I began to research more about the role of HR and understood how much there is to learn and contribute in this area. Through a trainee program, my first experience was in one of the largest financial institutions in Brazil, with over one hundred thousand employees. It was five years of learning, job rotations, fieldwork, and an immense desire to connect more and more with those thousands of people. I already understood that technology was the key to making this happen. From there, I started seeking opportunities that would bring me closer to the tech world.

I went through a large American tech company, and then some startups, where a new world opened up to me and to HR. As the area gained strategic importance within companies, I gained space to develop myself, live multicultural experiences, and take on the challenge of leading a team. Amidst the market's ups and downs, I took a risk and ventured into entrepreneurship at one point, and in the 2016 crisis, I ended up accepting to lead the human development area in a large company again. This "return" to a large corporation made me reflect a lot on career and values, and thus, Sensedia crossed my path, bringing back the opportunity to build a Culture and People area that has been growing at the same pace as the company and has significant space for building a valuable future.


2. How is Sensedia's business model structured? Sensedia's business model is based on providing API management and digital integration solutions and services for companies, helping to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the customer experience. Our solutions are high-quality and innovative, combined with excellent customer service to ensure their success in their digital journey. Collaboration, transparency, and commitment to excellence are fundamental to achieving these goals and building long-lasting relationships with our clients. Just like our business, our people connect their knowledge and share a safe space to build stories that make a difference for their careers and our clients.


3. What was the most challenging moment of your career? I don't like to relate motherhood to career challenges, as I always knew that, like many women, I could balance being a mother while continuing to grow professionally. But the most challenging moment of my career truly happened when I became a mother. My son was born prematurely, and I went through an intense and uncertain journey in the Neonatal ICU, which coincided with a company acquisition where I worked. These were intense months where I needed a lot of support to keep going and move forward. The support of people was crucial, and I learned that the foundation of any success lies in building trusting relationships. I am very grateful to my family and friends and especially to my team, who, with a spirit of partnership and collaboration, allowed me to get through this moment, gaining a lesson that I will carry with me forever.


4. How do you balance your personal life and your corporate/entrepreneurial life? I believe everyone has this incessant search for this so-called "balance," but I also think there's no magic formula. Balancing personal and corporate life is a challenge for anyone, and for women, I dare say it's an even tougher challenge. But there are some tools that can help us a lot, such as setting clear priorities, establishing boundaries, delegating and trusting, planning, and practicing self-care. Remembering that all of this can help, but we are the ones who know our limits, and these limits must be respected. Balance is a continuous journey, so it's important to be kind to yourself and be open to making adjustments as needed.


5. What is your biggest dream? My biggest dream is to leave a legacy, a contribution to society. I know there is still a long way to go, that it's necessary to live experiences, try new things, know oneself and understand feelings. May the journey be light but full of challenges.


6. What is your greatest achievement? I'm one of those who value the journey more than the finish line, so I always keep moving. I could mention many achievements here, such as material achievements – my house, my garden, my place by the sea... Or I could still mention family, health, or career victories, and recognitions. All of this makes up life, so my greatest achievement is life itself, with the experiences it provides me.


7. Book, movie, and woman you admire: It's very difficult to choose a single book; I'm very fascinated by different works and authors, but I think it's worth mentioning Brené Brown's work: "The Gifts of Imperfection." Far beyond a self-help book, the author addresses topics such as shame and vulnerability, bringing to light a subject that surrounds us all the time, is part of our daily lives. Brené highlights the importance of accepting our mistakes, letting go of the idea that we need to be perfect. I highly recommend the read. A movie that I really like and never get tired of watching is Pixar's Inside Out, which deals with a complex subject (the machinery of our thoughts) with a simple and didactic approach; it's fantastic.


To talk about a woman I admire, I'll allow myself to use a popular phrase: "you have the blood of Maria Bonita." I understand that in this case, it is based on a regional characteristic, but when I stop to reflect on what it means, we women carry with us the traits of strong women, our ancestors. I remember a great-great-aunt of whom I am very proud, a woman, and literally a warrior, Maria Sguassábia, a Brazilian teacher who became notable for her role in the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932, being one of the women who acted on the front lines as a soldier. Carrying the "blood of Maria Sguassábia" fills me with pride. For those who don't know her, it's worth Googling her.


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