This blog is part of our on-going Women in Technology series.
Ana Aburto is a director with the Strategic Client Solutions Team. Ana has been in the eDiscovery industry for about 15 years and with Consilio for eight. After reaching out to her old boss Roger Miller, Ana initially entered the industry as a receptionist while attending court reporting school, eventually transitioning into the role of project manager and later account manager.
Have there been any pivotal moments in your career that helped get you to where you are today?
At one point, I was working on a multi-district litigation matter, and the supervisor was an incredibly strong woman leading the large group. Seeing her success definitely changed my mindset from “this is something I will do for a little while” to “you know what, I could have a career in this.” Although the litigation was huge and we were – not exaggerating – pulling 24-hour shifts, I realized that this was what I wanted to do and knew I would retire in eDiscovery.
Have you ever noticed your gender as an apparent obstacle during your career?
Fortunately, I have not. I have been blessed to sit under some great women leaders. As an example, I would consider Judy Torres to be one of my mentors. She is one of the women I have looked up to throughout most of my career. Nancy Daniel and Amy Hinzmann have been hugely influential as well. I can attribute much of my forward progression in this industry to learning from what they were doing.
What would be your advice to other women in the industry looking to progress in their careers?
My number one tip would be to remember your value. There is no difference between what women and men are capable of. I know that this can be a male-dominated industry, but knowing your worth and remembering that your opinion is just as valuable as anyone else’s is essential.
Backing up your knowledge with confidence is also important. Commanding the room, and knowing that your voice carries weight is vital.
What are your techniques for managing competing priorities, work-life balance, and stress relief in an industry that can be pretty chaotic at times?
I am big on self-care, which for me, includes self-development. So, I start my days pretty early, waking up at 4:30 in the morning. I designate this time for Bible reading and will also pair that up with a self-development book. I then go to the gym and train for an hour or so.
As for work – people think I am crazy – but I always keep a clean inbox by continuously filtering and making lists. I like to make a list the day before so that by the time I am sitting at my desk, I already know what I have to accomplish. I like to prioritize, so if I have ten bullet points, I have to accomplish at least five of those each day. Sometimes you won’t be able to finish everything in one day, but completing the designated top five makes a list more doable.
When you are not working, how do you spend your free time?
When I am not working, I spend most of my free time serving in church or on the weekends at the local food bank – just really pouring into my community. I also love to spend time with my daughter and our two dogs. At the moment, however, it is really hot in Texas, so these days I am often poolside with some iced coffee.