Some people find their career path. For others, their career path finds them.
For Margaret Lazo, it was almost certainly the latter. Lazo is the chief human resources officer for the media company Univision. Lazo is in charge of the organization’s human capital strategy, which comprises leadership development, succession planning, compensation and benefits, employee relations, advancing diversity and inclusion, and more.
Univision Communications is currently the leading multimedia company that serves the US Hispanic market with a mission to inform, empower, and entertain its community. The company has a vast portfolio that features seventeen broadcast, cable, and digital networks and partnerships, as well as 126 local television and radio stations and an ever-expanding list of mobile and video properties, including Univision.com and Univision Now.
A unified Vision
In early April, Univision Communications created a new Univision Social Responsibility Council and an external Corporate Social Responsibility Board. The company also realigned and expanded its Community Empowerment and Social Impact teams. The council comprises company leaders and executives from human resources, marketing, communications, strategy, sales, legal, distribution, and local media in an effort to make sure Univision’s corporate social responsibility, community empowerment, and social impact initiatives line up with the company’s mission, clients, and the diverse communities Univision serves.
The company takes pride in its connection to its young, diverse audience, which it is always trying to make stronger by delivering innovative Univision-branded content on all platforms at any time. Univision’s suite of branded extensions complement its current assets and deliver company-branded products that are tailored to the needs of
In college, Lazo decided that she wanted to work in media. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from St. John’s University, and she even had her eyes on becoming a news producer. She even interned at CNN but eventually became unsure if that was the career path she wanted to take.
But it was at another part-time job where her career found her.
Lazo was working at Macy’s when her human resources manager asked her how interested she was in a retail career. The meeting quickly transformed into a coaching session because her manager thought Lazo had a knack for HR. She heeded his advice, got into Macy’s executive training program, and eventually became the HR manager at Macy’s Stamford, Connecticut, store—at the age of twenty-two.
Understandably intimidated at first, Lazo made up for her lack of expertise by carrying herself professionally and wearing suits, as well as tapping into her instincts. By doing this and being a quick learner, Lazo was able to do things like motivate her team and find ways to have tough conversations with employees. She went on to have a successful seven-year career at Macy’s, holding several different management positions throughout her tenure.
Since then, Lazo has been a staple in the HR industry. She eventually landed roles within several divisions at NBC and NBC Universal, including executive vice president of human resources for the cable and broadcast entertainment and digital properties, senior vice president for the Telemundo Communications Group, and vice president of human resources for NBC’s owned TV stations division. Lazo also played a key role during a period that featured a lot of growth in the cable networks and digital investment and transformation. She also played a key role in the company’s strategic entry into the Spanish-language market.
Lazo’s last stop before she joined Univision Communications was GE Capital, where she oversaw the sale and disposition of a large portfolio of assets. Always looking to help others, Lazo also helped employees transition to successor companies. In 2012 and 2013, she was the lead for global human resources for GE Commercial Real Estate, in which she oversaw a team of about forty professionals worldwide. Lazo held roundtable discussions with employees to discuss business results, share ideas, and gauge what they were optimistic about and what their challenges were. She also cohosted events with the organization’s CEO in the United States and abroad that involved GE Capital’s affinity groups such as the Hispanic Forum, African American Forum, and the Women’s Network.
Now, armed with almost thirty years of experience, Lazo will work to bring the best talent in the industry to Univision, while also holding on to and empowering the team members the company already has.
Outside of her duties with Univision, Lazo values her work serving on the Board of the Hispanic Federation. The organization’s goal is to empower and enhance the Hispanic community.
When it comes to advising women and Hispanics who aspire to her level of success, Lazo’s urges individuals to get involved and get noticed. When people find opportunities to get their work and results noticed, that work will speak for itself. One of the best courses of action to take, according to Lazo, is not only to engage with those whose attention employees want to attract, but to take on tough assignments, as they’re the true tests of the kind of leader one can be—as she herself experienced.
Willis Towers Watson
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