[Progress News] [Progress OpenEdge ABL] Meet Barbara Gurgel, Senior Customer Account Representative at Progress

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Jessica Kent

Today, we shine a spotlight on Barbara Gurgel, who has been recognized for “Respect Differences and Diversity,” one of the ProgressPROUD core values we strive to embody every day.

In her nearly eight-year run at Progress, Barbara Gurgel has done many things. From working remotely in Brazil and Mexico (to name just a few places), to discovering her love of tech, Barbara’s time here has been anything but dull.

Recently, Barbara decided to take on a new venture: Co-leading the Unidos en Progress Employee Resource Group (ERG). In this new role, Barbara hopes to share her Latino culture with others while also learning from her peers. Read more about Barbara and her goals as co-leader of Unidos in the interview below.

How long have you worked at Progress?​

I started at Progress in 2015, right when Progress took their renewals business back in-house after being outsourced for many years. This was my first big-girl job, and my first full-time job out of college. I started with all Caribbean and Latin America renewals, but now the team has expanded, and I do only Brazil renewals.

Where in the world are you based?​

I’m in Massachusetts right now, but over the years I have worked remotely from Brazil, Mexico, Maryland and the United Arab Emirates!

How did you get into the tech field? What brought you to where you are today?​

I actually ended up here incidentally, as I was hired for my Portuguese and Spanish language skills. But after spending years in big tech, I’ve discovered I really love it.

You recently became a leader of our Unidos ERG. What made you decide to take on that role?​

As a first-generation American Latina, I feel like I’ve been an unofficial Latine ambassador my whole life. When Fernanda (Unidos co-leader) approached me with the possibility of being co-leader of the Unidos ERG, I said yes immediately! I’m really passionate about diversity and inclusion, and I believe that being exposed to differences of thought and belief can only make us better and more interesting people. I’m also biased, and I think that Latino culture is really cool. I want to share it with as many people as possible.

What does the Unidos community mean to you?​

Unidos means community. It means visibility and representation and an opportunity to share who we are with everyone.

What are you most looking forward to as a leader of Unidos?​

I’m looking forward to hearing about everyone’s experiences as Latinos at Progress! But as a close second, I’m looking forward to sharing our culture with non-Latinos.

How will leading an ERG add more meaning to your day-to-day work at Progress?​

This will be an opportunity for me to connect with people outside my silo and connect with other Latinos! I’ve been able to nurture the Caribbean/Latin America renewal business from the ground up, and I’ve learned so much in the process, so having the opportunity to do that with the Unidos ERG is very attractive to me.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?​

Work on my two master’s degrees (one in Journalism from Harvard Extension School, and one in Professional Writing and Communicaton from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth), watch too much television and travel with my dog and husband!

What excites you most about your future at Progress?​

I’m most excited about the opportunity to affect meaningful change at this company that has been very generous with me over nearly eight years. I’m excited to leave my mark!

To get to know other Progressers like Barbara, read more of our employee interviews here.


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