Women in Research: Ileana Tejeda

8 March

Curious at heart, from a very young age, I was intrigued by how local brands in my country connected with the people and managed to touch their hearts with their actions.

ileana tejeda

Curious at heart, from a very young age, I was intrigued by how local brands in my country connected with the people and managed to touch their hearts with their actions. This led me to study marketing, driven by my love and passion for the world of brands. Later on, this curiosity led me to discover the importance of insights in brand strategic decisions and in meeting consumers' needs with valuable information that transforms into products, innovations, advertising, etc.

Due to my curiosity, I decided to travel abroad and specialise in international business at the University of Salamanca, which has opened doors for me to work with global brands, leading projects in Latin and Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States. Although market research initially seemed interesting, it was during my internship at a local agency that I experienced its true essence. Throughout my 15-year career, I have been fortunate to have mentors who trusted me from an early age, witnessing the evolution of our industry, from the use of pencil and paper to the integration of artificial intelligence in our methodologies.

Throughout my career, I have collaborated with various local and international agencies, and I’m currently working at Kantar Mercaplan, where I hold the position of Account Manager. I am an integral part of the Brand Strategy and guidance team of experts. In this role, I collaborate closely with multidisciplinary teams to design and execute strategies that enhance the brand's perception and position in the market.

Concretely, as a result of my experience, I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful women as mentors, colleagues, apprentices, or clients who have significant roles as decision-makers in the marketing world. Despite the fact that it happens to a lesser extent in our industry, in many others, we still see women leaders as the minority.

In an environment where women are emerging as promising leaders and in a globalised and dynamic context, diversity of perspectives is crucial for well-founded business decisions and fostering innovation in companies. Despite the majority of graduates in higher education in my country being women, we still face the challenge of lack of female representation in leadership positions. It is essential to break the gender bias in our industry, where decisions about the direction of large companies and brands are in the hands of a few. Investigating without gender bias leads us to create products that adapt to current needs, where detergents are not just for women or beer preferred only by men.

Despite the challenges I have overcome, my determination has been strengthened by finding inspiration in colleagues who promote healthy competition and mutual inspiration. It is crucial to remind my peers that if we have earned a place at "the big table" thanks to our knowledge, career, and merits, we should not hesitate to express ourselves. Let's not underestimate our success, and let's make our voice resonate with confidence and determination, reaffirming our presence and significant contribution in any field.

My enthusiasm for representing ESOMAR and improving research practices in the Dominican Republic is profound. It drives me to lead the growth of the local industry and establish meaningful connections with Latin American colleagues. Furthermore, I am committed to promoting ESOMAR's ethical values and firmly believe in the fundamental role of women in driving the organization's growth and values in my country.