Powerhouse CEO Martha Hernandez is helping people own their careers
October 17, 2017
Martha Hernandez is a powerhouse Latina in tech. She is the force behind madeBOS, which is a platform that helps low wage workers break the cycle of poverty by helping them take control of their careers.
Martha is unapologetically proud of her humble origins, born in the USA, she spent a good portion of her childhood in a small Michoacan town in Mexico where she says educational opportunities were limited.
Her entrepreneurial spirit was initially fired up by hearing the “Nopalera” of the town pass through every afternoon to sell her left over nopas (cactus). She decided she would be a nopalera someday with her family encouraging her to practice her sales call “No compra nopales”, while secretly giggling at the exuberance and excitement of the ambitious 4 year old. Her spirit was ignited and she continued to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors to make and sell things at her school.
Today, Martha is applying that same spirit to supporting people in achieving their dreams. Having worked her way up the corporate ranks from a career in retail that led to sales and eventually recruiting, she realized that if she hadn't had a manager that recognized her natural talents with people and sales abilities, she may never have made the career moves she did. It was this realization, combined with her work in talent management and development that led to the foundation of madeBOS.
Individuals in low wage jobs often have difficult times growing and developing within companies, due to a limited understanding of other internal job options or of what is needed to be qualified for those careers. That leads to a high percentage of people leaving because they feel there is no upward mobility available to them. A minimum wage job in most cities and especially in the bay area means a below poverty wage living, so it’s no surprise that most workers understand they need to leave jobs in order to break the cycle of poverty.
madeBOS looks at people and measures their innate talents (vs. skill set or interest) and provides individualized development plans that can be managed by a mobile app. madeBOS removes the bias of managerial influence because it tracks actual progress made by employees to their goals, tracking events such as classes taken, events attended and more within the app to help not only the employee take control of their career path and stay accountable to goals, but also provides that visibility to the organization.
Millennials are also a target for madeBOS, as many are entering the workforce in entry level jobs and as one Silicon Valley tech company discovered when it surveyed its new millennial hires, most had no intention to stay longer than three years with key reasons being
I don’t believe I can grow here
In order to grow, I need to go somewhere else
I don’t know anyone internally that will mentor me.
The costs of training and recruitment for churned workers is a huge burden on most companies that have a bottom heavy labor force. Many companies provide avenues for advancement, yet rarely put those programs into place thus leaving the burden on employees to actively get themselves “ready” for their next career move.
Also as skill sets change, madeBOS’ goal is to prepare people for jobs of the future expanding beyond the internal enterprise, to helping people develop their own growth paths and even exits if there are no opportunities available internally.
Martha’s own entrepreneurial journey is a fascinating one, taking much of the methodologies inherent in madeBOS system, she carefully planned her “exit” from corporate to entrepreneur over a three year period. Martha knew the key to her entrepreneurial success would be to start saving and diversifying her own income stream, especially as a single mom. She rented out her home, she started a singing career, getting gigs and even recorded her own album. Her singing career enabled her to create a fan base doing something she loved and from there she was able to mobilize those thousands of fans to promote and support her madeBOS crowdfunded campaign. At the end of the funding period, she surpassed her goal by 220% with a majority of Latino investors many of whom are 1st time investors.
Martha and madeBOS are giving people the opportunity to dream big, empowering them with the knowledge that they can take their futures into their own hands and start working towards their goals. Martha’s passion and dedication to the cause shines undeniably bright.