How Women Can Navigate Corporate Mentorship – Episode 25


Our guest, Gina Cano shares her journey in the tech industry and the importance of support and networking for black and brown women. She emphasizes the need to ask for help and take risks, even when it feels uncomfortable. Gina also discusses the value of investing in personal development and finding a balance between work and personal life. She highlights her role at Dell, where she focuses on ESG and sustainability, and her commitment to inspiring the next generation of women in tech.

Key Focus Areas:

  • 00:34 Gina’s Entry into Technology
  • 02:55 The Power of Networking and Mentorship
  • 10:15 Personal and Professional Development
  • 16:37 Achieving Work-Life Harmony

Listen To This Episode:

Watch this episode on YouTube!

Embracing Opportunities: The Path to Success in Tech for Black and Brown Women

In a world where technology shapes our everyday lives, black and brown women are making strides, breaking barriers, and leaving indelible marks in the tech industry. The recent episode of ‘Success with Saneness’ featuring Gina Cano, a tech leader at Dell, offered valuable insights into navigating the tech landscape as a woman of color. Here are three key takeaways from her journey that can inspire and guide aspiring professionals in the tech industry.

The Power of Curiosity and Continuous Learning

Gina’s journey into the tech world began in high school with a simple computer class that ignited her curiosity. This curiosity evolved into a passion for technology, underscoring the importance of continuous learning and development in one’s career. For many women of color in tech, the journey starts with a spark of interest that grows into a burning flame. Embracing every learning opportunity, from formal education to hands-on experiences, is crucial. It’s about being open to new ideas, staying updated with industry trends, and never underestimating the value of every educational experience, whether in a classroom or a retail store.

Navigating the Landscape: Networking and Mentorship

Gina emphasized the importance of networking and finding mentors in her rise through the tech ranks. Networking is not just about building a list of contacts but about forming meaningful connections that can provide guidance, support, and opportunities. For black and brown women in tech, building a strong network can be a game-changer. It’s about seeking out individuals who inspire you, joining professional groups, attending industry events, and engaging in communities that align with your career goals. Mentorship can provide direction and open doors that might otherwise remain closed. A mentor can be a sounding board, a guide, and a beacon, helping navigate the often challenging waters of the tech industry.

Investing in Self and Embracing Challenges

Gina’s story is a testament to the power of self-investment and resilience. Investing in oneself – whether through education, personal development, or self-care – is essential. It’s about recognizing your worth, understanding your potential, and giving yourself the tools and time to grow. This self-investment is particularly vital for women of color, who often face unique challenges in the tech industry. Embracing these challenges and viewing them as opportunities for growth can lead to personal and professional development. In conclusion, Gina Cano’s journey in the tech industry is a beacon of inspiration for black and brown women aspiring to carve their paths in this dynamic field. Her success story is built on a foundation of curiosity, continuous learning, strategic networking, mentorship, and a strong commitment to self-investment and resilience. These pillars not only guide aspiring tech professionals but also serve as a reminder that with passion, determination, and the right support, the glass ceiling can indeed be shattered. To all the aspiring black and brown women in tech, remember: your journey is unique, and your contributions are invaluable. Embrace every opportunity to learn, connect, and grow. The tech world needs your perspective, creativity, and innovation. Your journey may not be easy, but it will undoubtedly be worth it.


Gain access to three valuable videos designed to empower you in breaking free from the hustle culture and establishing your unique Balanced Rhythm™ for work-life equilibrium. Whether you’re a dynamic executive professional or a successful entrepreneur, these videos will equip you with the tools to develop a life strategy that places you firmly in the driver’s seat. Opt-in now to unlock this transformative content with  3 MOVES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS WITH SANENESS!

Rate, Review, & Follow on Apple Podcasts

Love the show? Leave a 5-star review and let us know! Scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.”

Get Connected with Maven Miara

Are you a dynamic female executive or women entrepreneur craving proven business growth strategies and leadership success? Do you yearn for more fulfilling work-life balance? Are you seeking unwavering leadership confidence as you navigate the complexities of life, all while maintaining your holistic well-being (spiritual, physical and mental)? Welcome to ‘Success with Saneness. This transformative personal development podcast is designed exclusively for high-performers who seek to excel in both their professional and personal lives with balance. Each episode features expert insights and thought-provoking discussions about building unshakable leadership confidence, business growth and designing harmony among them. Join your host, “Maven” Miara, a professional speaker, business strategist, leadership development facilitator and author. Embark on an enlightening journey towards success with saneness, where holistic care, confidence building, and leadership unite. To find out more, join the Maven Nation community by visiting Reach out to Maven Miara at: Website:  /  Episode Website LinkedIn: @miarashaw  /  Instagram: @mavenmiara  /  YouTube: @mavenmiara

'Maven' Miara Shaw (00:01.714)
All right, Gina, listen, that was an amazing intro. Let's jump into talking about these guiding lights. We briefly talked, you and I, about the importance of black and brown women, all women, but more so we're focused on black and brown women of getting that support they need along these career journeys. So let's start out a little bit talking about how did you get your start in tech?

And really how has that led you to where you are right now with Dell?

Gina Cano (00:34.999)
Oh, thank you for having me. And that is a great, great question. And you know, my story, my journey into tech is probably one that many have, especially black and brown, but maybe we just don't share it enough to talk about it, right? So if I take back to when I first got into technology, it was probably when I was in high school, right? So this was many, many years ago. I still can't believe it's been that long.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (00:50.348)

Gina Cano (01:04.151)
I took a computer class, right? It wasn't, I think before computer class, it was typing classes. Well, I actually took a computer class and I got introduced to the worldwide web. And I learned how to chat and we were chat or emailing chat, whatever the protocol was then I was just in awe. Like, this is the coolest thing that I've ever seen. I was talking to somebody at the time.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (01:09.483)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (01:17.037)

Gina Cano (01:28.767)
I lived in Beeville, Texas, and I think I was talking to someone in Gregory, Portland, which was about maybe 45 minutes away. I was like, wow. And I'm not on a phone, like doing a phone call. I'm actually chatting with them. So I thought that was the coolest thing. So then I really had an interest, but growing up in a small town like Beeville, Texas, technology isn't, you know, something that you don't want to pursue, right? You see the standard, oh, he can be a teacher or a principal, fireman, police person.

work at the grocery store and things like that, right? If I look at my family, my dad didn't get to finish school. He's a general contractor and has done very well for himself. My mom was a homemaker. The rest of my family, nobody was in tech. So where was I gonna go? So I moved to Houston from Beeville after I graduated. I moved to Houston and I had some different jobs there. Then when I worked at Best Buy, I got into selling, right? I found out I can sell. I'm really good at.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (02:14.882)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (02:24.878)

Gina Cano (02:27.087)
I have the gift of gab, if you will, so I can talk to a wall. It's a, I started selling and because I was so successful at selling appliances, I have no background in the plan. I didn't know what it was, but I could sell. They put me in computer hardware. So as soon as I got into the computer hardware, again, I'm not strong in this area, I didn't know what computers really were other than my short stint in high school, chatty, right? That was the extent of it. That's when I realized, wow.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (02:40.27)

Gina Cano (02:55.555)
This is what I really like. So through my team that I had there, they started teaching me how to replace a memory stick. Right? How do I update software? How do I install an operating system? Which got me more and more and more intrigued. Fast forward. I start taking some certifications. I got my MCFC. I got my Cisco certification. I ended up getting a job at Geotronics, my first call center job, which then got me the network. Networking is key.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (03:03.438)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (03:24.76)

Gina Cano (03:24.995)
Made my friends, started making networking then, ended up working at Compec, which then changed to HP, which then fast forward or now rewind 19 years ago, got an opportunity here at Dell and I've been here ever since. So it all started because of a class that I took that sparked an interest that said, hey, this is really cool. This is something I wanna learn more of, which I continue to pursue, right, to do that.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (03:51.682)
I love that. I love that. And listen to all the moms that are watching this. It is important to, to let your students figure it out. You know, just because no one in your family's done it. Gina had that experience. I had the same experience. No one in my family had gone in a natural gas and was a trader. When I said I worked at Chevron, they asked if I worked at the gas station. I'm like, no, not.

Gina Cano (04:16.98)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (04:17.506)
Not quite, not quite. But letting kids explore that because, you know, when I look back on my own journey, all of these different steps were navigating me to the place I needed to be for my future. Now I didn't know that. I'm sure you didn't know that. But what has that type of, and you touched on networking, what should a woman know that is

Gina Cano (04:31.77)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (04:44.582)
maybe in a role, maybe she's already in the corporate space. She's a bit frustrated that she's, she feels like she's stuck in a particular level. She doesn't have a mentor. She doesn't have a sponsor. What? And really trusting her skills, right? You know, women, and this is not me making up stuff. Studies show this women, we want all of the ducks in a row completely lined out before we take the step and men traditionally.

like are missing a lot of ducks and they're like, I can do it. Pick me taking that, that thought and applying networking. What, what do women, what would you suggest that women do that you are in the corporate space or even as entrepreneurs that want to keep going, maybe they're a little afraid and they don't have those connections they think they need right now.

Gina Cano (05:37.463)
Yeah, no, that is something on all of the different individuals I mentor and coach. Specifically, I focus a lot of my energy on women, especially Black and Brown, is where a lot of my interest is. And I would say the number one thing is you will always get a no for the questions you don't ask, right? Period. And networking, yes, it's going to be there, right? I guarantee, I could, there's one thing I can guarantee.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (05:49.25)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (05:59.002)
That's gonna be tweetable.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:04.034)

Gina Cano (06:07.243)
is that you will always get a no for the questions that you don't ask, right? You have to go out there. And being vulnerable to ask those questions can be intimidating because culturally speaking, especially for women, we are supposed to just kind of stay quiet in the background. You're not supposed to go ask for help. We're not supposed to go do a lot of things. It was probably, and I fell a lot into that too, right? We're not supposed to do this.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:10.051)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:26.434)

Gina Cano (06:32.995)
But when I started networking and finding mentors, and I didn't know they were mentors at the time, it was just people I would talk to, right? I was looking for people to talk to. I didn't realize that I was gaining knowledge from them because that's what a mentor does, right? I was just like, what do you think about this? You're like, oh, why can't I do this, right? So what we can sometimes consider like your girlfriend talk and you're just, you know, mingling and having a conversation with, you could actually learn a lot from there.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:40.226)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (06:47.319)

Gina Cano (07:01.171)
I also had to be aware of not falling into the negative echo chambers of allowing that to consume me. Right? So there's been a lot of investment in myself to get comfortable and being uncomfortable, finding the people that had similar or different, but similar in the sense that they were not just trying to be, I don't like this, this isn't the right thing, but rather I don't like this. What do I need to do differently? Right? So I started surrounding myself with that. So I would encourage all women.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (07:13.954)

Gina Cano (07:30.543)
to surround yourself with people that are thinking the same or are thinking a little differently but have the same goals to move forward. Different industries, that's fine, but you still wanna move forward, you wanna develop yourself. And finding a sponsor. There's a clear difference between mentors and sponsors. Mentors, yeah, mentors are gonna help guide you, give you that sounding board, you're gonna gain nuggets of knowledge.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (07:49.166)
Let's break that down.

Gina Cano (07:56.079)
How do I solve this or how should I approach that? Whatever that is, right? So think of them as that development to help you go. Your sponsors are making sure that your name is in every conversation, even when you're not in the room, when you're not there. That sponsor is advocating for you. If you're in corporate world, they may hear of an opportunity in another organization. You might wanna consider Gina for that role because she has this skill, she has this background.

they're going to help connect the dots for you, right? Mentors in some capacity do that, but that's not their primary focus. You need a sponsor that is purposely and intentionally going out there and advocating for you. So I think the biggest thing I would say to all women if you're doing this is get comfortable being uncomfortable. You are always going to get a no if you don't ask the questions and just go ask. And you're never ever going to be 100% ready for any role that you take. Any, whether you're in a professional corporate world,

'Maven' Miara Shaw (08:30.594)

Gina Cano (08:53.943)
or you're trying to start your own business, I can guarantee you do not have 100% of everything and you never will, and that's okay.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (09:01.378)
I love that. And I love that you broke down around the sponsorship because you can almost say mentorship can almost be informal. Someone you work with that's maybe in management or a higher level, and you just have conversations with them. They welcome it very friendly. You need to be very intentional about your sponsor. You need to make sure you're having a conversation with them so they are aware and you guys are in agreement. I'm looking at you to be my sponsor. So they are very aware of that. And again, women.

You have to take that actionable step. And even if that person says, I don't think I'm the right person. Ask them for, well, who do you think would be a good person for me? Keep asking those questions. Here's something I want to touch on. You, you, you talked about making the investment and getting on moving away from being so uncomfortable, right? What did that investment look like for you? And what would you suggest for a woman?

maybe who's never had coaching, any type of formal mentorship, you know, mastermind, what does that look like for a woman that maybe is getting ready to look at moving into the executive level?

Gina Cano (10:15.275)
Oh, that's a great one. I think back to like, when did I really make that decision to invest in myself, right? So throughout my journey, I've made investments by going to school, the certifications, but that was a different level of investment. I'm gonna say during the pandemic, is I had a lot of time on my hands, like probably many of you listening, couldn't go anywhere, couldn't do anything. So I'm hanging out at home and I really started to reflect and think to myself, well,

'Maven' Miara Shaw (10:34.314)
Yes. Right.

Gina Cano (10:42.499)
What do I want to do next? You know, what do I want to be when I grow up, right? As I continue to think through it. And I was frustrated because I felt stuck. Like many, many of you that are listening to this, you just feel stuck. Like what, what am I doing or not doing? Why can I seem to get past this level? Right. Why do I, you know, why do I keep doing this? And they tell me I need to be one, two, and three, and I've done one, two, three, four, and five, you know, what is it? So.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (10:46.582)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (10:56.352)

Gina Cano (11:11.411)
I sensed it and I recognized that I was extremely frustrated. And this wasn't something that a mentor was able to help me with. I got some nuggets of information. I even had my sponsors. I didn't have as many then as I do now, but it just wasn't right. So I went in on LinkedIn and there's a tool that's within LinkedIn that you can actually look for coaches. You can actually hire for coaches or.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (11:23.767)

Gina Cano (11:39.403)
any other kind of mentors. I mean, there's different skills out there. So I put in a request and say, you know what? I'm just gonna go check it out. Right? And I talked to a few different people. And that's when I realized this, I was talking with them and hearing the services that these professionals like yourself offer for coaching and development. Basically, you're there to help us get out of our own way. Right? You really are helping us get out of our own way. That's...

'Maven' Miara Shaw (11:56.923)
Mm-hmm. OK.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (12:02.411)

I say that all the time.

Gina Cano (12:07.287)
You know, after I met with my coach, he's fantastic, Stephen English, and he helped me see so much, right? I was like, oh, wow. The little voice in your head that tells you you're not good enough, that famous imposter syndrome that you have to fight. We named my little voice. His name is Booger. And sometimes when Booger comes up, I'm like, look, Booger, I appreciate it. I, but no, it's, you need to stay quiet because I need to move forward. Right. So was I.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (12:29.783)
right now.

Gina Cano (12:37.235)
Hesitant at first? Absolutely. Right. Because let's be honest, it's not like it's, you know, $20 and you're on your business. Right. You know, one thing that I have learned also through my investment in my, my mental and physical with my trainer, cheap is expensive. So I could always go the cheap route, but I'm going to pay double, sometimes triple to go back and course correct, because I wanted to save a few pennies in the front end. Right. So

'Maven' Miara Shaw (12:55.272)
Oh wow.

Gina Cano (13:04.395)
It was making that decision to invest in me and recognizing I'm hiring a coach just like a professional athlete. They don't go in the NFL or the NBA or major league baseball, just on their skill alone. They have coaches, they have trainers, they invest the time, they invest all of that. We're no different. We are absolutely no different. It's just a different level of investment. I'm investing in me and my skills and it has paid off tenfold.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (13:12.128)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (13:19.17)

Gina Cano (13:32.575)
It really has in doing that. And then investing in my time here at work and leveraging all of the network that's there for me, we have employee resource groups. I really invested in that again, COVID didn't have anything to do. I was seeking that connection with people. If you're in a corporate world or even in a, as an entrepreneur, there are networks you can get with it's built in for you, right? And so.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (13:42.882)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (13:55.831)

Gina Cano (13:58.367)
I got more involved with those groups, which got me involved into a program, which connected me with a mentor who, David Olvenza, who is outstanding and one of my mentors helped me connect some of the stuff Stephen taught me with the stuff he had with all the other amazing people I've gotten. And it's just put this energy. So that's what I mean by investment. It's not just a monetary thing that is there.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (14:24.662)

Gina Cano (14:24.847)
but it's investing in you and seeing, well, what do I want to do next? And what's getting in my way? And nine times out of 10, it's you getting in your own way.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (14:31.914)
Yeah, I love that. And that all of these pieces came together, right? Like a coach is kind of a quarterback sometimes of, okay, you have this piece, this piece, and pulling that all together. And you said something so critical about these networks. Ladies, no one is coming to look for you. You've got to seek it out. You've got, and then just because you join a network.

If you never attend a virtual meeting, in-person meeting, make those connections you've got to do. There's a maven quote that I have that says, the work is not skippable. I made up a whole word, but you've got to do the work. And it does pay off. And even if it doesn't necessarily pay off in your next promotion, think about all of these connections you've made that you might not need them today, but a year from now.

Gina Cano (15:10.744)


'Maven' Miara Shaw (15:28.974)
three years from now, you never know when you're gonna need those connections. Now of course, success with saneness is all about the undertone of helping women create success with sanity, without feeling like we have to run ourselves into the ground to achieve success. So what does that look like for you? And even if you don't have all of those pieces today, what is that?

future, work life balance, I call it balance rhythm, because life is always in motion. And so that rhythm, there's adjustments that are going to have to happen. What does that look like for Gina? That she is taking care of herself, she's doing amazing at work, well connected with her family. And I want women to hear this because it doesn't happen by happenstance. You have to be intentional with.

boundaries and all these other things to make sure that you are not seeking success yet sacrificing everything that really is important to you.

Gina Cano (16:37.055)
Absolutely. I called it harmonization, right? Finding the harmony between your work and your personal, because now with technology, it's all blended. It's like, none of us really have any off time because you're connected in some capacity, right? So for me, a couple of things are absolutely non-negotiable. So number one, I own my calendar. No one else owns my calendar. That's my calendar. It's my time.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (16:41.806)
about it.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (16:52.15)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (16:58.958)
Mm-hmm. Yes.

Gina Cano (17:03.895)
And that is the most precious asset that we have, because once it's spent, you never get it back. So I keep that front and center, right? My calendar, my time. Number two, which is kind of number one, tied in with it, my family. Work will always be there, but my family is my family and they are my priority, right? So I have a 13 year old son, he is my world. He is everything. And if I'm not healthy and I'm not happy, I am no good and I'm no use to him. So I gotta make sure that I'm mentally,

'Maven' Miara Shaw (17:09.496)

Gina Cano (17:33.243)
capable and I'm there and I'm present for my son, for my husband, right, for my parents, right? So family first, work second. That is how I operate, right? Family first, work second. But in order for any of those, family or work, to be able to be in harmony and good, I have to prioritize me. And so how do I prioritize me? I've got time on my calendar to go to the gym. I don't negotiate that time.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (17:41.335)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (17:44.663)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (17:56.055)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (18:00.925)

Gina Cano (18:02.355)
I might have to shift my time, right? I was going to go in the afternoon, nevermind I'll go in the morning, it's on my calendar. And if I'm not able to go to the gym for whatever reason, sometimes stuff happens, it does. I find something else to do, right? Whatever that is. Sometimes it might be just endless scrolling on TikTok because I need to mentally disconnect from the work.

demands that I have or the demands of being a mom and a wife and a sister and a daughter and everything else that comes in. Oh yeah, and I also help run all of my dad's businesses. So if I'm not at work in my family stuff, I still need time for me. So foundation for me is family first. My calendar is my time, but I prioritize me because if I'm not right, if I'm not healthy, if I'm not there, I'm no good to anyone.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (18:37.848)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (18:46.69)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (18:52.311)

Gina Cano (18:53.135)
And it took me a few years to figure that out, because I would work myself crazy working these crazy hours. I'm on the phone, I'm constantly checking, I'm constantly, the fear of missing out. I gotta do this, I gotta stay on top. And if I don't respond, and you're like, you know what, you'll be there. You know, when I go on vacation, I'm going on vacation, because I'm with my family, right? When I go to the gym, I'm going to the gym because it's for me, right? And I realized, that's okay, it's okay.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:02.859)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:08.074)
Yeah. Right. Yeah.

Gina Cano (19:20.439)
and they'll figure it out and if they can't we'll go.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:22.774)
Yeah. Listen, yeah. I say that while we're taking care of ourselves, the rest of the world is going to be fine. It really is. We, no matter what role we play, we are not that critical that the world's going to fall apart while we're doing so here. Thank God. Right. I don't even want to carry that responsibility. Um, and I, and you know, I do the same thing with my calendar, with my workouts. My workouts are on my calendar, like a meeting.

Gina Cano (19:32.536)
It will.

Gina Cano (19:38.199)

Gina Cano (19:43.075)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (19:53.078)
So if a client goes to look at my calendar, the book of time, they can't, they can't book during my gym time because I'm already have something in that slot. And, and, and ladies, I want you to hear a saying that this self care and the prioritization that's important to you is up to you. Your employer is not going to tell you, Oh, you got to make sure you take care of yourself first. That's your responsibility. And I'll often say,

Gina Cano (19:57.296)
I'm booked!

Gina Cano (20:12.579)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (20:22.582)
If the cap if you're the captain of your ship and the captain goes down then who's gonna man your ship We'll sort of make sure of your work and the business support you give to your dad and your husband and your son We have to be okay with that and ladies know that you still can have success You can still get there by maintaining your health your physical health mental health spiritual health all of those components

Gina Cano (20:29.734)
Yeah, everything goes down.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (20:51.274)
You can still get there. That fallacy that I'll sleep when I'm dead. Listen, I do not subscribe to that at all. I want to go to sleep at 10.30. I do, and it's very important.

Gina Cano (21:04.295)
No. I love my sleep. And don't you touch my nap time because I do have that in my calendar too. I got to have my nap in there. I got to recharge and get going. And you know what? It's okay. I've been doing it. Business is still functioning. I'm still successful as heck here at work. You know, the things are there and I'm rested. It's okay.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (21:10.637)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (21:16.426)
Yes. Yeah.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (21:23.8)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (21:27.786)
Yeah, I love it. I love it. Tell us a little bit about what you actually do it. Dale. That's how you and I got connected through the Dell network. Um, for entrepreneurs, which, you know, I'm scrolling on the platform and like, Oh my gosh, like how do I pick someone from this list of folks? Right. So it's going through and reading and I was like, Gina, Dell, Texas, like let's go with this. And like, again,

Gina Cano (21:28.577)
It is okay.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (21:57.302)
The journey when we're open to it will lead us to the places, the people, the things that we need. So tell us a little bit about what you do at Dale. I know you are a champion for women even there at Dale. So tell us a little bit about that as well.

Gina Cano (22:12.187)
Sure. So at Dell, I like to jokingly say, well, not fully joke, I'm a disruptor, right? So that's what I like to do. And I'm a builder. I build, right? I take a lot after my father. I'd again, he's a general contractor. So I said, dad, instead of building houses in these commercial buildings, I build organizations and I build people, right? So probably about a year ago now, I was presented with a new opportunity to build a new business here at Dell.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (22:18.914)

Gina Cano (22:42.095)
focused on ESG and sustainability, right? Even though E is the environmental, but really specifically on sustainability. So I'm looking at it from the lens of, what do we at Dell do in regards to our ESG, whether it's our sustainability goals, our people goals, ensuring we have the right regulatory governance, what is Dell doing? And how can we help our customers achieve their own ESG goals?

'Maven' Miara Shaw (23:04.238)

Gina Cano (23:09.547)
Again, right now, very focused on sustainability, right? So at the end of the day, we are a business, right? So is there a way we can monetize that? Yes, great. Or is it just the right thing to do through our different routes that we have, through some of our service offerings, through some of the hardware, or some of our own giving that we do, some of the nonprofit stuff that we help in, are helping other organizations to get to achieve their goals. So I'm looking at it from that lens, right? How can Dell, from a services perspective,

take all the goodness we're doing at a corporate level and help customers, our clients, with those same goals to achieve them. So it's been really exciting. It really has been exciting to do this, because it's good. It ties into the goals that I set back in 2020 when I first met my coach, right? When I met with Steven and we started figuring out, you know, what do I want to do next? And then as I worked with David, you know, what does that really look like? I had two main goals.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (23:49.294)
I love that.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (23:57.518)

Gina Cano (24:07.759)
There's a lot of them, but two that stood out. Number one is I wanted to make the world a better place for my son. What better way than to make sure that we're being sustainable and ethical and we're doing things right, that we truly do make a change in this world, right? And being with Dell, we have, in my opinion, we have a responsibility to lead the charge in that, right? We really do. So yeah, let's do this. Number two is I want to inspire the next generation of me.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (24:09.902)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (24:13.28)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (24:22.859)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (24:28.194)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (24:37.942)

Gina Cano (24:38.179)
Right? The young Latina growing up in a small town where you don't see a lot of black and brown at the executive's levels, uh, let's be honest, it's very vanilla in most of those levels. Right? So I'm, I want to achieve those levels just not only for my own career aspirations, but I want that next Gina that's learning and seeing is like, well, I can do that. So.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (24:49.366)

Gina Cano (25:04.351)
I do that here at Dell too. So that's why I go to different events and I'm talking and meeting with different students so they can identify and they can relate and they can see themselves in this capacity. So I do that through the ERG that I'm a part of. So I'm in a couple of ERGs. We have 13 here at Dell. Name the flavor. We probably have it based on your interest, right? Which is great. It shows how diverse we are and how open we are to seeing these different points of views and embracing and being inclusive.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (25:26.284)
It was like, yeah.

Gina Cano (25:34.711)
So the primary one I'm a part of is Latino connection, right? So through Latino connection, I get to talk to, and you don't have to be Latino to be a part of it, right? You can be a part of any of it. So I'm Latino connection, we got women in action, we have our Black Networking Alliance, we have pride, we have true abilities. So I'm a part of all these ERGs. And whenever I have an opportunity to go talk, I talk. If I have an opportunity to develop and share insights, I do, because again,

'Maven' Miara Shaw (25:57.836)

Gina Cano (26:03.271)
I want my story, my perspective to maybe help that one person, because then that one person will help the next person. So it goes from that. So at the end of the day, what I'm doing here is not only building a business, but I'm leading and being the change that I want to see in this world. And I'm using the power that Dell has to hopefully help influence it a little bit more.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (26:28.91)
I love that. And I love that, you know, when we talk about our professional lives, our personal lives, that when we get clear about our vision, what is it that you want? You sat down with your coach and got clarity around what does Gina want to do? What's the road? What does she want it to look like? Then we can really take that energy and positively connect those two in a well blended way. Because like you said, you know, I know for me as an entrepreneur,

Gina Cano (26:41.733)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (26:59.07)
my personal role in business all intertwined, but it's the same in the corporate. You spend so much time doing your work. It just brings such joy and fulfillment to the work you do when it is in alignment with also the personal goals that you have. So that thought brings us to kind of the end where I want you to give women your best piece of advice on if they're in that moment, and they're saying,

I'm stuck. I don't know where I want to be in this corporation. If I want to stay in this corporation, if I want to launch out and go do something else, I just feel stuck. And I feel like I don't even know what I need to be doing in this world. You know, we all go through those seasons of what the heck am I doing? What? Like what? Right? You just like, God, give me a sign, you know? And we, we want

Gina Cano (27:51.756)
Oh yeah.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (27:54.47)
I always say we want the bright burning bush. We want the plane flying by in the sky to tell us, Gina, go do this. But that's not how it happens. Uh, what's that one step a woman needs to take if she's at that moment, she's like, I literally don't know what to do. What, what's your advice to get her to the next step of just do this one thing and then be open to the next things that will happen.

Gina Cano (28:21.431)
I would say probably the number one thing is at a minimum, at an absolute minimum, at least allocate an hour a week on your very busy schedule. And I know everybody can have the hour instead of mindlessly scrolling on TikTok or doing online shopping or whatever you might do. And those are my vices, that's what I do. So that's why I'm sharing it. But whatever it is that you're doing, you do have the time, there is an hour, at least once a week that you can find. I guarantee it's in there.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (28:36.694)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (28:40.97)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (28:45.294)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (28:51.616)

Gina Cano (28:52.795)
No disruptions if it's going for a walk or it's locking yourself in your office, your bedroom, your closet, go in your car, go for a drive, whatever it is where it's just you and you alone, you and your thoughts, right? Even if you have a little one, they're taking their nap time, whatever that is, you and really, really start to lay out, what are the things that I'd like to do? What are the things I don't like to do? What are the things that I wish I could have help with?

'Maven' Miara Shaw (29:04.674)
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Gina Cano (29:21.891)
What are the things I wish I could help others with? Start laying that out. Just start writing it. There's no rhyme, there's no reason. You're not going to have, it's not going to give you the answer right up front. But through that, it'll start to come up with the themes, the things that stand out to you. Like you're going to say, man, I am really good at X. I really want help with Y, whatever that is. And that'll help you then to that next step. Well, how do you go and tackle X?

'Maven' Miara Shaw (29:24.599)


'Maven' Miara Shaw (29:31.959)

Gina Cano (29:49.807)
How do you go and embrace? Why, you know, where do you go? And then you can start researching. What's coming out of that without you realizing is by dedicating that hour, once a week, you're now forming a habit where you're now putting an hour a week for yourself to invest in thinking, just thinking, talking to yourself. Pretty amazing conversations I have with myself, some of the best conversations. And it's just that hour that I am dedicated to me, no interruptions. I'm not talking to anybody. I'm not texting. I'm not, no, me.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (30:10.902)
So, bye.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (30:19.086)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Gina Cano (30:19.567)
talking to hear, talking to hear, that's where you'll start to hear all of the signs that the world is trying to tell you, whether you're spiritual, whether you're religious, whatever it is, you are gonna get the answer, but you gotta turn the noise off. And the only way you can turn that noise off is to give yourself at a minimum an hour. The more you can do it, the better, but at a minimum, give yourself an hour. And if you're like, Gina, there's no way I could give myself an hour because...

'Maven' Miara Shaw (30:37.123)
You know.

Gina Cano (30:48.963)
We all think we're super busy and we all think we're super important. And like we said, hate to burst your bubble. No, really not. Right. It's you can find it. Then start off with the half hour. And then from there, expand it to 45 minutes and then 60 minutes, and then give yourself 90 minutes. And then you'll end up finding that the more you prioritize yourself and you really allow yourself to think. The sooner the answers start to come to you, cause they've been there. They're all along. It's just, there's a lot of noise. There's a lot of.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (30:50.7)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (31:00.119)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (31:16.31)

Gina Cano (31:18.011)
We don't have white noise in there. Let's get it out. That's what I would say.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (31:21.558)
Love it, love it, love it, love it. That would be some of the best maven advice ever because that's how it started for me. I started, I literally started with 60 seconds of quiet time. 60, and I wasn't even trying to have thoughts in that 60 seconds. I just needed to make myself be still, like, girl, slow down, slow down, right? And really in those moments,

Gina Cano (31:35.484)
Okay? Okay.

Gina Cano (31:45.919)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (31:50.806)
The time kept growing and I think I had to also get past the fear of what am I going to hear when I really get steel. For me, I was afraid. I don't know even know why. Like I'm like, I'm going to hear something and I'm not going to be able to do it. Like what I was already talking myself out of what I didn't know.

Gina Cano (32:13.903)
That's booger. That's the little booger that we all have in there trying to tell you and protect you. And be like, no, don't start to listen. No, no, you need to listen.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (32:19.894)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't listen. And once I could get past the fear of being, of knowing that, again, another maven quote, that I'm CPR, capable, prepared, and ready for whatever it is I hear, I'm gonna be able to do it. Because I believe in God. God's not gonna ask me to do something I'm incapable of doing. Like, what would be the purpose of that, right?

So ladies know it's going to be uncomfortable. I still say that first year of me learning to get quiet and listen to my thoughts. I felt like my tear ducts were broken. I felt like I cried for a year. I felt like I cried for a year because it just was all of the really digging into what is it that I really want? Like we can keep waking up in this world and you know, kind of stomping through it and just doing the things.

other people put on our plate or we can get intentional and say, but what is it that I want to do? What's going to settle my heart and bring me peace and give me fulfillment. So ladies, we encourage you, like Gina said, start with 30 minutes. Just don't try to figure anything out. Just sit and be still. If it's driving, walking, laying down, whatever it is, just listen to what your heart.

is trying to tell you to do because here's the thing. Everyone in the world is not waiting for Myra or Gina. Someone's waiting for you and what you have to deliver. And listen, I'm gonna apply positive pressure. We need it. We need what you have in the world. Gina, listen, thank you so very much. I feel like just from us meeting a couple of months ago virtually, like we've known each other for several years and it's literally been about 60 days.

Gina Cano (34:09.687)
Yes, I feel the pain. Again, ladies, the beauty of networking, the courage of just reaching out, right? You took a chance, we connected, and you're right. I feel like I've known you my entire life, and this is, you know, I look forward to our conversations, and I'm sure this is one of many more to come. So don't be afraid. Again, stay comfortable. No, be comfortable.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (34:22.998)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (34:27.342)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (34:33.014)

Gina Cano (34:38.915)
being uncomfortable, right? Because that's where change happens. So this is a great example of it. So thank you for reaching out.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (34:40.398)

'Maven' Miara Shaw (34:45.078)
Yeah, my joy. All right, Gina, hang on for me.

'Maven' Miara Shaw (35:20.435)
Alright, there we go.

Gina Cano (35:23.468)
I'm here.


I’m Maven Miara

I’m a Hope Curator & Confidence Cultivator who works with high-achieving, purpose pursuing baddies to help them move from STUCK to EXECUTION in creating the lifestyle they desire. Contact us at


Are You Ready to Transform Your Life?

Book a free 20-minute consultation and let’s discuss how you can create your own balanced rhythm.

Need to Show Up More Confidently

Need a powerful speaker for your next meeting or event? Miara will bring her proven strategies to help high-performing leaders show up more confidently.

Related Episodes

Subscribe Today So You Never Miss Another Episode!

Listen or Watch the Success With Saneness Podcast on your favorite platform!

miara shaw

'Maven' Miara Shaw is a Hope Curator & Confidence Cultivator who works with high-achieving, purpose pursuing leaders to take action in moving from stuck to execution without sacrificing their relationships, health & mental sanity. She calls this a Balanced Rhythm™.


Miara Shaw is based in Houston, TX but serves clients globally. She is a certified to do business with local government and federal agencies.