Resilience is a word Lismar Berro uses a lot, and it seems to be the perfect word to describe her.
The senior purchasing manager was recently featured in Latino Detroit for her leadership role in Michigan’s Venezuelan American community and as both co-director of the diversity, equity and inclusion council for Ford customer service and vice president of the Ford Hispanic Network (FHN) employee resource group. The piece highlighted how Berro broke through in a field where there are not a lot of women of color, leveraging her resilience to keep moving forward.
“My dad taught me to be curious, to appreciate understanding how parts fit together, to be resourceful, creative and resilient in finding solutions,” said Berro. “That is what inspired me to study mechanical engineering.”
Berro immigrated to the United States from Venezuela in 1999, joining Ford in 2000. She moved into her current role in June 2020, responsible for leading powertrain, remanufacturing, vehicle personalization purchasing and cost estimating and quality teams. Before that, she held several positions in vehicle operations, including managing production engineering at Dearborn Truck Plant, where she drove preparation for the launch of the F-150.
Prior to her career with Ford, Berro worked in the synthetic detergent sector for Procter & Gamble in her hometown of Caracas. Her success led Procter & Gamble to offer more opportunities for women on its operations team.
Berro said she hopes to see an increase in the numbers of Latinos and other minorities in the corporate world. “If you encounter people with biases that make you feel like you don’t belong or you are not the best for the job, don’t let that defeat you,” she said. “Show them what you are made of, be resilient, be intentional, take it as a challenge. Learn and grow, and you will succeed.”