• 2019 GMiS Luminary •
Margarita Ruiz Lum’s position at Google entails managing the indirect tax function, including setting strategy and acting as the liaison for state and local government audits, but it is her creation of the Cristo Rey High School corporate work-study program at the company that has led her colleagues to recommended that she be recognized for her community service.
As a member of HOLA, the employee resource group at Google that promotes inclusion, representation, and advancement of Hispanic employees at the company, Ms. Ruiz Lum was searching for a way to both support the local community and to prime the pipeline of future Hispanic hires for Google.
The work study program she established not only helps the students offset their tuition, but also provides them with valuable work skills and instills accountability and confidence, while exposing them to positive professional role models as the students spend a day each week working for local companies. Ms. Ruiz Lum also created a mentorship program so that each student is paired with a junior Latinx mentor from Google, providing the students with help navigating the corporate world while offering the employees valuable leadership experience.
Since all of students at Cristo Rey are low income and the majority of them are Latinx — and the first in their families to consider attending college — the experience and self-confidence that the program provides is invaluable.
Ms. Ruiz Lum is the proud daughter of farmworkers both of whom had an incredible work ethic and a spirit of compassion and charity. Her high school counselors encouraged her to take secretarial and bookkeeping classes to avoid a life of working in the fields with her parents and she soon went to a local community college where she earned an Associate’s degree in accounting.
She continued her education at San Jose State where Ms. Ruiz Lum received her B.S. in Business Administration. Upon graduation she was among the only 4% who passed the CPA exam on their first try. Before joining Google, she worked at a number of Silicon Valley companies including Tandem Computers, Siemens Rolm, 3Com, Hewlett-Packard, and NetApp.