Fabiana Bentes has seen the many faces of diversity throughout her career as a journalist and through her leadership roles in government, business, and non-profit organizations.
Her work takes her to one of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent favelas, a place of extreme
poverty where people stay because they cannot afford proper housing in the city. “There are significant risks to working there,” she says. “I understand that I am there on a mission.”
Bentes’ background covers much ground. She was state secretary of social development and human rights, as well as public security counselor, for the state of Rio de Janeiro and contributed to projects that help refugees and help prevent violence against women, LGBTQI+ people, indigenous people, children, and the elderly.
In addition, she served as a consultant and project director of the Interamerican Bank of Development—the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean—working as a bridge between favelas, the public sector, and big companies like Visa, Colgate, and NBA and working for a World Cup legacy and Olympic Games legacy.
In 2015, she founded the Sou do Esporte, a Brazilian-based non-profit association that promotes governance in sports, social development throughout sports, and qualified content for sports management, with a strong network between athletes, sports entities, and public authorities.
In 2021, Bentes was elected tourism ambassador of Rio de Janeiro. She received her MBA as a graduate of the Fundação Dom Cabral Executive MBA.
“I have always taken the responsibility to act in favor of the vulnerable population, regardless of where I am or the position I hold,” says Bentes. Her commitment and actions help inspire others to act.
“Everything I do has to have a purpose. Because I believe what I do has a positive impact engaging more people in charitable or social responsibility actions. It’s necessary to realize that many people want to get involved, but do not know where to start or which path to go down. When our actions are well-developed, when you persuade people to work with you like a volunteer, it’s a sign that you’re a force and actions are helping and are having the desired effect.”
Her EMBA education helped her spread the word and offered her important perspectives on business.
As the only student in her EMBA class from the service sector of the economy, Bentes helped her fellow students better understand why companies need a stronger relationship with social impact and how this impact can change the perception of brands. She also learned more about how business operates. “It has improved my knowledge in managing resources of companies and in dealing with the expectation of social impact.”