Each year on September 15 – October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States. Started by President Lyndon B. Johnson fifty one years ago, Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Through our value of inclusion, Protiviti fosters an environment of continuous cultural learning and celebrates our employees, who each have their own unique identities. By understanding more about the cultural backgrounds of our colleagues and clients, we are able to strengthen our culture of inclusion.
This year, we had a chance to catch up with two of our employees who share their unique perspectives.
What is your favorite part about celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?
Mabil: My favorite part is getting to see beautiful demonstrations of baile folklorico (a traditional Mexican dance). When I was younger, my brother and I would participate in this dance and it always brings back great memories.
Luis: My favorite part is the history — eight Latin American countries celebrate their Independence Day during Hispanic Heritage Month five of those are on the first day alone. September 16th is Mexican Independence Day and that’s always a time for me to reflect and remember where I was raised and the culture that has shaped me. Sometimes you need a subtle reminder to be proud and grateful of your roots and share that joy with your peers.
How do you think your Hispanic heritage has shaped your professional career?
Mabil: Growing up, I recognized the difference in both culture and habits between my family and those families of my non-Hispanic friends but despite differences, each style worked. I believe this translates to the workplace; people have different work/management styles and those each add value in unique ways.
Luis: My heritage has provided me with perspective. I am able to bring different ideas to the table that are subconsciously influenced by my heritage. It has also allowed me to connect with an inclusive community of Latino Professionals and has inspired me to get involved with Protiviti’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative.
What is one thing that you would like people to know about Hispanic Heritage?
Mabil: One of the things I love most about Hispanic heritage is our strong sense of community. From the celebrations such as weddings and quinceañeras to the other end of the spectrum, there is support. An example of this was when my abuelita (grandmother) passed away in 2014 and I went to Mexico to lay her to rest in her hometown. I was concerned about preparing her house for my mourning parents, aunts, and uncles; especially because I hadn’t been to Mexico in over 7 years! To my surprise, as we pulled up to my abuelita’s house, it was full of people from her village ready to help us clean, prepare food, and pray through the night. It was a beautiful demonstration of the community’s love and support.
Why do you believe it’s important to create a diverse workplace?
Luis: Creating a diverse workplace where individuals are empowered to embrace their heritage and background allows each individual to feel like they can be their authentic self!
Like Mabil and Luis, we want to hear what our employees have to say. Having a diverse and inclusive workplace is a priority for Protiviti , and a range of initiatives have been set up to support that goal, including diversity-focused recruiting programs, global employee network groups, a global employee mobility program, unconscious bias learning, and a network of diversity champions across our global offices.
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