While Hispanic Americans have made great contributions to the growth and culture of the United States, Hispanic women have historically been under-represented in many fields, including business careers. As CEO of FortÃ©, a nonprofit focused on advancing women in business, this is especially important during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15).
We hear it all the time, but it bears repeating: diversity matters. Diverse leadership teams consistently outperform the competition, and cultivating a diverse network of peers can be just as valuable on an individual level. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I asked a few Hispanic women leaders in the FortÃ© network to share how cultivating a diverse community has benefited them personally and / or professionally. Here’s what they had to say:
“Diversity encourages us to question and refine our beliefs and assumptions, creating a stronger sense of self, communities and institutions. Coming from a large, diverse Mexican-American family with modest means, I naturally learned to share space and listen to others, and understand that not everyone will think or act like me – lessons. incredibly important to achieving my personal and professional goals. Today, living between cultures continues to cultivate my empathy not only with others, but for myself, allowing me to know myself better, to draw appropriate boundaries and thus to better present myself in all facets of my life. . – Amanda Villarreal, Design and Innovation at a Fortune 100 company in New York City
“Being surrounded by a diverse, inclusive community empowered by workplace systems, processes and teams has been a game-changer. My growth became exponential once I found a place where I can hear diverse voices and where those voices are truly heard throughout the organization. A diverse community helps broaden perspectives, but organizations that are also inclusive remove barriers to individual equity and growth. – Mabel Gomes, Senior Communications Program Manager for the Windows Update team at Microsoft
“Every day, as a woman of color and a Latina in business, I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and opened up a road for me to travel. It is now part of my mission to pave the way for the next generation of diverse talent from all walks of life. It is in this spirit that I founded PowHER Circle, an inclusive community of women who work together to inspire, support and empower themselves in their personal and professional journeys. With a true diversity of thought, experience and perspective within an organization, we can better serve our businesses, our communities and each other. In fact, everyone wins. – Angelica Alam, Financial Transformation Program Manager, Facebook
âDiversity and inclusiveness are my core values ââthat I incorporate into both my personal and professional career. I feel like I am giving my best when I listen and learn from various points of view – whether religious, political, cultural or related to health. The current COVID pandemic and recent elections highlight the negative impact of exclusivity and one-sided views. I learned early on that in order to be an effective leader, you must first learn to follow others. I have a lot to learn from people who don’t look, speak or think like me. And I’m a better human when I bring these people into my community. – Evelyn Gallego, MBA, MPH, CPHIMS, CEO and Founder, EMI Advisors LLC
“A diverse customer base and an employee base are requirements for us to continue to grow. Personally, surrounding myself with talented and diverse leaders has allowed me to broaden my opportunities for growth and learning in a stimulating and welcoming environment. – Xochitl A. Leon, Head of National Talent Acquisition Partnerships and Programs, Wells Fargo
âAfter embarking on a new life journey by moving from Colombia to live in New York after the MBA, I became part of a diverse community of longtime friends from around the world, whom I now call my extended family. Our community grows together through shared experiences and learning from each other’s perspectives. Embracing diversity has allowed me to stay true to each of the many layers of my identity while remaining open to learning and growing from the range of experiences and individuals I interact with every day. – Maria Osorio, Vice-President, PIMCO
At FortÃ©, we work hard to ensure diversity in the workforce and to ensure that all perspectives are heard and respected. It’s inspiring to see the power of a diverse leadership team in action – and a reminder that success begins with different people with different perspectives. We all bring something to the table.
If you are an African American, Black, Hispanic, Latin and / or Native American woman interested in obtaining your MBA, I invite you to join FortÃ© on November 4 for Diversity Day. This free symposium will connect you with other motivated women and mission-aligned companies, and show you how an MBA can help you rise in the business world.