After hosting 8 events during the 2021 Executive Leadership Tour, HACE held their last and final one on Thursday, July 19th that featured 500 guests in attendance.
The events’ moderator, Patricia Mota - HACE’s very own President/CEO shared the floor with a group of panelists who, as leaders and executives in their individual fields, contributed their own experience on how they show up and take action within their work roles to advance diversity throughout their organizations and in their personal lives. The panel discussion was led by HACE’s 2021 theme: Leading at the Intersection of Identity, Equity, and Unity, whereby the speakers address the intrinsic link between identity and intersectionality, organizations’ efforts on creating equitable spaces in the workplace, and what it means to become a better ally within our Hispanic/Latinx community.
As Patricia walked through each of the core ideas of HACE’s theme, she started by addressing intersectional identity and refers to the originator of the term, Kimberly Crenshaw who created the framework to point out how an individual’s social and political identities conjoin to form the different modes of discrimination and privilege. The work setting is a prominent place that often depicts how prospective employees can be turned down, someone can be deprived of a raise/refused a promotion or acknowledgment for high work performance or simply treated differently by others within their workspace including colleagues. One of the panelists, Helena Almeida (Senior Council at ADP) who identifies as a Latina and cisgender individual shared her own personal encounter with a client who unapologetically scoffed at the pronunciation of her name and quickly resolved by calling her “Helen”.
“It is critical that we become comfortable with sharing who we are, because the more aware and comfortable we are, the more we are able to grow into leadership and as influencers that we all need in our community.”- Patricia Mota on Intersectional Identity, ELT NY 2021
Accepting everyone’s unique identities brings us one step closer in making sure that there is fairness and equity being shown. The two combined seek to make workplace environments more diverse and productive.
“Equity is not giving everyone the same thing but meeting individuals where they are to ensure that they have the proper resources and tools to be successful in ensuring equity in the workplace. As a result, employees have the opportunities to learn, grow and advance.” - Patricia Mota on Equity
For Victor Nieves, Financial Solution Consultant at BNY, being equitable is extremely crucial, especially as a leader. He prioritizes this as his own leadership responsibility and does so by simply taking action. He makes a commitment by creating time to engage with diverse employees during monthly meetings, and holding listening tours whereby leaders actively listen to employees’ concerns, issues, and opinions.
What was also pointed out were the ERG/BRG’s overall effectiveness in leadership amongst organizations and how they support the development of Hispanic/Latinx professionals. The bigger picture though, is what Cynthia Lopez, VP of Human Resources at Capital One recognizes across different ERG/BRG’s:
“If one wins, we all win.” - Cinthia Lopez, Capitol One
In our discovery of the bond between identity and equity, this last piece correlates as well. Accepting our differences helps us to treat one another fairly which in turn helps us to become united as one.
Cinthia envisions a setting where all the various ERGs across companies and organizations come to work together and learn from one another's individual experiences and to acknowledge that their differences are what make them unique. The collective power of all individuals, all organizations, and all communities have a common end goal that can be achieved through unity and allyship.
The speakers all shared invaluable information and tips during this critical conversation that enriched the lives of leaders and employees alike, compelling them to meet each other at the intersection of upward change.