Even as we face the promise of a new year, a month in, we are constantly hearing about the increase in burnout and mental health challenges, and even more, we feel it. We are experiencing layoffs, inflation, racism, gun violence, and the list goes on and on. Those of us who are leading people are almost ready to call it quits. In fact, many are. At least 40% of managers' report burnout, executives are leaving at higher rates than ever before, and employees are more likely to leave companies that are not prioritizing equity.
As we planned for the coming year, it was clear that community, inclusion, and equity must be at the forefront. That means we must be people centric. With that as our focus, it was clear that our theme for 2023 should reflect our goals and call to action:
HACE UNITED: Accelerating Equity with Action & Accountability
We are excited to adopt this and explore all the opportunities it gives us to focus on lifting up our members, including you. It gives us direction and fresh motivation as an organization and addresses our concerns about the challenges we all face at work, at home, and in our community.
I have been leading others and serving underserved and underrepresented communities for over 15 years, eight of which have been at HACE. While Latinos continue to be underrepresented in positions of power and influence, I have hope because of what we do at HACE and the immediate impact we have.
However, it is not enough, and we are not moving fast enough, which is why we need to unify and collectively work together on ensuring that equity is present for ALL communities, that inclusion is felt in ALL communities, and that ALL communities feel seen, heard, and valued.
Throughout 2023, HACE will share inspirational stories of progress alongside key best practice recommendations and proposed solutions to help us collectively accelerate our progress. We hope that you will join us and be part of this movement!
Are you ready to take action and hold one another accountable?
Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of the Hispanic delegation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. There were many signs of progress on the “S” in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, as companies have increasingly faced concerns about employee wellbeing and had calls for action on social inequality. For example:
- Visible Support for the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition to sessions and speakers representing them, the LGBTQIA+ community was celebrated with a reception and an evening where the promenade (the street where the Congress Center is, and all the sessions are held) was lit up with PRIDE colors. Kudos to Sarah Kate Ellis and her team at GLAAD for the various events held and for making sure we included the voices of our LGBTQIA+ community at the WEF23.
- Dedicated events and discussions focused on women and more women of color. Many thanks to the World Woman Foundation, Shelly Zalis, and Female Quotient.
- The largest gathering of Latinos and allies! More Latinos and allies attended the Hispanics at Davos and Hispanic Promise 2.0 receptions than in past years. I saw many more Latino executives this time, including Enrique Lores, President & CEO of HP, and reconnected with Pilar Cruz, Corporate Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Cargill. Our Hispanic delegation did an amazing job ensuring that the WEF felt our presence and that ALL issues must include the fifth largest economy, leading a $2.8 trillion GDP--Latinos!
- Latinos still represent only 4% of executives, while Latinas make up only 1%. According to US Census data, Hispanic females and males continue to face higher unemployment rates and are earning the lowest paid wages, less than half of what their white male counterparts earn.
- At the WEF, women still only represented about a quarter of participants, and gender parity is not recovering, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022. It will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap, women leaders are leaving their companies at the highest rate ever, and the gap between women and men in senior roles quitting their jobs is the largest it’s ever been. This is according to new data from LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company, which started tracking these numbers in 2015.
- The LGBTQIA+ community is still battling discrimination. In most states, gay and trans individuals can be fired from their job based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. That means that regardless of job performance or ability, a person can lose their job if their boss finds out about and disagrees with their identity. The lack of protection forces individuals to remain in the closet, guarding the secrets of who they are in order to earn a living. While 20 states and Washington, DC, have passed non-discrimination laws, more than half of the states have not—making life difficult and dangerous for LGBTQIA+ Americans in many parts of the US.
How can we leverage best practices or provide new solutions to accelerate equity and inclusion in our communities? At HACE, we will:
- Offer training for managers to learn how to better navigate leading people today--specifically people from diverse backgrounds. This will help all communities advance and better equip our managers to be more confident. Popular training for managers includes Building Effective Allyship, Leading with an Intersectional Lens, and the Multicultural Leadership Program.
- Continue to scale Mujeres de HACE Women’s Leadership Program and various customized versions to help meet women where they are. Mujeres de HACE in Tech, for example, helped women no longer feel isolated in their roles but also helped empower them to continue to advance their careers in tech. New programs will focus on healthcare and financial services, gathering women in high-demand fields, getting them to advance, and keeping them there.
- Launch an LGBTQIA+ focused program - more to come!
Will you unite with us? What action will you take this year? Are you interested in partnering or collaborating on any of these ideas or programs? Let us know!
Our collective power helps us go further. In unity, let’s take action and hold one another accountable!
P.S. Grab your early bird tickets to our Annual National Leadership Summit & Gala HERE.
President & CEO
Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)