4 Latinx Leaders on Building a Truly Inclusive Workforce

By Betsy Aimee

Last week, Uber revealed its diversity report, showing incredibly slow improvement. Compared to last year, the percentage of Latinxs at Uber increased .5% while the numbers for Black employees went down. The numbers surprised no one, as other enterprises like Twitter and Lyft have released equally lackluster numbers in the past few months.

Despite paying lip-service to diversity and inclusion, many organizations lag behind in practice. They welcome Latinxs with open arms as consumers without giving them much representation in leadership roles. In fact, a study by the Alliance for Board Diversity showed that in 2016 less than 15% of Fortune 500 board seats were held by minorities.

This lack of leadership at the top means that Latinxs also lack mentorship and pipelines for growth at the early stages of our careers. No wonder companies struggle to retain Latinx Millennial talent. Studies have demonstrated that, “people of color leave tech at more than 3.5 times the rate of white men.”

Though the solutions are many and complex, a central one demands that companies undergo a fundamental shift, going beyond the obligatory “minority hire” to something that takes a bit of more work and may be more uncomfortable: a willingness to create a space that fully accepts Latino talent on its own terms and meets them exactly where they are.

Building an inclusive workforce takes elbow grease and numbers and true, concerted efforts to hire Latinos at the highest levels; to stand back and watch as they do their thing, becoming models and advocates for younger Latinos and multicultural talent.

The chasm between talk and walk remains vast, but Latinx business leaders offer some solutions. Read up and learn, as the tide is turning.

Here is what 4 multicultural leaders in tech and across sectors had to say to the Ubers of the world about what we should expect to see in the next decade and the role Latinx’s will play in the coming changes.

“93% of CEO’s & CXO-level leaders of American corporations recognize that their diversity statistics are subpar and a cause of increasing concern. Much lip-service has turned into little results. This is why we so often feel like we need to take matters into our own hands. I built a platform called BeVisible to turn that talk into action. It’s become clear that building a diverse and inclusive workforce is not only the right thing to do, it’s absolutely the best thing you can do for business. I am hopeful for what’s to come. Watch as companies begin to reach out more and more to business leaders within diverse communities to not only recruit but maintain Latinx Millennials. There’s no secret sauce. We represent the future and the answer is pretty simple when you look at it. Hire us and let us pave the way. We’ll take it from here.” Andrea Guendelman, CEO of BeVisible says.

“American youth has never been more diverse than today. Diversity is not only the right path to take, it is a great business opportunity. If brands and companies are to survive and push their companies into the future, they need to recognize that and act accordingly. The time for talk is over. As Latinos become the new mainstream economy, businesses need to act.”  Beatriz Acevedo, Founding Partner & President of mitú

“There is no denying that Latinos are a catalyst for economic growth and that the workforce of the future will have an increasingly Latino identity. We need spaces that bring together stakeholders within the Latino collective to help shape the discourse and narrative about the Latinx community. We can’t sit down and wait for these spaces to be built for us. We can take action now. That is the only way we will move the needle” Dr. Robert Rodriguez, President of DRR Advisors & Co-Author of “Auténtico: The Definitive Guide to Latino Career Success.

“To really make an impact on the world, we all must amplify our impact through collaboration with others. We must leverage differences in each other for the greater good and recognize diversity and inclusion as an innovation advantage in our modern co-creation based world. Those of us in leadership positions have a responsibility to help influence generations of leaders, teaching them that we can’t allow our perceptions to place artificial limits on what is possible.” Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Business

In a world where 85% of jobs are filled through networking, underrepresented communities owe it to themselves to connect directly with industry leaders who speak their language, literally and symbolically.

These industry leaders and other from diverse communities will be dropping knowledge like this and going deep into the issues of diversity and inclusion facing America’s workforce at BeVisible’s first-ever #BeWokeSF on May 17, 2018 at the Pearl in San Francisco. For more information, go to nvite.com/bevisible/bewokesf. 

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