The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)’s vision is to see a world where Latinos reach their full potential for themselves and our communities. This feels a bit closer to reality when I witness our year-round programs and events, yet we are disproportionately underrepresented in highly compensated professional and leadership roles across corporate America and other sectors.
We are part of the largest, the youngest and also the fastest growing population group in the United States, and with an older and more diverse workforce, Latinos access to education, meaningful jobs, and advancement is critical for our country.
HACE’s mission to positively impact the American workplace by cultivating the pipeline of Latino talent and providing Latino professionals the insight, access, and support to be successful in their careers is vital for our country more than ever before.
Here are three of many reasons why a Latinx/a/o talent strategy drives an inclusive culture:
1. AMBICULTURAL VALUES CREATE ADAPATABLE LEADERS — As the daughter to Mexican immigrant parents, who worked diligently to encourage education and culture, I learned a lot about the values of hard work-ethic, family, and faith.
Along with my traditional Latino values, I embraced traditional American values such as independence, directness, and being strategic. This duality helped me become adaptable in between spaces, to be inclusive, and engaging with whoever and in any space.
At HACE, we help individuals understand the value we bring to the table when we authentically lead with our American and Latino values.
“Being ourselves” in a culture different from our own — adapting while also remaining true to oneself requires knowing how to respond in situations where our cultural norms make us feel uneasy to do so. Many in our community value humility, so much so where we believe that working really hard will get us that next promotion, and while that is a great attribute, we must occasionally “toot your own horn” in order to become that leader.
Applying the ambicultural leadership is a powerful way to build inclusive spaces in our increasingly interconnected, interdependent and even, perhaps, divided societies.
2. STATISTICS SHOW THE IMPACT OF LATINOS ON THE ECONOMY TODAY AND THE FUTURE — Not only do we have a large segment of our population that is young and growing, there is powerful impact already happening.
And just this year, the U.S. Latino economic and its future impact has come into the forefront of news on CNN, Forbes and Hispanic Executive. These headlines must not be ignored.
3. OUR COUNTRY’S FUTURE IS INCREASINGLY INTERSECTIONAL — Inclusive spaces and workplaces begin with inclusive and openly intersectional leaders. Latinos are one of the most complex groups, and it only takes one who confidently leads with their intersectional identity to empower others to embrace who they are.
In the U.S., the Latino market is complex. We represent about 27 countries of origin and have individual preferences on how we prefer to identify ourselves. We must shed light on the diversity of the U.S. Hispanic/Latino community, a concept known as Latinidad.
I identify as a Mexican-American, and as a Latina. Others within the U.S. Hispanic/Latino community identify as Latinx, Latino, Hispanic, Tejano, Nuyorican and more.
But not all of us speak Spanish and not all of us are recent immigrants. We also are part of other communities, be it African-American, LGBTQ, abilities and even generational. This is a concept known as Intersectionality – or the way our multiple identities intersect. We are all multidimensional, complex individuals.
A good leader who leads with their intersectional identity is more effective at creating more inclusive spaces and a greater sense of belonging because others can more easily relate.
Our future holds intersectionality as an important concept in understanding how to create diverse and inclusive cultures.
The employee experience is significantly affected by our ever-intersectional identities, thus, there is an increasing business risk of ignoring these trends.
Employers must include the recruitment, retention, and development of Latino talent into their strategies in order to ensure they are building the most innovative and inclusive organizations.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article which will include specific strategies and best practices.
Patricia Mota Biography
Patricia Mota serves as the President & CEO for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Advancement (HACE), leading strategy, fundraising & development, professional and student leadership programs, and expanding organizational reach on a national scale.
She strives to engage experienced professionals as mentors and advisors to create a multi-generational network to support Latinos’ career growth around the country.
With over 10 years of demonstrated success in leading this personal mission via building effective programs and strategic partnerships, she works to strengthen and expand HACE’s mission, brand, and impact across the country.
Prior to two promotional roles, she served as the Director of Membership Outreach, and as Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, where Patricia led and grasped all aspects of the organization.
During her time at HACE, Patricia has enhanced new and existing corporate and strategic partnerships, bringing in at least $1.5 million in new partnerships, increased membership by 67%, and launched the Mujeres de HACE women’s leadership program from one to eight cities among many other accomplishments.
Patricia has a strong history of serving the Latino community, as reflected by her service on various nonprofit boards and committees, and several accolades, most recently being appointed as a board member on the Illinois Treasurer Latino Advisory Council and the Indiana University Latino Alumni Association Board.