Meeting in a Box: National Hispanic Heritage Month

Meeting in a Box: National Hispanic Heritage Month

Meeting in a Box: National Hispanic Heritage Month

This Meeting in a Box tool is designed for distribution to all employees. You may use portions of it or all of it. Each section is available as a separate PDF; you can forward the entire document or link to it on DiversityInc Best Practices; or you can print it out for employees who do not have Internet access.

Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, the perfect time to increase your entire company’s awareness of the very diverse group of people called Hispanics or Latinos; their contributions to U.S. business, government and society; the importance of understanding immigration issues; and the culturally competent way to recruit, retain and engage Latino employees.

We are supplying a Timeline of legislation and events impacting Latinos and their achievements in the United States; Facts & Figures demonstrating Latino advancement (and opportunities) in government, education, business, sports and entertainment; and our cultural-competence series “Things NOT to Say,” focusing on Latinos. This information should be distributed to your entire workforce and also should be used by your Hispanic/Latino employee resource groups both internally and externally as a year-round educational tool.

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management professional development and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]


1. Timeline

We recommend you start your employees’ cultural-competence lesson on Hispanics/Latinos by using this Timeline, which documents discrimination and oppression of different Latino groups in the United States as well as achievements. It references the remarkable surge in immigration in recent years and its impact on U.S. society as well as the Hispanic/Latino population itself.

Discussion Questions for Employees

Which types of Latinos/Hispanics are most prevalent in your employee population? Do you understand the battles they and their predecessors have fought to live and work here?

Discuss the different experiences of immigrants from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico and other places.

The influx of immigrants into the United States is changing education, healthcare, housing and the job market. How does this make you (individual employee) feel? Do those feelings carry over into the workplace in any way?

Why are “firsts” important to note? What other barrier breakers have you witnessed in your lifetime?

This is a personal discussion designed to help the employee note other barrier breakers historically. This discussion can be further explored after the Facts & Figures section below is discussed.


2. Facts & Figures

After discussion of the Timeline, the next step is to review available data and understand how, why and where Hispanic/Latino population growth impacts your business.

The data we have chosen to present here represents information of relevance to corporate America, such as education (available labor pool), buying power, and progress in gaining executive and management positions. Where applicable, national data is compared with DiversityInc Top 50 data to show what progress the leading D&I companies are making.

Discussion Questions for Employees

As Baby Boomers retire, the need for skilled workers in the United States is intensifying. The Hispanic/Latino population is growing rapidly yet education dramatically lags other groups.

How can your company—and you personally—create more awareness of the value of education in the Hispanic/Latino community? How can your company—and you personally—mentor and teach young Hispanics/Latinos and steer them to careers such as yours?

Should employees who speak Spanish (or another language) be allowed to use that language in the workplace when conversing with each other?

How does it make you feel when people in the workplace talk in a language you don’t know? How can your resource group make people feel more included and more willing to be social with people from other demographic groups?

Why are there so few Hispanic/Latino CEOs and senior executives in corporate America? How can your company/organization encourage Hispanic/Latino managers to stay and assume more responsibilities?

What cultural barriers do you think get in the way of Hispanics/Latinos moving up? How critical is it to have role models in an organization?


3. Things NOT to Say to Latinos

Our popular “Things NOT to Say” series includes interviews with Hispanic/Latino leaders about offensive phrases they’ve heard in the workplace and how best to respond to them to further cultural-competence education.

Discussion Questions for Employees

What other phrases have you heard addressed to Hispanic/Latino people and others from underrepresented groups?

Discuss how these phrases and stereotypes impact office morale and productivity.

What role do you think the company should play when offensive comments occur?

Have the employees talk about under what circumstances they would report offensive comments and what they believe the company should do. Get advice from DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti at

After today’s lesson, what would you do if you overheard a colleague make one of these comments?

Continue the discussion with each employee having a plan of action on how to address offensive language.


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