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Meeting in a Box: National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month 2019

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month takes place from Sept. 15–Oct.15. To foster a supportive, inclusive and thriving work environment, it is crucial to learn about and celebrate the history and diversity of those who identify as Hispanic and Latinx. We are giving you a valuable tool to share with your employees as you continue your company’s education in cultural competence. We are supplying you with information on

  • Distinctions between race and ethnicity, Hispanic and Latinx
  • A timeline of notable happenings and milestones concerning Hispanic/Latinx people
  • Facts and figures on Hispanic/Latinx people in the U.S. including data on population, finances, education and business
  • A cultural competence fact sheet on common stereotypes and microaggressions used against people of Hispanic/Latinx descent
  • A feature of the story of Julieta Collart, a Latina business leader from Accenture, No. 7 on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Best Companies for Diversity

Click HEREto download a PDF version of the Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month’s Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.

1. Timeline

Click HERE to download a PDF version of the Timeline.

Over the years, Hispanic/Latinx people have worked to overcome the effects of colonization and prejudice. The community’s journey toward rights and self-determination continues today. It is vital for your workforce to be culturally competent and understand the importance of equality for Hispanic/Latinx people, who make up one-sixth of the U.S. population. We recommend you begin your cultural competence discussion by using the timeline, which documents both obstacles and triumphs the Hispanic and Latinx communities have faced. It is important to discuss the intricacies of identity, culture and nationality and how inclusivity benefits everyone.

Discussion Questions for Employees:

  • What do we do in our workplace to make sure we foster an inclusive environment for Hispanic/Latinx employees, giving them room to grow and advance their careers?
    How can we be sure to celebrate Hispanic/Latinx employees?
  • Why is it important to celebrate Hispanic/Latinx cultures and milestones specifically?
    With Hispanic and Latinx being broad terms that define a wide range of people and cultures, how can we be sure not to pigeon-hole or group all Hispanic and Latinx people together?
  • 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. (Cite Latinx CEOs at www.DiversityInc.com/fortune-500-ceos.) This discussion can be further explored after the Facts & Figures section below is discussed.

2. Defining Hispanic vs. Latinx

While the terms Hispanic and Latinx are often used interchangeably, they refer to two different — albeit sometimes overlapping — things. The definitions can be intricate, but in short, “Hispanic” refers to those whose native language is Spanish and/or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations and “Latinx” refers to those who are from or descended from people of Latin America. The recent adoption of the -x instead of or in addition to the traditional -o and -a masculine and feminine endings used throughout the Spanish language is the result of the LGBTQ movement, making space for gender non-binary people to identify within the Latinx umbrella, without defining themselves as masculine or feminine. People of different races and cultures can identify as Hispanic or Latinx, with people who identify as Hispanic/Latinx descending from any combination of people of Indigenous, African, European or even Asian heritage. It is important to discuss how understanding the intricacies of identity for Hispanic and Latinx people can help create a more inclusive environment.

Discussion Questions for Employees:

  • How can a misunderstanding regarding the differences between Hispanic and Latinx and how they relate to race lead to environment that makes employees feel alienated?
    Have you ever felt one part of your identity conflicted with another? How can we create a workplace that honors and celebrates people’s complex identities?
  • How does racism affect Hispanic and Latinx people of color disproportionately to white Hispanic and Latinx people?
    This is an opportunity to discuss how race, color, ethnicity and culture can affect different people with Hispanic/Latinx identities differently.

3. Facts & Figures

Click HERE to download a PDF version of Facts & Figures.

After discussing Hispanic/Latinx history and identities, the next step is to look at the available data to understand why equality for Hispanic and Latinx people has profound demographic, financial, education and business benefits and what we can do to address issues these communities face and overcome.

Discussion Questions for Employees:

  • Looking at these statistics holistically, what kinds of patterns do you see?
    How does privilege — or lack thereof — play into these statistics? What progress has been made and where is there room for more?
  • How does your company’s inclusion of Hispanic/Latinx people in leadership positions compare with the DiversityInc Top 10 and Top 50 and Fortune 100 and 500 statistics?
    How can you improve?

4. Microaggressions and Misconceptions

Microaggressions — subtle or seemingly lighthearted disparaging comments about someone’s identity — may seem insignificant when isolated, but compound to create a toxic environment for employees. This section serves to call out prejudiced and offensive comments people make and dispels harmful myths about Hispanic and Latinx people. It is crucial to discuss how your workplace handles microaggressions and hate speech.

Discussion Questions for Employees:

  • How can we build an atmosphere of inclusion for diverse people from different backgrounds?
    What are some stereotypes we need to dispel? How can we speak out against them? Have you ever heard anyone making prejudiced comments in the office? What are our policies on microaggressions and hate speech in the workplace?
  • What is the individual and the company’s role in curbing microaggressions and hateful speech against Hispanic and Latinx people? At what point should the company become involved? Does the company have a process for reporting discriminatory speech and actions that makes the person reporting it feel safe and validated? How can we improve?

5. Hispanic/Latinx Leaders in DiversityInc’s Top 50

A DiversityIncBestPractices.com reader survey found that 68% of non-white people feel strongly about receiving career advice from indi- viduals who look like them, while whites don’t mind who the advice comes from.

We include the story of Accenture’s (no. 7 on DiversityInc’s 2019 Top Companies for Diversity) Julieta Collart, Technology Research Associate Principal at Accenture Labs in San Francisco. To see her story in full, visit DiversityIncBestPractices.com.

Discussion Questions for Employees:

  • How does our company help promote representation across the board in various areas of expertise? In what ways can we improve?

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