Hispanic Heritage Month is just beginning and it’s a great time to celebrate the contributions of Latino employees in the workplace. Starting on September 15th, the month-long celebration highlights the importance of Hispanic heritage and culture and it’s a perfect time to think about diversity in the workplace. Here’s why: Latino employees currently make up 16% of the U.S. workforce and that number is on the rise. By 2025, they will account for one out of every two workers entering the workforce. Yet according to a study published by the Center for Talent Innovation, 76% of Latinos repress parts of their personalities at work. What’s more, 53% of Latinas and 44% of Latinos believe that executive presence at their companies is defined according to traditionally white, male standards. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there’s a lot you can do to ensure that your Latino employees — and employees of every background — feel comfortable at work.
Here are some tips to help you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month while building a more inclusive workplace.
Strive to create an inclusive environment
Establishing a welcoming work culture where everyone feels accepted is the first step to making diversity a core part of your company’s DNA. The best way to do this is to outline a diversity strategy that focuses on education across all areas of your organization. This should include diversity training as well as employee-focused initiatives such as the creation of an inclusion committee. In addition to helping your team understand the importance of having a workplace where everyone feels valued, this type of strategy can also ensure that team members from all levels of the company feel like their concerns are being heard. A good way to tie in your existing efforts with Hispanic Heritage Month is to schedule related training during the month and to highlight some key ways that team members can help their peers feel more appreciated and understood.
Host educational events throughout the month
From potluck lunches to speaker events, there’s a lot you can do to help your team learn more about Latino culture and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Whether you have a team of five or 500, focusing on events that promote education and open communication is a great way to celebrate Latino contributions in the workplace. If you need a few ideas to get started, ask your team to submit some suggestions by having them fill out a survey or form online. Once you have some ideas, work with the inclusion committee to select a nice mix of fun and educational activities that can turn the month into a meaningful celebration.
Develop a recruiting strategy with diversity in mind
In addition to building an inclusive workplace, keeping diversity top of mind when recruiting can make a big difference to your company’s overall culture. And while this is something you should think about during Hispanic Heritage Month, your recruiting strategy should be built around these values throughout the entire year. A good place to start is by making hiring diverse candidates a top priority for your team. From there, it’s about building a strategy that has diversity at its core. This means thinking beyond traditional job fairs or networking events when sourcing candidates, and building an employee referral program that prioritizes inclusion right along with talent.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to celebrate the contributions of Latinos across all areas of American culture, and the workplace should be a key part of that. But those contributions should also be celebrated year-round. By using this month as a way to jumpstart — or improve — your diversity initiatives, you can ensure that you’re creating an environment where your team members feel that their efforts are rewarded and that they can truly be themselves.
Want to create a more inclusive workplace? Learn five things you can do to recruit more diverse candidates and how to build impactful diversity and inclusion programs.