- Alicia Valdez
- Oct 15
Bringing National Hispanic Heritage Month to the Workplace
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated between September 15 and October 15 each year and is a time to recognize the histories, cultures, and customs of all Hispanic and Latino Americans. This celebration first began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and in 1988 it was expanded to Hispanic Heritage Month. I was born from Mexican parents, so I appreciate National Hispanic Heritage Month’s recognition of my rich cultural heritage.
Celebrate Latino Employees in the Workplace
No matter how you refer to our vibrant population, one thing is certain, we are growing. Hispanic and Latino Americans make up the second largest ethnic group in the United States, estimated to comprise over 18% of the U.S. population. And by 2025, this population will account for one out of every two employees entering the workforce.
Companies can spotlight Latino heritage by acknowledging the contributions their Latino employees make to their workplaces as well as celebrate their rich and culturally diverse heritages.
Here are some inclusive practices that company leaders can implement to spotlight their Latino employees, not just now, but all year long.
Recognize the Contributions of your Latino Employees
It is important to acknowledge the skills and abilities that this diverse group of employees brings to companies. From creative perspectives to Spanish-speaking language skills, these employees add value to their companies and clients. For instance, my Spanish fluency has allowed me to provide additional support to our Client Success team as many of our clients have Spanish-speaking employees.
For employees who serve in these roles, companies can showcase these employees’ contributions on social media platforms or in company newsletters. Individual recognition is appreciated, but recognizing your Latino employees overall contribution is even more impactful.
Educate and Inspire Through DEI Initiatives
While your Latino employees already have an appreciation for and take pride in their cultural heritages, it is equally important that all employees have an understanding of the value and contributions these employees bring to their workforces. Companies can put together employee information sessions, such as in the form of a “Lunch and Learn,” covering Hispanic and Latino terminology and customs, diversity and inclusion topics, or even inviting an employee to talk about their country’s culture and traditions.
Companies can take it a step further by providing opportunities for employees to participate on an office “field trip” or host an office event to support a local Latino restaurant, museum, or establishment. These practices allow companies to strengthen their company culture by teaching employees to value diversity in the workplace, leading to more inclusive workplaces while also supporting a local business.
Make it More Than a 30-day Commitment
As National Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close this week, I encourage companies to continue to celebrate your Latino employees and the contributions they bring to your workplaces throughout the year. Cultivating an environment where your Latino employees feel included and recognized will build a more inclusive workplace culture for all.
As the Director of Client Success at Work Shield, Alicia ensures our ships are always sailing smoothly. Her extensive background in varying Human Resources development and administration roles make her the perfect person to help guide Work Shield Certified Companies towards creating more open, positive workplace cultures.
Connect with her on LinkedIn.