By Eustacia A. English, NRWA DEI Columnist
It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over, and the fall season is approaching. In the U.S., September 15 through October 15 is recognized as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The histories, cultures, and accomplishments of American citizens whose ancestors immigrated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America are honored throughout this month.
Commemorative months are essential to HR professionals and organizations because they allow us to celebrate diversity and demonstrate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces.
Leaders can assist their organizations in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and establishing fair career paths for people of color this month and every year around this time. The list below includes some tips and suggestions.
1. Act as a mentor. According to research, bias frequently affects how we perceive mentoring. It's crucial to maintain awareness of workplace bias through ongoing training. Technology can also be a benefit in this situation. Colleagues can develop stronger bonds by using a learning and performance management protocol that enables mentors and mentees to interact based on responsibilities and skills. As leaders who frequently design mentoring programs, we should check our procedures for unconscious bias. For instance, before launching a mentorship program, organizations can pilot the program with their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging team or employee resource groups to get meaningful input and suggestions.
Commemorative occasions like Hispanic Heritage Month offer an additional chance at work to assess if we have meaningful ties of mentorship, allyship, or sponsorship with colleagues of color. Today’s employees want to interact with, share with, and learn from coworkers from various backgrounds and career stages. These kinds of partnerships need to be actively encouraged and supported by businesses.
2. We should rejoice together (in-person or virtually). Planning company-wide celebrations of significant milestones has historically been simple to do. In a post-Covid world, organizations should continue to observe these types of events both in-person and virtually. Hosting virtual celebrations with a representative from the Hispanic community is an opportunity for organizations to encourage learning and community involvement.
At my organization, we have celebrated by spotlighting our Hispanic team members. Organizations should also consider external partnerships such as the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and similar organizations to strengthen their community ties.
3. Let's address pay equity. The Economic Policy Institute says that more needs to be done to achieve equitable pay in the United States. Organizations should ensure that they regularly assess their pay equity policies and that they act to address any uncovered inequities. To identify further potential sources of pay discrepancy, rules, and procedures for hiring and recruitment should be examined.
It's crucial to set up and carry out frequent pay equity audits. Ensuring the organization's pay equity policy is covered in continuous training and communication is also crucial. Working toward pay parity at work requires involving hiring managers in the solution by educating them on aspects of the recruiting and hiring procedures that can result in pay discrepancy.
This month, as organizations take the time to celebrate their diverse workforce and commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, they can make meaningful steps toward building a workplace where employees are valued and can thrive.
As always, wishing you all continued peace, love, happiness, and blessings.
Eustacia English writes the Perspective column, which examines Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in resume writing and career strategy. She is a 20-year HR and talent acquisition veteran and started Resumes on Demand last year. She also writes on DEI for The Black in HR e-zine. She lives with her husband and two children in Cherry Hill, NJ. Find her online at LinkedIn.com/in/ecampbell05.