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October 4, 2021

This month, we’re celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month where we recognize and pay tribute to the histories, cultures and contributions of our colleagues whose ancestors came from Mexico, Central and South America, Spain and the Caribbean. Last week, our Textron Systems Employee Resource Group (ERG), Room for All, hosted a leadership panel where a few of our colleagues shared their experiences and stories with us.

Panel leaders included Steven, Director of Operations, Claudia, Executive Assistant to the CEO and Betania, Director of Corporate Communications. Throughout the hour-long session, they covered topics ranging from their favorite part of their Hispanic culture to how we can be more inclusive in our day-to-day life at work.

When asked how their cultures and upbringing impact their professional journeys, emphasis on education, work ethic and family were at the top of the list.

Steven explained, “My mother always stressed the importance of education and how having different types of education would lead to opportunity. It’s directly contributed to my professional success.”

“Family is huge in Hispanic culture...Seeing how hard [my parents] worked, I learned that you do everything you can to get the task done. That’s how I was raised, and I bring that to the workforce," said Claudia.

The conversation evolved from there, and leaders were able to share pieces of advice when creating an inclusive work environment.

Betania shared, “Understand and embrace that we all communicate and all move in the world differently. Seek out additional voices before simply acting or making decisions…if we do not pause in our forward momentum and our desire for positive action, we can be missing valuable insights from folks who are observers by nature. We have to pause and ensure we are creating safe spaces for them to share either in that room or separately.”

“We have to be subtle and genuine about inclusion. Managers need to have emotional intelligence so they can pick up on the fact that a specific person isn’t saying anything because they don’t want to be disrespectful… It’s [also] important to encourage respectful arguments. It’s healthy to ensure that we don’t get caught up in groupthink.”, said Steven.

This event is one of many held throughout the year that is designed to engage employees across the business and facilitate open conversations around Diversity and Inclusion.

Claudia summed up the panel beautifully by sharing, “bottom line, we are all human and we all want that connection and respect. And if we show that kindness and inclusion in everything, we do…it fosters more of that connection.”

Room for All is a multicultural Employee Resource Group dedicated to celebrating diversity, fostering awareness and promoting inclusivity. Visit our Diversity and Inclusion page to learn more.