Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope

For the first time in my career, I’m working for a company that is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and could not be more excited. Extreme Networks truly cares about its employees and has fostered an amazing culture where everyone feels valued and included. Many companies today talk about Diversity and Inclusion, but Extreme is embracing it and living it. We recently partnered with HITEC, a leading executive leadership organization for Hispanics in technology. This partnership strengthens our commitment to building a diverse workforce and working collaboratively to develop the next generation of Hispanic technology leaders.

Esperanza means ‘hope,’ and that is what Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) is all about. It is about honoring the accomplishments and successes of Hispanics around the world and showing our younger generations that they too can be successful, no matter their ethnicity or background. It’s a time for us to celebrate all of the amazing contributions Hispanics have made while sharing our Hispanic culture with the world as we look toward the future.

Extreme’s employee resource group (ERG) for Hispanics and Latinos, La Raza, is leading this year’s celebration – hosting a series of internal and external activities to honor Hispanic culture.

  • For starters, today (9/15), we’re salsa dancing our way into Hispanic Heritage Month, with an interactive session led by Salsa Kings, Miami's Elite in Latin Dance Entertainment, to teach anyone interested in learning how to salsa dance and about our culture. This event is free, 30 minutes and anyone can join! Tune in on YouTube LIVE at today at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET.
  • We’re also hosting a month-long initiative we’ll be running is supporting the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, a charity that empowers students and parents with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships to many exceptional students.
  • Lastly, La Raza will host a keynote presentation for all employees with Nando Parrado, a successful Hispanic businessman, sportsman, television producer, and survivor of the infamous 1972 plane crash in the Andres Mountains. During his session with employees and Extreme partners, Nando will discuss his inspirational survival story and share insights on leadership, teamwork, motivation, and managing through a crisis.

It is my honor to lead La Raza and I am so proud of everything our ERG has accomplished since our inception less than a year ago. Seeing the team come together and prepare for Hispanic Heritage Month has been amazing. Our fellow Extreme Networks colleagues are going to be blown away by all of the activities the team has lined up!

Additionally, a few of our ERG members took a moment to share their thoughts on Hispanic Heritage Month and how we can further diversity and inclusion as a society, and I’m pleased to share them with you.

I’m proud to see so many colleagues and fellow Hispanics sharing their perspectives as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. When we share our success stories with people who relate to us, we might just be able to inspire them and help them realize that they’re capable of succeeding, too. Visible representation in the workplace is critical because people often relate to others who they think have had similar experiences or come from a similar background.

Throughout the course of my career, I’ve seen a lot of changes in the way organizations are run. Even in my two years with Extreme, I’ve seen the company grow and evolve. It’s been amazing to see so many companies start to create and embrace diversity and inclusion programs as part of their evolution. Workplace diversity is a beautiful thing because it brings together so many unique perspectives, which can often generate some of the most interesting ideas, helping an organization to grow.

If your company is looking to create a diverse and inclusive environment similar to what we have cultivated at Extreme, my best advice would be to keep it real. Creating an open environment to talk about struggles, allows people to relate and provides motivation to keep going. Having the right leaders in place will be invaluable to your success. Every company should have leaders who believe in their employees and what they stand for. There must be support from the top down.

If you’re interested in joining Extreme Networks, I encourage you to visit our careers page and learn more about our diversity and inclusion initiatives at Extreme Networks. And stay tuned for more updates from La Raza, Extreme’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, and the many Employee Resource Groups at Extreme.

About the Author
Lisa Yeaton Headshot
Lisa Yeaton
Senior Manager, Corporate Marketing

Lisa Yeaton is a Senior Manager, Corporate Marketing at Extreme Networks. In her role, Lisa oversees all of Extreme's corporate social media accounts and creates corporate communications content.

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