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Recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month
By Michael Alicea · September 15, 2022
¿Cómo estamos hoy? How are we doing today?
As you may know, Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 through October 15 every year. In honor of the occasion, I wanted to celebrate our Hispanic team members here at Trellix, along with current and prospective candidates as well.
For those of you who know me, I’m proud to be Puerto Rican and I’m proud that at Trellix we celebrate the contributions of our Hispanic co-workers.
A Brief History of Hispanic Heritage Month
This special recognition of Hispanic culture dates to 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988 it expanded to a 30-day celebration under President Reagan.
You might be wondering why Hispanic Heritage Month falls in between September and October. The date of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
This 30-day period is a time to celebrate Hispanic leaders in our industry and our Co-workers, fete their accomplishments, and learn from their work..
Honoring a Hispanic STEM leader
One such leader is Diana Trujillo, mathematician and aerospace engineer at NASA. Ms. Trujillo was born in Colombia and emigrated to the United States at age 17. She studied English and space sciences at Miami Dade College, earning a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. Ms. Trujillo was subsequently recruited by NASA in 2007. Today, she is NASA’s Technical Group Supervisor for Sequence Planning and Execution and serves as a Tactical Mission Lead on the Mars Perseverance Rover team. Her previous roles at NASA include serving as lead on the Mars Curiosity Rover mission, as well as Deputy Team Chief of Engineering Operations on Curiosity. Imagine being part of the team that discovered evidence of potential life on Mars!
Some people might ask us, “What is Trellix’s role?” or “Why do we have these celebrations in the workplace?” Part of celebrating our uniqueness is looking at the ways we include everyone in our passions, in our work, in our lives. That uniqueness is one of the things that make us special. At Trellix, it is also a time to reflect on how wider society can be more inclusive of everyone. How do we make a meaningful contribution as part of the broader tech industry?
According to the EEOC’s special report on diversity in high tech, high-tech industries are those that employ a high concentration of employees in STEM occupations, and that advance the use of electronic or computer-based production methods for production of goods or provision of services. It doesn’t mean every office worker on a desktop, but those whose occupations involve making tech work for everyone else. As we’ve pointed out before, the tech industry can often be a hostile place for non-white people and women, particularly Hispanic women, in terms of numbers of professionals in the field, and in experiences on the job.
- According to the EEOC, compared to overall private industry, Hispanic professionals make up only 8 percent of professionals in the high-tech sector. Of those who are executives, Hispanic professionals make up only 3.1 percent.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanic professionals make up just 6 percent of the top-ranked 75 Silicon Valley tech firms aggregated, and only 4.91 percent of managers at those firms. And those professionals are often not recognized as such.
- According to research published by Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Hastings, 47 percent of Latina scientists in the high-tech sector report having been mistaken for administrative or custodial staff.
Clearly, we have a lot of work to do.
Partnering with HACE
To that end, Trellix announced in June that we are partnering with the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) to launch a comprehensive career mentorship and development program for Hispanic tech professionals meant to expand opportunities in the cybersecurity industry. This incubator will recruit from HACE’s network of 85,000 members and give those selected access to Trellix-originated cybersecurity curriculum to train them for future roles at Trellix.
For Hispanics, and especially Hispanic STEM professionals, I passionately believe the best is yet to come. We must build that best by continuing to drive more inclusive hiring and retention practices. Driving Inclusion on behalf of the enhanced solutions our clients need. Let’s bring our authentic selves to our roles and help make Trellix the company we all want to be a part of.
At Trellix, we’re serious about making a difference in the Hispanic community – here in the U.S. and worldwide.
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! ¡Celebremos!
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