Today marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States where we’ll be honoring the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latin Americans. We will also celebrate our heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. In the inaugural year of launching Xero’s Hispanic and Latinx employee resource group (ERG), Los Xeros, I couldn’t be happier to be one of the co-chairs for the ERG and lead this year’s celebrations.
We started Los Xeros to create a space for anyone at Xero who identifies as Hispanic or Latinx or those who support the community or want to be an ally. We want to bring people together to discuss issues, explore challenges and share ideas to drive progress. Learning about others’ journeys, needs, and concerns can be very humbling and impactful. It is almost cathartic to see the world through others’ eyes, and being able to experience that in a safe space. To me, that’s what an ERG is all about. When you are part of an ERG, you are part of a group that has the ability to bring a community together and help create a sense of community where there was not one previously.
Leading the way
I have grown and learned so much through my experiences with other ERGs. So when I heard that Xero was creating one for the Latinx community in the company, I could not help but jump at the opportunity. I wanted to help build it up and be part of the trailblazing leadership team. I am confident that our amazing leadership team will inspire, create, and build a strong Latinx ERG. One that will help bring a sense of community and belonging into a global environment. I am most excited about the opportunity to help Xero bring this to life and expose others to the amazing sense of belonging that being part of an ERG can bring.
This year, our theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is ‘Los Humanos de Xero’ and we’re excited to celebrate the #human stories that members of Los Xeros bring to Xero. I asked this year’s Los Xeros co-chairs to share their story or what being a part of this community means to them.
As a first-generation Latina American, I found myself adapting to American culture since I was very young and never really felt connected to my own culture. Over the past 5 years, I have spent more time exploring my Hispanic roots through music, conversations, relationships, travel, my career path and new experiences. This came to its peak recently when I became the Director of Xero’s Hispanic channel. Through this journey, I have realized that even though I am not familiar with specific traditions from my Bolivian and Mexican roots, the cultural aspects were always with me. There is a deep drive to make my family proud, give back to my community and to take pride in my work.
Our ERG, Los Xeros, gives me a space to be able to share my experiences and learn even more about myself. Listening to other people’s points of view makes me aware of nuances, blindspots or limitations that I have allowed to be imposed on me. Helping people that I see as brothers and sisters who have a similar value system is very empowering. The relationships I am building in Los Xeros have been a nourishing journey of self-discovery and deep healing.
I joined Xero one week before Denver went into lockdown because of COVID-19. My computer was mailed to me and I met my new colleagues through a screen. That feeling of isolation reminded me of when I first landed in the USA some years ago. Far from my family, from my culture. I then learned that it was my choice to become an agent of change. My challenge became transforming the isolation and self-interest within our communities into connectedness and caring for the whole.
When Latinxs arrive in America, many of us have to change our ways of thinking to adapt. That was my belief until I discovered that having a different background is what makes me unique. I began realizing that I can see issues from multiple, cross-cultural perspectives.
I want to contribute to building structures of belonging here at Xero. To extend hospitality and affection to those who feel they ‘don’t fit’. I want to let them know that they have the power to reframe, turn, and even invert the questions they ask themselves.
The beautiful, human part of what we do at Xero is building bridges between people. Change starts at home. Discover yourself, grow, and let people love you for who you are. There’s room for you here.
When I first heard about the ERG program being developed at Xero, I had an immediate interest. I was raised to be a proud Nuyorican, and I’ve always had a tremendous passion for Latinx culture. As one of the few Latinx people leaders at Xero, I felt a responsibility to contribute in any way possible. Helping to grow the ERG program at Xero is a great way to build company culture and introduce others to different perspectives. Latinx culture is so diverse and beautiful, and I’d like to share that beauty with those in the company who are unfamiliar. More importantly, I’m looking to get to know and learn from my fellow Xeros, and be a guide for those who need assistance and mentorship in our fast paced environment.
We invite you to join us in this year’s virtual celebrations by getting involved in our upcoming activities. Follow our social media channels for more information.