Diversity in the Workforce
The Institute for Veterans Education and Training (IVET) is the platform for embracing diversity in the work place while creating educational and career opportunities for Hispanic Veterans, and their families, who are transitioning out of the military. This includes coaching both individuals and employers on how to embrace Hispanic Veterans, their military experience, and cultural background while facilitating a corporate culture that creates immediate win-win situations for all parties. This is critical as the Hispanic population rate of growth is expected to be the highest of all racial groups while the Hispanic veteran population is also expected to double in the next ten years.
Hispanic Veterans Have Unique Skills
Hispanic Veterans may have cultural competence and language skills, which are abilities that organizations are using today to achieve their performance goals. Some Hispanic Veterans are bicultural as they may have internalized two cultures, their Hispanic culture as well as the US culture. These bicultural veterans have cultural knowledge that enables them to be constantly switching between their Hispanic culture and US culture on a continuous bases. They have showed cognitive flexibility and adaptability that enable them to think as if they belonged to their Hispanic culture, but at the same time, as if they belonged to the US culture. These Veterans may also be bilingual as they speak Spanish and English, which enables them to more effectively communicate as well as build relationships and trust during cross-cultural interactions with customers who are from Hispanic countries, the US, among others.
Organizations Are Hiring Military and Hispanics
Today, organizations have been recruiting individuals who have military experience. However, the same organizations are also recruiting Hispanics for their cultural knowledge and language skills in order to effectively reach Hispanic, multicultural and millennial markets. For example, the Combined Insurance of America, identified as the number 1 Military Friendly Employer in 2015, was also recognized as a Top Diversity Employer in 2015 because of its outreach accessibility to veterans as well as Hispanics and other minorities. The company launched a Hispanic market initiative to focus on recruiting new bilingual agents who also understand the unique needs of the Hispanic population, the fastest growing racial group in the country. The insurance company hired Jorge Enderica as the Vice President, National Sales-Hispanic Markets to lead the overall Hispanic market initiative. This year alone, 30 percent of the company’s new staff hires were bilingual in Spanish and English.
Another company is Bank of America, which ranked number 34 in the Military Friendly Employer for 2015. Bank of America founded the Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA) in 2005 as part of its commitment to the Hispanic community. HOLA provides opportunity for employees to meet, mentor, network and celebrate Hispanic culture. Today, Silvina Salazar, the HOLA Employ Network Enterprise Leader, is leading the efforts for investing in the Hispanic community in order to better serve its 8.3 million Hispanics customers. Also Verizon, ranking number 10 in the Military Friendly Employer for 2015, is hiring Hispanic Marketing Directors to better serve, attract and retain its fastest-growing customer segment—multicultural and millennial consumers. These directors are required to have deep knowledge of the Hispanic population, be fluent in Spanish and English, and have leadership experience, which are abilities that a great number of Hispanic Veterans may already have. These organizations have integrated diversity and individuals with military experience into their business practices in order to achieve organizational goals.
Welcome Your Feedback
As IVET continues to embrace diversity in the work place, it also values and welcomes your feedback. It you have any ideas or suggestions about how IVET could create better educational and career opportunities for Hispanic Veterans, and their families, while facilitating a corporate culture that creates immediate win-win situations for all parties, please share them with us.