You may have heard that culture is a hot topic at HubSpot. We think creating a place where people love to work isn't just an HR priority. It's a business priority. (Our co-founder even published a not-so-brief SlideShare called the HubSpot Culture Code to manifest our values, beliefs, and quirks.) But what you might not know is that when we talk about culture, we're talking about the culture of our people, too.
I'm a senior support engineer here at HubSpot (that's me below). And I'm Mexican. Leaving my heritage at home every day isn't an option; I need to be able to bring my whole self to work in order to grow and be great at my job. That's why I try to radiate my personal, cultural values in interactions with our customers and when troubleshooting technical issues with colleagues. See, the best part about being raised in a Mexican household (aside from the food) is family. My big, loving family has fueled my success throughout my education, career, and beyond because in every new setting I find myself drawing from our family values, like unwavering perseverance and the desire to help others.
That's why I don't think my Mexican heritage is mutually exclusive from success at work. In fact, I think my roots help me approach challenges with a different, and sometimes new, perspective. I'm not the only one who feels this way either. There are lots of HubSpotters who proudly bring their whole selves to work and help the company, and their colleagues, grow as a result. So while HubSpot has a lot of work to do on building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, when we talk about culture, we know that creating a place where people love to work means creating a place where everyone loves to work.
So as Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) approached, it was a no-brainer for us leading PoCAH (the People of Color at HubSpot group) to take this opportunity to celebrate Hispanics at HubSpot. As we've all been recognizing the contributions Hispanics have given the United States, we've also been celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month internally (and deliciously thanks to the Hispanic Food Fair) across our global offices. Now, I'm excited to invite the larger tech community (that means you) to join us in the festivities by taking a moment to get to know some of my colleagues of Hispanic and Latino heritage. We asked them to share why they're proud of the culture they bring to work every day, and what they think is most special (big and small) about Colombia, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and more.
Ricardo Villamil, Tech Lead
"The best thing about being a Colombian immigrant is that I can live in the middle of two worlds, take the best from each culture and apply both to my daily life. Colombians work very hard, but our chances of success are very limited and dependent on external factors out of our control, or by our last name and social status. Here in the U.S., our level of success is directly proportional to the quality of our work and our goals and passions."
Stephanie Palencia, Business Development Representative
"Growing up in a Honduran household meant being exposed to a rich culture of history, language, music, food, and the uniquely powerful family values that are so special to Latin American culture. But my favorite part about being Honduran has been my parents’ purposeful and seamless integration of that unique culture to our lives here in the United States. Growing up visiting the rural towns where my parents grew up, and seeing how far they have come here in the U.S., puts everything in my own life into perspective, empowering me get back up after a tumble that much faster, and making every triumph that much sweeter."
Luis Roca, Support Engineer
"The best part about being Colombian? I'd answer that with one word: berraquera. It doesn't have an English translation but defines the resiliency of all Colombians, who despite enduring turbulent times as a society have an unbreakable spirit and contagious joy. We find the silver lining in the toughest situations, making sure difficult times do not disrupt the fresh aroma of our morning coffee or the rhythm of our hips when we take on the dance floor. (Another great thing is that we dunk cheese that melts in our hot chocolate. It's a life changing experience!)"
Cristina Costa, Senior Channel Account Coordinator
"I am a half Guatemalan and half Brazilian woman born and raised in Boston. I have also been fortunate enough to visit both of these beautiful countries and immerse myself in their cultures. During one of my family trips to Guatemala, I met a young girl selling jewelry on the street. I could tell she was the same age as me, so I asked her why she was making jewelry. The young girl replied that she sold jewelry to help provide for her family, but that her dream was to go to school to study to be a business woman. This young ambitious girl did not have the choice of getting an education.
This brief encounter stayed with me and opened my eyes to the world of opportunity available to Latina women in the U.S. After that encounter, I vowed to not only get a college education but to give back to the Latino community. I have done so by not only being involved in community programs for the Latino population but by educating young Latinos on the opportunities available to them.
I am proud of my cultural background and by witnessing my family's perseverance and struggles, I have come out stronger and more determined to make a difference in society."
David Torres, LatAm Sales Manager
"I'm proud of being Colombian and I'm proud of being Latino. For me, my heritage has always given me a motivational chip on my shoulder--not in a bad way--but rather from the viewpoint that embracing the grind is written into our DNA. We know what it's like to have the world get you down and yet somehow we come out on the other end smiling, persevering. Gabriel Garcia Marquez said "He who awaits much can expect little". To me, this is the embodies the notion that I decide my future. I'm lucky to work at HubSpot where embracing the grind is rewarded and I can tangibly see the outcome of the effort I put in."
Anacany Diaz, Payroll Administrator
"Other than the traditional “tipico” music and mouth-watering food, my favorite thing about being Dominican is the notable talent that hails from my beautiful island, like MLB World Champ, David Ortiz, Grammy-winning singer, Juan Luis Guerra, Pulitzer-winning writer, Junot Diaz and movie star Zoe Saldana, who played roles in box office hits such as Star Trek and Avatar."
David Fernandez, Recruiting Team Lead
What's a quote that's important to you from a Dominican figure or leader?
“Every single immigrant we have, undocumented or documented, is a future American. That's just the truth of it." - Junot Diaz
Melissa Hammond, Support Engineer
"I'm Colombian and one of my favorite quotes by a Hispanic figure comes from Gabriel Garcia Marquez: "No es cierto que la gente deje de perseguir sus sueños porque envejece, más bien envejece cuando deja de perseguir sus sueños". It means that it isn't true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams. I love this quote because I firmly believe that people should never give up on their dreams!"
Carlos Villalobos, LatAm Associate Marketing Manager
"My favorite things about being Salvadoran are the warmth of my people, the
magnificence of our landmarks and the savoriness of our traditional dishes. From the cheese melting away from a Pupusas to the breathtaking landscapes that have been inspired by nature's finest endowment. To me, El Salvador is a reminder that I should take the time and appreciate the spectacular world we live in. When I close my eyes I’m immediately transported to the scenery of river and playas and altruistic lakes; to montañas, coffee plantations and the arrogance of the Volcán de San Salvador. Being Salvadoran is a collection of memories, stories and adventures that are responsible for who I am today and I’m lucky to be part of a community that has been meticulously improvised by friendship, tenacity and laughter. "
To continue celebrating diverse ideas, culture, and people, we're excited to invite the Boston community to two upcoming events at HubSpot's Cambridge office. Save the dates and RSVP to join us below!