How inclusion helps companies, communities value diverse backgrounds

Those in a position of hiring should consider the deep backgrounds we all bring and add value for the cultural insights we will share with them.

 Throughout my K-12 experience, my parents never fully understood my extensive after-school curricular activities. Staying late after school seemed off, perhaps, even wrong to them. While hard at the times, the language barrier and cultural differences within my own family laid the foundation for my self-starter, independent nature. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my challenges became opportunities for my future self.

I brought with me to college my Mexican culture and somewhat complex diverse background, which helped me stand out and think differently among my peers. I was accepted into leadership programs that offered opportunities I would have never been able to access alone. I attended banquets, luncheons, retreats, out of state conferences, political events, meet and greets, and state and local leadership forums. These experiences opened my eyes to my intricate yet vast community and sparked my passion for the intriguing and powerful world of politics.

After graduating with a degree in international business and, eventually, a master’s in public administration, I served as the Economic Empowerment Liaison for The YWCA of Oklahoma City. Desiring to change the broken systemic pipelines throughout our communities’ social, justice and advocacy ecosystem, I decided to run for political office. This race opened connections, funding streams and community backing I didn’t know were available. I learned the internal political ways of America and who truly pushes the buttons behind the change. I was passionate about policy and enjoyed politics, but I was not willing to choose one side or the other.

Source: Guest column: How inclusion helps companies, communities value diverse backgrounds

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