Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month on LIVEcommunity
Mi casa es su casa! -- What Latinx Heritage Means at Palo Alto Networks
From mid-September through this week, we’ve been recognizing Latinx Heritage Month through a series of interviews. You might already know all about this important observation of individuals with Latinx roots that celebrates their achievements. If not, it’s a month for recognizing contributions and influence of Latinx individuals to the culture and achievements of the United States.
As you’d expect, Palo Alto Networks has many amazing and wonderful employees of Latinx heritage, and we got the opportunity to learn more about several of them this month.
Why This Matters
Palo Alto Networks has been growing by leaps and bounds, and we have an amazing opportunity to lead the way when it comes to inclusion and diversity in the cybersecurity market. Across our company, this is a key focus for everyone, especially in our hiring practices. We welcome not only those of Latinx heritage, but many diverse folks with a variety of backgrounds — age, gender, gender expression and identity, race, and cultural background. Why? Many reasons, but broadening our teams to reflect our immensely diverse global community and customers is important as we approach and solve their cybersecurity challenges.
A Business Must Consider Inclusion and Diversity
Patty Hatter, SVP of Global Customer Services, is also Executive Sponsor for Juntos, the Palo Alto Networks Latinx Employee Network Group. In one of our blogs this month, she shared her perspective and ideas around inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
“For me, the more experience I've gotten, the more I've learned that it's great to be different,” said Patty. “You don’t have to try and fit in, just be yourself. That brings uniqueness to the table.”
“You learn to seek out people with different opinions because that’s where the really unique ideas and “a-ha!” moments are going to come, whether it’s from a business perspective inside the company or community perspective outside of the company. I find myself seeking out folks that are bringing those different ideas to the table because that’s where the bigger impact will be. Different is definitely better!”
Patty also shared her thoughts on inclusion and diversity for Latinx Heritage Month, noting that it’s not only ethically important for businesses but also good for the bottom line.
“First off it’s the right thing to do, but to me there is such a tie to the growth of our business, that hopefully people see both sides of that,” she said. “We have to open up the opportunity for everyone coming from every corner of the world.”
Juntos — Our Latinx Employee Network Group
Stephanie Carlos is our Risk Management Operations Manager and also serves as President of ¡Juntos!, the Palo Alto Networks Latinx Employee Network Group. When we interviewed Stephanie, one of the key points she made about her Latinx heritage is that it gives her drive and determination.
“My parents immigrated to the United States,” Stephanie said. “At one point, my dad worked three jobs. My mom [also] tells me stories about her father and how hard he worked, and how well-respected he was in their town. I feel that I have similar drives and that is how I am able to manage working full time while pursuing a Master’s degree and working on ¡Juntos! Events.”
“If I didn’t have that kind of drive in my blood, I might not be able to handle all these things,” she added.
Stephanie also noted that Latinx Heritage Month brings all the different Latino and Hispanic communities and cultures together while it also highlights the diversity of those different individual cultures.
More Great Insights and Stories from Our Latinx Employees
Here are more highlights from our Latinx Heritage Month interviews. (If you would like to read more about these individuals, scroll down to the links at the end of this blog.)
Hugo Arenas — Sr. Treasury Analyst and Lead for Juntos
“I'm part of the Cristo Rey Work Study Program. The high school students from Cristo Rey attend work and the company pays them for that work. They can use the funds for college. It's extremely important for me to participate because I didn't have an internship growing up. I did not have funding; I had to work a part-time or full-time job to pay for college. Giving back and helping people are my superpowers. I also spend time volunteering in food banks and mentoring.”
Hugo also discussed fellowship and food as the Latinx tradition passed down to him from his elders, and that he’d like to give to his future children.
Veronica Jowers — Manager of LIVEcommunity
“In my career journey, Latin culture has been a huge influence. I’ve found leveraging a second language to connect and build relationships is part of this influence. I’d like to attribute the approach of leading with a servant’s heart, giving back, we rise by lifting others, is part of that influence too. It’s part of my leadership style, mentoring others, seeking roles where a big part is collaboration orchestration and partnerships. It’s all around part of who I am.”
Veronica participates in the Latina Coalition Silicon Valley organization. She also talked about hospitality and how she learned the spirit of “Mi casa is su casa” (My house is your house) from her grandmother, and that she wants her children to carry it forth.
Alejandra Galindo — Social Media and Programs Specialist
“My Latinx culture has had a huge influence on my career journey thus far. Seeing how my parents took a risk by coming to America and leaving their families behind, has taught me to not only take risks, but also to never give up. I remember when I was younger and my dad was teaching my brother and I how to ride our bikes, he would always say “You can do it!” and for some reason that has always stuck with me. No matter what obstacle I face, I always try to remind myself that I can do it!”
Alejandra also mentioned how important both the Cristo Rey Work Study Program and Juntos are to her development as a young professional Latina.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking a moment to learn about Latinx Heritage Month at Palo Alto Networks! We hope that you enjoyed this series of blogs as much as we enjoyed putting it together. If you want to learn more, please follow the links below to the full interviews.