Accelerating career development for Hispanic and Latinx employees
So much more than a pizza party. That’s how some describe the employee resource group (ERG) program at Boston Scientific. Not only do these employee-led cohorts raise cultural awareness and increase employee engagement, they also help the company address workplace challenges among underrepresented groups.
In support of the company’s longstanding efforts to improve diverse representation in leadership roles, the Hispanic Organization for Leadership & Achievement (HOLA) ERG has a strong focus on recruitment and professional development – and rightfully so. More than 18% of the U.S. population is Hispanic, yet Hispanic people are still drastically under-represented in corporate leadership positions.
HOLA just launched a pilot mentoring program for Hispanic and Latinx employees. “We know how important it is to support employees’ career growth, and mentorship is an incredibly powerful tool,” says Carmen Mendez, project manager and HOLA global lead. "For many of our employees, this will be the first time they have a mentor.”
Over the next six months, participants will attend monthly virtual sessions led by mentors in a variety of leadership roles and business functions. Session topics include strategic thinking, advocating for yourself, and personal branding.
Creating opportunities for Spanish speakers
The group’s efforts to increase career opportunities for Hispanic and Latinx individuals also extends into the community. In 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic first forced restaurants and businesses in the hospitality industry to shut down, Marco Lopez, a product manager in the Spencer, Indiana facility, pitched an idea: create Spanish-language manufacturing shifts to recruit new workers.
“Many Spanish-speaking workers in the hospitality industry were left with few employment options,” said Marco. “I knew the challenges they were facing. I also knew that this was a hard-working labor force and didn’t think language should be a barrier to employment.”
Working with HOLA, the team translated all orientation materials, software and training programs and began promoting the opportunities and recruiting new employees. The program has since expanded to include two shifts in eight production areas. In addition, the product builders working on Spanish-language shifts are given the opportunity to take English lessons, and many English speakers on the manufacturing lines are working on learning Spanish.
“Everyone wins in this program,” says Marco. “For employees, there is a path for growth, and they can think about future career opportunities. For Boston Scientific, we are seeing retention of a workforce that is passionate and driven.”
Rewarding multicultural talent
In 2020, as part of its ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion goals, the company committed to improving the representation of multicultural talent at supervisory and managerial levels by three percentage points by 2023. Jodi Euerle Eddy, senior vice president and chief information and digital officer, and executive sponsor for HOLA, feels that employee-led initiatives like these are important to achieving the company’s goals.
“We have a responsibility to increase opportunities for Hispanic and Latinx representation at the leadership level,” says Jodi. “The best way to get there is by listening to and learning from the perspectives of our Hispanic and Latinx colleagues. HOLA has helped us think of new ways to attract and retain diverse talent, and we wouldn’t be where we are without the work of employees like Carmen and Marco.”
Carmen recognizes the power of leadership involvement in the group’s efforts. “It’s very important we receive the support that we do from our executive committee to continue to develop our employees,” says Carmen. “Having a great workplace where all employees feel heard and like they belong, that’s the most important thing.”
Boston Scientific recently received a 5-star rating from the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) for its inclusion efforts and strategies in the area of employment. Explore career opportunities at Boston Scientific.