7 Oct 2021 • BLOG - News
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
7 Oct 2021
People make companies. That much is true for every business in the world and Pathwire is no different. Without our employees, there would be no path to find and…well…no wires.
Our company is built on the foundation of passionate and dedicated people. Since 2010, we’ve worked hard to forge pillars that would allow us to create a thriving environment. For that, we needed core values that would help guide our efforts: performance, authenticity, human, evolution, and ownership.
And while we always try to ensure these values are well balanced, sometimes one needs a little more love than the others. Yes, it’s easy to be constantly focused on performance, but fostering a culture of authenticity takes some more work. And that’s what makes dates like Hispanic Heritage Month so important.
Today, we want to highlight Pathwire’s amazing Hispanic community and the employees that are creating a future for all by being true to their culture, trusting their own abilities, and growing and influencing representation in the tech industry.
Taking pride in our cultura and our origins
In the United States, the ever-growing Hispanic community represents 18.5% of the total population. In San Antonio (Texas), where Pathwire is headquartered, it’s 64%. And that’s something we San Antonians are proud of – it shapes our history and our heritage. But finding our place while remaining authentic doesn’t always come easy. That’s why standing proud and loud to support our cultura is so important, both inside and outside the workplace.
My Hispanic heritage is an important part of my identity that I’m proud to celebrate. It means understanding where I came from and the impact those before me have had on the world.
To me, my Hispanic Heritage means understanding the plight of the Latinx people in the US and South America today, and the Indigenous peoples that came before them.
Believing in ourselves regardless of our backgrounds
Being a Hispanic in tech is tough from the beginning. We’re often the first generation to enter a predominantly Caucasian industry, and many of us do so with limited resources.
In the US, 33.5% of the white population, 25 and over, have a bachelor’s degree. For Latinos, the percentage is just 16.4%. Some of us start in our jobs while we’re still working on our degrees. Others simply can’t afford one. We’re also often the first in our families to work a modern-day, Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 job – a lot of our families just don’t come from such a background and have had to work especially hard to help us get here.
Those that came before me have worked so hard to give me a fruitful life in America and it is my honor to keep fighting for a better tomorrow.
All of this has made the imposter syndrome a common struggle for us Latinos and Latinas as we immerse ourselves in the tech industry. Second-guessing our abilities and thinking “Should I even be here?” or “Am I qualified to work this job?” is not rare. But through it all, it is important to remember we’re here because we deserve to, no matter our background.
Fostering growth in the community
If you’re from a Latino community, you know how much family and community matter. There’s always a BBQ to attend, a quince to celebrate, and even a nephew’s confirmation to honor.
But being Latinx is much more than that. It’s about fostering growth and helping everyone in the community find their place. It’s about keeping it puro and continuing to inspire and give back. That essence has been transmitted from generation to generation, and going back to the root is key to keeping it alive.
My late grandmother helped inspire me to strive for happiness and to do the best that I can in everything I do and to be kind and welcoming to all – be it in helping out a friend, giving someone a place to stay, making a meal for someone, or being honest with myself. She taught me a lot and I’m glad to have had her in my life for as long as I did, as a grandmother, as a friend, and as a teacher in life.
To me, Hispanic Heritage Month means celebrating those who paved the way for you because with out them, none of anything my family has achieved would be possible.
Putting our stamp in the tech industry
The tech industry has been known to be predominantly Caucasian. In 2014, major tech companies began to disclose the demographics of their employees and it didn’t look good. And no matter how much we advocate for diversity as a main driver for innovation change seems to be scarce and painfully slow. A few years into the survey, the Latinx representation had risen by less than a percentage point.
Disrupting this normalcy requires a commitment to expanding minority representation. If we want to challenge the status quo in the tech industry, we need more diverse voices and more opportunities for our Latinx employees to shine.
Personally, I am proud of where I have landed in my career and where I have been able to carve out opportunities to contribute to the community. In particular, getting to do a podcast in a professional capacity after having done a personal one for many years has been really great. Getting to be a voice that helps contribute in the email deliverability space is truly a pleasure.
A year-long celebration of our heritage
Celebrating and honoring our Hispanic heritage is not something we do one month a year. We might enjoy the spotlight between September 15 and October 15, but our love for our culture is always present. It doesn’t separate us or divide us – it lights the fire within ourselves to make our ancestors proud, make our families proud, and, most importantly, make ourselves proud.
Our team is pretty awesome. In fact, 94% of Pathfinders said that when they joined the company, they were made to feel welcome. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to hear more of their #HispanicHeritageMonth stories and check out our Careers page if you’re interested in being part of the Pathwire family – we just got certified as a Great Place to Work!
Thomas Knierien is a Sr. Multimedia Content Specialist and DEIB Council member at Pathwire. Thomas is a proud Tejano and Vietnamese American and the self-proclaimed leader of the Pathwire Hippie Movement.