September 15, 2019 Lindsay Smith

SOLidarity with Employee Resource Groups: Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off every September 15.

Schwab celebrates the Latinx community in partnership with SOL — Schwab Organization of Latinxs. It’s a month dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the Latinx community, culture, and heritage.

SOL is one of the 10 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) Schwab offers to help facilitate and cultivate a culture of inclusivity and diversity. Anyone can join an ERG and allies are needed for these groups to be successful. An ally is “a person who is not a member of a marginalized group but who express or gives support to that group.” SOL, in particular, is “committed to serving as a resource in the areas of growth and career development for employees while aligning with Schwab’s Talent and Growth Priorities in the Latinxs communities.”

With this being said, there’s no wonder why Schwabbies wouldn’t want to be a part of such a supportive community. For Austin SOL member, Jenn Yanez, her reason for getting involved with SOL was because it was something she wasn’t able to participate in with her prior company: “The whole ERG thing is something I was seeking out when I joined Schwab. I came from somewhere where I was a contractor before and not allowed to participate in Employee Resources Groups or those types of things with the company, so starting here, that was something I was definitely looking for.”

Carlos Linares, Denver SOL member, also had a similar experience for joining: “When I started Schwab 4.5 years ago, I had worked for several companies who kind of promoted their — they didn’t call them ERGs — but they promoted their ERGs and for the most part it was all talk, you know what I mean? It eliminated participation — you basically had to be in a certain role to participate and unfortunately I wasn’t in one of those roles.”

ERGs at Schwab are different — anyone can participate. As Carlos elaborates upon: “If you have a passion for not only the Latinx community, but any of the other ERGs, BPACS (Black Professionals at Charles Schwab), CSAN (Charles Schwab Abilities Network), there’s so many communities to partner on, that you don’t have to be Latino, you don’t have to be an African American to be in BPACs, you can be an ally. If you have a passion, if you want to support — join.” 

Hispanic Heritage Month is one of the many months and days dedicated to a certain community that Schwab recognizes in order to make our Schwabbies feel welcomed, supported, and included no matter what their background is. Lesley Bachman, member of the SOL ERG in Phoenix, explains that this month is a great learning opportunity for those interested in Latinx culture: “It gives people not just the recognition of being a good employee at Schwab, but honoring your culture, background, and providing an outlet to share your background with all your colleagues — being able to meet people that are similar to you or eventually meet people from different backgrounds and what they do. It’s a good education opportunity for employees to learn more about Latino culture, whether it’s an artifact, culture, or food, introducing people to things they otherwise wouldn’t have learned about.”

Jenn also highlights the fact that it’s made her feel like everyone has a sense of belonging at Schwab as well: “Seeing people that look like yourself or that identity with your culture being celebrated is a huge deal, it just kind of makes you feel included…it makes you feel represented, and it makes you feel proud. So, Hispanic Heritage is also a big month for us, but I also enjoy seeing that we make a big deal about Pride Week, we make a big deal about Black History Month, all of those things. It just kind of makes you feel proud that everybody has a place here.” 

In addition to the educational opportunity, many members of SOL mention the benefit of how being part of an ERG has helped their career at Schwab. As Jenn explains, “I’m a project manager in my role and I’m kind of a project manager for SOL, so it’s a lot of career development around leadership and just expanding your network. It’s also kind of nice to be able to know people all over the place and also connect to other people.” On the same note, Carlos adds, “For me, it’s been a great way to be part of the community, to help the good causes that are out there that are well-intentioned. I’ve also been able to gain additional exposure and I’ve met several people across Schwab, not just in Lone Tree, but across the country.”

Regardless of what ERG you’re interested in or drawn to, Schwab values the different cultures and backgrounds every Schwabbie is part of. As Lesley Bachman put it best, “Every human wants to be understood and feel like they belong and feel like they’re a part of something they can relate to.”

Join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by learning more about SOL.