As a member of the DEI council, I recently had the honor to lead PulsePoint’s speaker series in recognition and celebration of LatinX/Hispanic Heritage Month. Our special guest speaker was Nicole Herrera, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Google Android. In her role, she sets the strategy to improve representation, inclusion, and product inclusion for the Android business. She is also the founder of Her-Era, a training & consulting firm focused on helping companies improve their DEI strategy, with a particular focus on advancing women of color in tech.
Outside of work, she serves on the Board of Directors for Latinas in Tech as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion.
During LatinX Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 - October 15th, we honor the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. What better way to honor the amazing contributions of LatinX cultures and flavors than by learning about Herrera’s own contributions towards diversity and inclusion as an advocate, speaker and advisor on the topic.
Herrera spoke to PulsePoint team members about her personal experiences navigating biases and setbacks as a Latina in corporate America, how companies can make measurable changes to make their workforce more inclusive and equitable towards women and people of color, beyond just hiring, how leadership can be more authentically involved in DEI initiatives, and the inspiration that has led her to the important work she does now.
From sharing about the work that she’s most proud of to some very insightful information about systematic changes that need to happen for better representation, I was left inspired by her commitment to the cause but also ended hoping that one day we won’t need a celebratory month to recognize LatinX and BIPOC communities, rather that we can celebrate and support underrepresented groups through our everyday actions that will help lift and elevate representation across all sectors of our community and economy.
I leave you with this to think about: What is one small thing you are going to commit to doing to being more inclusive?
Here are 3 top myths in DEI that Herrera shared and how they can be debunked:
- Myth: “There is no pipeline” Reality: There are many qualified candidates from underrepresented groups.
- Myth: We need to create programs to focus on “fixing” people from underrepresented groups through trainings. Reality: We need to fix the system and correct for bias.
- Myth: DEI is HR’s job to fix. Reality: It’s everyone’s job to contribute.
To learn more about Nicole Herrera you can go to https://www.her-era.co/ or follow her on Instagram at @its.herera