A Voice Entirely Your Own
Culture Brandy Contreras, Director of International HR at Twitter, explains how social media is changing the way that Hispanics communicate.
Mediaplanet: Why is it important for companies to recognize diversity and inclusion, specifically for Hispanics?
Brandy Contreras: As companies expand across the globe, it is important that their workforce reflect the world that they are operating in. The decisions that they make as a company are only enriched by having diversity of thought present. One of the values that is incredibly important to Twitter as a company is to seek diverse perspectives, because we know that bringing in many points of view is really the only way to make the best decision — and of course because our Twitter platform is comprised of millions of people using it around the world.
Recognizing diversity and focusing on inclusion is really the only way to ensure that you have the best, well-rounded view for your product and/or company.
MP: What are some qualities that Hispanics have that are desirable from an employer’s perspective?
As companies expand across the globe, it is important that their workforce reflect the world that they are operating in. The decisions that they make as a company are only enriched by having diversity of thought present.
BC: I often hear the observation that loyalty is an important Hispanic quality, and I agree with that. When you think of strong employees, you think about engagement and an employee’s desire to stick with you and help you grow your business. When things go sideways, you want to count on a dedicated employee base who will help you right the ship. We want that strong engagement from employees to offer constructive criticism on what we can do as a company to be better for our employees, our products and services, and our users.
MP: How has social media impacted the way Hispanics communicate?
BC: It has allowed people to truly define their own voice. Often times, people are frustrated by the fact that they are marketed to based on language rather than by personality traits. So companies, in particular, target campaigns using one of three models: in Spanish, “Spanglish,” or in English, involving stereotypes to try and attract them.
Social media services like Twitter have made it commonplace to speak with a voice that is entirely your own and in any language across the world. Your profile is now more about what your personal interests and pursuits are rather than the demographic you fall into. So, these enable Hispanics to be freer with the definition of who we are, which only enriches the culture because it brings about more perspectives. The Hispanic or Latino culture is made up of so many different individual cultures, that it is refreshing to see the differences represented and celebrated rather than having folks defined as just one thing.
MP: From your standpoint, what is the most effective way our society can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this year?
BC: By highlighting the incredible diversity that lives amongst the Hispanic community. By putting a spotlight on those who continue to champion their culture but simultaneously focus on pushing our world to cross barriers. By continuing to remind people that diversity of any kind, be it culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc., can bring so much learning, awareness and understanding of not only the world around us, but to ourselves as well.