‘The Hispanic Promise’: A Hiring Pledge - 6:58
with Claudia Romo Edelman of the We Are All Human Foundation
Posted Aug 29, 2019
In 2018, the unemployment rate for Hispanics in the U.S. labor force reached a record low.

Claudia Romo Edelman, Founder of We Are All Human Foundation, discusses “The Hispanic Promise,” an initiative to advance and empower Hispanic employees, customers and citizens.
Hosted by: Nathalia Ortiz Produced by: National Newsmakers Team
Ortiz: Hispanic and Latino-Americans are the largest ethnic minority in the U.S., comprising an estimated 17.8% of the population. Hello and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers." I'm Nathalia Ortiz. There's a new collaborative effort underway to bring attention to the potential of the Hispanic community as a growth engine and an essential business opportunity. Claudia Romo Edelman, founder of We Are All Human Foundation, joins me to discuss this collaboration. Welcome.

Edelman: Thank you so much for having me here.

Ortiz: We are excited to have you, [and to have you talk about what this new initiative is about and what it's called and who does this affect.

Edelman: We absolutely want to empower Hispanics and unify them because Hispanics are powerful, but they don't know it. As a fact, 77% of Hispanics have no idea of their own contributions to the country. And therefore, instead of feeling big, they act small or think weak. And the other thing is that we're very fragmented. We're not a community. We're 26 different groups of origins. Mexicans don't talk to Colombians don't talk to Venezuelans. And what we're trying to do is unify their voices, their dreams so that we can have a shared agenda. And with that shared agenda, we're taking Hispanics everywhere where they have not been, like the United Nations, Davos, or Cannes. Ortiz: Claudia, we know that you're speaking specifically of Hispanics in the United States. And so this initiative that you talk about is called the Hispanic Promise. It's a relatively young initiative you launched just about six months ago, correct?

Edelman: That's right. We launched it at the World Economic Forum, realizing that there was no tool for corporate America to demonstrate that they care for the Hispanic community. And so we launched it in collaboration with more than 50 Hispanic organizations, launch it to say, "Corporate America, this is your opportunity to promise Hispanics that you will hire, promote, retain, and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace," because 74% of Hispanics have to pretend they're someone they're not in the workplace. And we have more than 60 companies that within six months have signed of the size of Unilever, Microsoft, SAP, Bank of America, and they keep coming. And we have an activation coming for Hispanic Heritage Month. Ortiz: So, what is the purpose exactly? In other words, why is this needed? Why do you think this is not already happening? Why are Hispanics not giving themselves the work that they deserve?

Edelman: Well, Hispanics are massive, but we feel underestimated, misrepresented, underrepresented, and undervalued, and that is because we have not been able to exercise our joint voice And in corporate America, when you have unemployment that is so low and Hispanics being so young, they want more talent, and the way to attract talent is going to be very, very important. And to my surprise, there were 50 pledges for women, 30 for African-American, but none for Hispanics. So having a tool to be able to express that you want to be Hispanic-friendly, that you want to create an inclusive environment where Hispanics don't have to pretend to be judged. They can be Jorge and be okay with that. And demonstrate all the Latino, bring themselves, their best selves to work, is very important. And the reaction has been incredible. We want to take the opportunity of a month like Hispanic Heritage Month to use it for something more substantive than a couple of hours of mariachi and tequila.

Ortiz: Right.

Edelman: I mean, we care. We love that everybody enjoys our tacos. It's great. But we want actually companies to demonstrate that they are there for our growth, for our investment, for our journey to our future. And a way to do it is to sign the Hispanic Promise. So, for people that are watching this program, check out if your company has signed it, and invite actually your leadership to consider doing something more during this month. We launch it at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. We hope that we're gonna get a couple of dozen companies joining to demonstrate that they care.

Ortiz: Claudia, tell us a few of the companies that have already signed this, the Hispanic Promise, and what has been the outcome that you've seen, If you've seen any, if you've had the time already, if it's been --

Edelman: It's been incredible. So, we launched at the World Economic Forum with Microsoft hosting an event -- the first ever event in Davos, which was surprising with the amount of growth and the fact that there's no potential growth that companies that go to Davos can have without the Hispanic community. So it was surprising not to have an event for Hispanics there. And then to have that tool, you know, like, for corporate America to sign and say, like, "You know what? I want to actually engage in this. I want to retain more of my Hispanics. I want to be able to get the mechanisms in corporate America to have mentorships, sponsorships, and be very intentional about being there." So companies like Unilever, Microsoft, Bank of America, SAP, KIND, Nielsen, Edelman, Denstu are joining. We went to the Cannes Advertisement Festival to talk to marketers and look to the creative industry and saying, like, "Guys, there's no way] you can sell without our community, but don't go after our wallet only."
Ortiz: Right.

Edelman: "Go to our growth. Invest in us. Invest in our communities. Employ our people." Portrayal's better, and so we're getting a massive reaction.

Ortiz: Claudia, you know, I guess my question is, why wasn't it not done before? In other words, did they -- do you think that these companies or these executives that lead these companies didn't even know where to begin, didn't know where to go to find these people? Or do you think that they just were kind of asleep at the wheel?

Edelman: I think that the time for Hispanics is now. There's never been a time for us where we're so strong, where we're so young, where we are have so much potential, and it is just that we're waking up. Imagine that 77% of Hispanics have no idea of their own power. But imagine if that number went down, what would happen? So it is a unique time in which we've never been stronger, and that you know, corporate America is in absolute desperate need to hire us and be able to sell to us as well. So we have to be conscious about the power that we have, and we have to actually -- in order for companies and for the rest of the country to be accessing this promised land that we are Hispanics, they have to make a promise to us, and I think that it never happened because we never asked for it before.

Ortiz: Claudia Romo Edelman, thank you so much for joining us from the We Are All Human Foundation.

Edelman: Thank you so much for having me.

Ortiz: All right, and thank you for joining us as well. For more great conversations with leaders in your community and across the nation, visit comcastnewsmakers.com. I'm Nathalia Ortiz.

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