#General

Voices of #iProud: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage

This month, we’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with our #iProud series. At its core, #iProud is a celebration of identity and the perspectives that help to create impactful work for brands. For September, we were honored to have Monica Devine, Senior Manager, Paid Social; Priscilla Corona, Senior Associate, Programmatic; and Luz Alvarado Carrasco, Manager, SEO join us to speak on heritage, BRG involvement, and cultural identity. 

 

By celebrating the richness of our diverse community and recognizing the intersections of our identities, we create an environment that not only enhances the overall wellbeing of our team members but also improves the quality of our work, ensuring that all perspectives and experiences are fully represented in the stories we tell.

 

1. In what ways do you see the Hispanic community making an impact in the media industry?

  • While we are excited to see our culture celebrated more in mainstream media, our voices still need to be amplified in an authentic and inclusive way. The community is speaking up on inauthentic representation and surface level partnerships and demanding a real seat at the table.

- Monica Devine

 

  • I believe the Hispanic community has evolved significantly over the past five years. There is a greater presence of diversity in the media industry, and more roles are being filled, especially by women, due to increased inclusivity and motivation to diversify these roles. We have seen more social acceptance of other Hispanic cultural elements outside the workforce, which helped us see more diversity across the industry and how the community relates in various ways inside and outside the workplace.

- Priscilla Corona

 

  • The role of the Hispanic community in North America, especially in the US, is becoming more relevant every year with the number of Spanish speakers increasing at a fast rate. The media industry needs to start preparing for cultural, language and demographic shifts.

- Luz Alvarado Carrasco

 

2. What steps do you think companies can take to create a more inclusive workplace, particularly for underrepresented groups?

  • Supporting and celebrating cultures beyond the “assigned” month of the year. While it’s great to have representation from across the company in DEI initiatives, it often falls on those who already cover many responsibilities. Having allocated resources specifically for DEI is something dentsu has done better than most!

Monica Devine

 

3. Who is one person in your life who has been instrumental in helping you connect with your cultural identity?

  • My grandmother, whose nickname is “Nani”. She is an anchor to our Colombian heritage, and I am forever grateful to her upbeat energy despite everything she has been through to get where she is today. 

- Monica Devine

 

  • My grandma has played a vital role in my cultural identity. Growing up, I was accustomed to speaking Spanish around her, which helped me remain strongly connected to my cultural identity compared to other people. Actively participating in activities with her, such as watching Mexican TV shows and movies and assisting in the kitchen when needed, helped me assimilate to the Hispanic traditions and culture.

- Priscilla Corona

 

  • I don't think it's just one person for me but my group of Latino friends I met in university. We moved to Canada when we were 18 and I think we took our culture for granted. Being far from home made us embrace and see how rich it is.

- Luz Alvarado Carrasco

 

4. What is one cultural tradition or practice that brings joy to your life?

  • Christmas with the family. Every year, my great-aunt would host Christmas Eve with the whole extended family. At midnight, one of the uncles would dress up as Santa and hand out all the gifts, one by one, to each family member. It has gotten harder to meet as many have moved beyond the Chicagoland area, but the memory always brings me joy. 

- Monica Devine

 

  • My favorite tradition is when there is a celebration; having a Mariachi playing music I grew up listening to has always been something I have enjoyed. Music has always been a way I stayed connected to the Spanish language growing up, so it is my favorite tradition to listen to a Mariachi.

- Priscilla Corona

 

  • Gathering around a table to eat with the people I love. Latinos don’t just have breakfast, lunch or dinner, they talk, laugh, cry, scream. They can stay hours even when the food is over because it’s a moment to enjoy and share with others.

- Luz Alvarado Carrasco

 

5. What role do you think our BRGs can play in promoting diversity and inclusion both within dentsu and in the wider industry?

  • Meeting with other BRGs to discuss partnership opportunities. Meeting with office teams for in-person opportunities with BRGs and inviting the dentsu community as a whole. 

- Monica Devine

 

  • As a BRG, we should be told what gap we are seeing in the industry that needs to be filled. We should hold quarterly meetings to discuss how we can fill in the skillsets the Hispanic community shows a vast gap in the media industry. Dentsu should create courses and allow minority employees to select to complete cross-training courses monthly to diminish this gap and allow for growth in skillsets highly underrepresented within the industry despite their job level classification. To enable us to make an impact within the company and the industry that would help dentsu become a trailblazer in diminishing this gap.

Priscilla Corona

 

  • The role of BRGs is key to educate those outside of the BRG communities but also to create a sense of belonging in such a large company like dentsu. In terms of industry, BRGs can push for change and innovation at a national or even international level.

 - Luz Alvarado Carrasco

 

6. What can we do to support and uplift the Hispanic community beyond Heritage Month?

  • Providing more mentorship opportunities and resources will create momentum toward change, allowing the Hispanic community to gain more knowledge and skills to fill roles. Working on filling these gaps and encouraging people in various job level classifications to diminish this discrepancy

- Priscilla Corona 

 

7. How has your heritage positively influenced your personal and professional journey?

  • In both aspects, embracing my Latinidad has helped me to connect with people from different cultures and understand different perspectives. Relationships- of any kind- are extremely important for Latinos

- Luz Alvarado Carrasco