Sep 20, 2022 • 4 min read
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), we wanted to take a moment to shine a spotlight on some of our incredible TeamSnap employees’ stories, what this month means to them and how we can all work together to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in sports, the workplace and beyond:
TeamSnap is celebrating and bringing awareness to Hispanic Heritage Month, which means a lot to me as a first-generation American. My mom brought me to the United States when I was two years old, so I am a citizen of Mexico with no pathway to citizenship in America. I cannot return to Mexico, or I face not being able to return to the US for 10 years. As a result, my higher education and professional experience have also been shaped by my background as an undocumented Latina. When I started to think about my career, I focused more on which opportunities would create stability, rather than following my passions. Taking this route, I sought out a career in finance and fortunately found a knack there. From there, as I started to enter the job market, I was faced with even more obstacles. I quickly realized that applying for jobs is the easy part… being an undocumented immigrant adds a layer of anxiety to everyday life with it’s nuances. Because of a lag in my work status, I actually had an internship rescinded. This is unfortunately not uncommon, and fear of being laid off and having to go through that process adds a layer of stress and anxiety to everyday life.
Every day I was handling a new learning curve, I was constantly teaching myself the ropes as a first-generation student. Everything from getting a driver’s license to applying to college was a different process for me because of my status. As a child, I learned a lot of English words by reading rather than hearing them, so I was constantly worried about the way I spoke or my accent coming out, or mispronouncing words because there was pressure to assimilate and “fit in” in school or professional settings. I found myself living two different lives: my “professional” self and my “personal” self, and eventually hit a breaking point. As I’ve become more comfortable in bringing my authentic self to each aspect of my life, I’ve made an important realization. The old-school concept of “professionalism” in corporate settings is antiquated and should be revisited. The way people dress or speak actually has very little to do with their competency and ability to get the job done. Making diverse employees have to assimilate in order to “fit in” to your company culture can be biased and constrict their development.
I’ve been in workplaces that made me terrified to share my background, but I see TeamSnap and our welcoming culture as the future of work because we value everyone’s unique perspectives and the “culture add” every employee brings. Not only that, but the flexibility of working remotely has been very beneficial to supporting my family and navigating some of the struggles that came with being undocumented for parts of my life. There are many layers to what it means to be a Latino, including generational and regional differences in cultures, traditions, and foods. Latinos are often grouped into a monolith, but that couldn’t be further from the truth and I’m excited to celebrate all the culture we bring into our roles. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in honoring my Latino heritage and am thankful to work for a company that encourages me to be my authentic self each and every day.
Learn more about how we’re celebrating and honoring Hispanic Heritage Month at TeamSnap here →