Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to commemorate the diverse stories, cultural contributions, and historically impactful events of the Hispanic and Latino community. According to the U.S. census, the Hispanic population as of 2020 is 62.1 million, making it the nation’s largest ethnic minority.
At Sage, we believe diversity drives innovation and collaboration, where we can highlight our employees’ collective skills, passion, and values. This part of our culture plays a vital role in fueling our customer obsession. After all, our customers and colleagues are diverse, so it makes sense we mirror that representation in meaningful ways.
To match our actions to our values, we recently launched a Latinx colleague success network, so that our Latino colleagues and allies could gain more meaningful representation within and outside of our organization.
The Sage Advice editors recently chatted with sales operations director, Ricardo Néia, and director of sales and strategy for accountants, A.Z. Zabala, who are co-leading the new Latinx colleague success network about the significance of this group at Sage and the group’s goals.
Here’s what they had to say:
What is your title at Sage and can you tell us a little about your role?
Ricardo: My name is Ricardo Néia and I’m the Director of Sales Ops. I’m responsible of all order entry and processing for channel partners. I also lead account management for our install base.
A.Z.: My name is A.Z. Zabala and I work as the Director of Sales & Strategy for Accountants. I am responsible for the commercial and go-to-market for sales, programs, and partner experience leveraging the Sage portfolio to accounting professionals.
Tell us about the Latinx colleague success network. What is its purpose? What is the name of the group and what does it stand for?
Ricardo: The Latinx colleague success network at Sage was established to lead, connect, support, and advance the professional and personal well-being of all Latinx colleagues and allies through technology, education, and advocacy. The name of the group is LiT, which stands for Latinx Inspiring Thought.
Why is it important for Sage to have Latinx representation?
A.Z.: The Latino community makes up approximately 18.5% of the U.S. population and is seeing 50% growth every ten years. Not to mention, there are so many valuable contributions the community makes to business, culture, military, activism within the United States.
As colleagues, we understand Sage’s interest in growing and becoming more active worldwide as an organization and entity. Being active within this community will be key in helping to accomplish that. That starts with ensuring there is proper representation and partnership with the Latinx community.
What is it you hope the group does? What is your vision for what this group will achieve?
Ricardo: Our top priorities for the colleague success network are awareness, engagement, and social activism. We’d like to provide a place for Latinx colleagues and allies to find support, guidance, and resources to develop and grow themselves professionally.
Is there anything else you would like to share about LiT?
A.Z.: The Latinx community is very diverse and it’s represented by cultural origins to many different countries (about 33 countries). Part of the focus of the group is to help bring the great parts of those cultures to Sage in order to give a more complete view of all of it’s members.
Who is a hero of yours and why?
Ricardo: For me, it’s my grandfather Antonio Néia.
A.Z.: For me, my mother, Simon Zabala. Come ask us about their stories, they are both incredibly inspirational.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Ricardo: It highlights the importance of the Hispanic/Latino/Latinx people, which are diverse individuals, who in many regards self-identify differently than the often used term ‘Hispanic’. Hispanic heritage is important because of the vast contributions made to the world by this community. Many, in fact, impact the very way we live our everyday lives. From innovations to historically molding events, the Latino community have and continue to make impacts within the broader communities they live in globally. It’s also important to give credit to their rich culture and how it’s influence is far-reaching worldwide. Doing so gives perspective on how to relate to, partner with, and help elevate the overall communities and organizations they belong to.