Celebrating Culture: Hispanic Heritage Month Q&A

Bonny Calfy | October 13, 2021

At Paycom, we celebrate the diverse workforce that makes our continued success possible. Our culture is one of learning, and we encourage our staff to foster respect, dignity and understanding as they discover more about their colleagues and their unique journeys.

In this final week of Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked members of the Paycom team what this important time means to them.

Why is your Hispanic heritage important?

“My [heritage] has always been front and center in my identity, and I feel that having had the opportunity to explore this whole other world has afforded me a level of tolerance and perspective that only propels me to keep learning more about other cultures and ways of life.”

—Maria

“My heritage reminds me of the family I came from and why I am here today. [It] keeps me connected to my roots and provides me with an opportunity to celebrate my family.”

—Clarissa

“Growing up bilingual and culturally in-tune had a great impact on many of my decisions in life. I ended up starting my advertising career working for multicultural ad agencies handling all of the U.S. Spanish-language media buying for large brands like Coca-Cola, JCPenney, Verizon and others. If it was not for my experiences growing up, I may not have even started my career in this field.”

—Daniel

Could you share some traditions that have been at the root of your culture and upbringing?

“Something I really appreciate about my upbringing is the warmth with which we greet and say goodbye to people. It makes people feel cared for.”

—Maria

“The common theme of valuing and making time for family.”

—Cesia

“Of the many traditions we celebrate, I think ballet folklórico is my favorite. This is Spanish dancing in large, colorful dresses. My great-grandma, grandma, mom and even I have all danced ballet folklórico. It is something near and dear to me, as four generations have all learned to dance in these beautiful dresses.”

—Clarissa

“I don’t think it’s any surprise that food and music were central to my upbringing. My mom taught me to cook and dance salsa at a young age. I’m very thankful for the importance she put on making sure we were aware of — and actively participated in — our heritage. As a result, I still cook many of the traditional Puerto Rican dishes in my house today.”

—Daniel

How do you celebrate your heritage?

“I enjoy attending community events, art shows and spending time with people who share my culture.”

—Cesia

“I love sharing my culture through food. There are very few things that allow us to share in other cultures like food does. Whether it’s making traditional Colombian dishes like empanadas, arepas and pandebono for my friends or telling them about the different regions of Colombia and their associated cuisines, food is always such a good vehicle to talk about ethnicity and connect to those around me.”

—Maria

“Being able to teach [my husband] and his family the traditions that we celebrate is the biggest and best joy. Día de Muertos is not limited in celebrating your family who has passed on, but also your friends who have become family. We celebrate by sharing with others, inviting friends and family to try the food, the music and, of course, decorate!”

—Clarissa

How can we learn about Hispanic heritage not just this month, but all year round?

“Ask questions! Never be afraid of asking clarification on something you’ve heard of or have seen portrayed in media. By that same token, don’t expect any one person to be the sole mouthpiece for a whole ethnic group. Be curious enough to ask questions, be vulnerable enough to admit you may have thought wrong, and be empathetic enough to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and realize they may not have all the answers you seek.”

—Maria

“The Hispanic population in the U.S. has grown tremendously over the past few decades, with about 19% of the population identifying as having Hispanic origins. So it is very likely that you already have daily interactions with Latin Americans, or if not, it is inevitable that you will. Learn more about your Hispanic neighbor so that your interactions can be as rich and enjoyable as possible!”

—Daniel

“Spending time with people who are part of a certain culture will teach you to appreciate it.”

—Cesia

Are you motivated by an organization that celebrates diversity and attributes inclusion to its success? Apply for a position at Paycom today!

 

About the author
Author picture, Bonny Calfy
Bonny Calfy
As Paycom’s recruitment marketer team lead, Bonny Calfy writes about such topics as human capital management, company culture, talent acquisition and career advice. Her brand-awareness efforts at Paycom have included launching Paycom Careers’ blog and social media channels, and producing several recruiting videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside of work, Bonny enjoys reading, fishing and spending time with her son and husband.