1. How would you define the mission of AHORA?
Cylia Troche, finance manager and AHORA chair:
We want to give the Latinx population a voice and make sure they are not only seen but heard and to be a place for them to feel comfortable in their own skin. We want to showcase and leverage that to make the Latino population stronger and more confident. We’re giving them the tools to step out and be impactful for the organization.
Stephanie Buran, business human resources partner, AHORA San Francisco Bay Area lead:
AHORA provides a connection for people to say, ‘this is who I am and how I got here, where I came from’ and to come together over a shared cultural background that emphasizes the importance of family.
Anna Cortez, Southwest regional manager and AHORA co-chair:
AHORA is now and it’s our time to focus on our career pillar as we seek to cultivate a diverse and impactful Hispanic/Latinx workforce that will contribute to the success of AbbVie. AHORA is an important part of creating a workplace where everyone feels heard, empowered, accepted and valued for their unique perspectives.
Vanessa Morales-Tirado, principal research scientist, Boston-area AHORA lead:
We are diverse, and we are changing the face of America. Let’s develop skills together so we can attract Hispanic professionals, help them grow and keep them here. Let’s make these people the ambassadors for the next generation and to help the Hispanic community.
Refugio Atilano, director of strategic safety initiatives and AHORA communications co-lead:
It starts with our members. AHORA strengthens their development and leadership skills. The stronger we make our members, the better we position the Latino community for the future.
2. Around the world, calls for racial and social justice have increased in the past year. How has this impacted you and what AHORA is doing?
It’s enabled us to speak about things in the past that may have been taboo and have real conversations to elevate underrepresented populations. In the Latinx community, many people follow the adage ‘work hard and get rewarded’ but it’s important to speak up and make yourself seen – and the social justice movement has helped people become more visible.
This past year has been an education and we learned we have to celebrate our differences – whether they are racial, cultural or beliefs. These differences make our organization stronger, more creative and resilient. We’re also focusing on the concept of intersectionality and partnering with other ERGs like Black Business Network to reach Afro-Latinos.
The heightened awareness around racial and social justice and how it affects every human being makes this a topic you can’t avoid. It does hit home for almost everyone.