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Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th – a month to celebrate the history and diversity of Hispanic cultures. This year’s theme, “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” invites us to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to remember all the contributions Hispanic and Hispanic-American people made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It’s also a reminder that we are stronger together.
This month at Cadent, we spoke with some of our Hispanic colleagues to learn more about who they are, their experiences in and out of the workplace, and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.
Erin Minjares, Executive Assistant, has been with Cadent for over five years, and in that time, she has watched the company grow into the business it is today. A California native, Erin attended San Jose City College before beginning her professional career. When she’s not at work, you can find Erin checking out a new art exhibit or playing pool with friends.
To learn more about Erin, check out our Q&A below.
The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. “
Tell us about your role
I am an Executive Assistant at Cadent supporting our CTO, Les Carter, and VP of Platform Sales, Tim Jenkins. I am also part of our DEI Team.
What does your day-to-day look like?
A typical day for me includes managing calendars, touching base with HR and DEI, planning for upcoming events, and working on current projects.
Are there any mentors or experiences that have shaped you – either professionally or personally?
Definitely – I have a spiritual mentor who has been a trusted confidant for years. He has given me direction in life and has helped me grow spiritually. It’s given me a different perspective and guidance in life and helped me learn how to manifest my goals.
Where can we find you when you’re not at work?
Playing pool or catching a new art exhibit in the city!
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? -or- What does it mean to you to be a woman of Hispanic descent?
Growing up in a Hispanic household, there was always family around, music playing, cooking in the kitchen and a beautiful vibrancy of culture. My mother always taught us about where we came from through art, history, and events and made sure we were knowledgeable about where our family came from. It’s what keeps me humble and it’s a beautiful story – to see the hardships our culture has gone through and where we are today. With that said, it means a lot that I come from a background of fighters – even women had a crucial role in the battlefield during the Mexican Revolution – musically talented, educated, creative, culturally-minded people, with a broad variety of delicious food. I am extremely proud of being a woman of Hispanic descent.
Fun fact – did you know that a Mexican engineer is responsible for one of the greatest inventions of all time: color TV! Guillermo González Camarena invented the chromoscopic adapter for television equipment when he was only 23! Talk about an overachiever. Bien compa!
Do you have any favorite movies, books, music, or other cultural inspirations from Hispanic creators?
As an art lover, I would have to say Frida Kahlo. She broke barriers and created her own footprint in the artist world. She is one of the most famous artists in the world to come from Mexico and created very touching pieces that have been a staple in our community for over 80 years. She is an inspiration to me because she was so strong, and even though her life was short lived, she impacted so many by giving young women the influence to be their true selves.
What do you feel helps to foster a culture of inclusion? How have you seen those behaviors and practices successfully put into action?
While fostering inclusion is a vital process in the ultimate success of a company, it shouldn’t be a chore. You should have a team that is passionate about the work, which ultimately leads to successful outcomes. I am happy to say our DEI Team has built a really good foundation for the future and is working hard to help this very important part of the company grow and flourish.
What challenges do you feel are faced by the Hispanic and Hispanic-American community today and what growth do you hope to see in the future?
Access to quality education and immigration reform are the areas that I feel are the most important.
What advice would you give to a younger colleague or a younger version of yourself?
Don’t worry about opinions, work hard at your goals, and create your own lane.