Hispanic/Latinx heritage month runs from September 15th to October 15th. It’s a time to honor and recognize the many contributions Hispanic and Latinx communities have brought to the United States, as well as to many other parts of the world. While the terms "Hispanic" and "Latinx" are often used interchangeably, they have separate and distinct meanings. “Hispanic” refers to individuals whose background is tied to Spanish-speaking countries, while “Latinx” is a term that acknowledges the gender identity spectrum and embraces all people who are descendent of Latin American countries.
Join me as I chat with my colleagues and embark on a journey of stories, traditions, achievements and aspirations shared by some of the Hispanic / Latinx individuals within AspenTech during this special month. We’re joined by Leticia, Donaji, Lillian and Fernando to learn more.
Mexico City, Mexico
Leonel Miranda (LM) Thank you all for joining us! First, let’s talk about identity. Do you identify as Latinx or Hispanic? Why is this definition or distinction important to you?
Leticia: I identify myself as Latina and I always mention that I am Mexican, specifically. The distinction is important to me because I am proud of where I come from. I am always happy to talk about what I love about Mexico and encourage others to visit in order to fight stereotypes or misconceptions they might have.
LM: Donaji, I’d like to home in on the relationship between your background and your professional path. How does your background influence your day-to-day at AspenTech?
Donaji: I was taught to be kind, to always be polite. Mostly, because you don’t know what the person sitting next to you is going through. This is a general golden rule everyone should strive for. When I think about how we as a group are raised and educated (generally), if we see somebody going through a tough time, we will always try to make them see the bright side of the situation with a joke or a warm hug. I believe that’s something that characterizes us among different cultures.
LM: Lillian, it’s a pleasure to have you back in one of our blogs, and I know this one might be a special one for you as you are greatly involved with AspenTech’s Employee Resource Groups. How do you see your values reflected at AspenTech?
Lillian: When I attend any of our ERG meetings or meet with the chapter leads of the Women’s Leadership Form (WLF) or attend events, I see how much we value inclusion here. We continue as an organization to listen to our people and ensure we have a diverse representation of voices; this creates a stronger AspenTech. We are at the start of our journey and have a great deal more to accomplish, but it fills me with great hope to see how inclusive we are becoming here.
LM: Fernando, can you elaborate a bit on your career and what your professional goals are?
Fernando: Professionally, in my career I was part of several working groups and environments, from operations to executive groups. I would love to keep sharing my experience with newly formed teams, giving the opportunity to everybody to contribute to common goals. I think there is a lot to do in AspenTech, facing new businesses and environments, I expect to be an instrumental resource to achieve success.
LM: A core component of our motivation to reach those goals is to have clear role models whom we look up to. Who are yours, Fernando?
Fernando: Undoubtedly both of my grandfathers. My mother’s father was a shepherd since he was a child, who lived with his family in a small town called Sarhua, in the Peruvian Andes, far from the cities. He only attended traditional primary school and was illiterate in Spanish until he was a late teenager. Then, instead of moving to the main town he decided to move to the country's capital, Lima, looking for a better future.
My father’s father was a laborer in a tobacco estate, working long hours to provide for his big family. As an outcome of their efforts my mother and father were able to attend to the university and now my brothers and I work and live in foreign countries. I hope I could have the same level of impact with my children.
LM: Coming back to you, Leticia. How do you see your values reflected at AspenTech?
Leticia: I see collaboration, hard work, and respect. We all have different backgrounds, and we understand that those differences are our strengths. Many companies aim to have the diversity that we have, it helps us drive innovation in our thought processes and ideas. But with respect, something we do very well is listen and collaborate. This gets us to our common goal and we are all represented.
LM: This has been a delightful conversation with you, folks. Especially since we all share similar backgrounds and stories that will resonate with others. Is there anything more you’d like to share?
Lillian: I believe that to effect change we must all be a part of it. It is really the responsibility of each of us to advocate for ourselves and for others. We need to be the change we want to see. Imagine everything we could accomplish for AspenTech, for our communities and worldwide if we did that. I am very optimistic about the direction we are heading. Let’s celebrate Latinx Heritage Month together, as a community joined by our allies!