Hispanic Heritage Month
Next month, I will be proudly celebrating my second Dutonian anniversary, and I cannot believe that it has been almost two years since I joined PagerDuty. I remember when I was first interviewing in 2019, I was nervous because I had never worked in tech before and I did not know much about it other than knowing that it has really made a huge impact on the city that I have called my home for the past eight years. I consider San Francisco my home as it’s a city that has openly embraced me as a gay Mexican immigrant, where I can be myself and where all are accepted, regardless of where they come from or who they are.
Before starting at PagerDuty, I was an office manager at an immigration law firm where I was surrounded by other Latines, mostly of Mexican descent, so I felt right at home; we seamlessly switched from Spanish to English when talking about work or our lives, listened to music in Spanish and referenced Mexican culture all the time. This is not something I took for granted. At my first job out of college, there was a leader who attempted to get me written up for speaking Spanish to my co-workers that did not speak English. Thankfully, it was only an attempt, as I did not get in trouble, but they still succeeded in making me feel unwelcome and like I did not belong. Making the decision to leave for PagerDuty, I thought, “should I really leave a company where I do feel comfortable and I can be fully myself for the unknown?”
When I was going through the interview process, I did some research and I found out that one of PagerDuty’s company values is to #BringYourSelf and that as a company, they prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion led by a female CEO, Jennifer Tejada, and a leadership team comprised of almost 50% females. I also asked my recruiter, who was a fellow Person of Color, what his experience was at PagerDuty and hearing a very honest first-person account of his positive experience, made me want to take the leap and accept my first job in tech!
During my orientation as a new Dutonian, I found out that we had Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and I joined the Slack channels for Array, our ERG for our Black and Latine employees, and RainbowDuty, for LGBTQ employees. It was great to have dedicated groups and spaces for people with different identities and backgrounds that sometimes did not get to have their voices heard and elevated.
In July 2020, with Hispanic Heritage Month approaching, I was asked by other Array members if I wanted to plan the company celebrations and I jumped at the opportunity. I am so glad I was able to play a role in celebrating my cultural heritage with the whole company and beyond; it really made me feel like I belong at PagerDuty.
In January of this year, I became part of the Array leadership team and I have had the opportunity to work closely with fellow Black and Latine Dutonians in other departments that I may have otherwise not been able to connect with. We have had the opportunity as Array members to connect with Board members Dr. Alec Gallimore, Bonita Stewart and to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month, with Elena Gomez and have bold and transparent conversations around race, ethnicity, and succeeding in the workplace and in life despite the obstacles that we often encounter.
This year, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with the theme We’re Here: Estamos Unidos, and we hosted a company-wide trivia where the prizes supported Latine-owned businesses, did an exclusive experience box for our Array ERG members, had a Conversation with Latinas in tech where we explored themes like community, career, technology and the intersection with gender and ethnicity with Dutonians Julia Nasser and Catalina Diaz and Ana Martinez, from Slack, continuing to shine a spotlight on the Latine employees at PagerDuty.
Our celebration of the diverse identities and backgrounds that make up PagerDuty and our efforts to continue on the path of becoming a more diverse company keep making me proud of calling myself a Dutonian – it’s a journey, not a sprint and we must all stay the course and do our part, but it’s easier when you know you have support and modeling from the top and you know your company has your back.