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We’ve always maintained that a diverse and inclusive organization thrives when people from different backgrounds feel comfortable being their full self when they’re at work. This includes sharing and celebrating holidays and traditions with colleagues that are important to their culture or heritage. At Red Hat, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) communities are a rich source for associates to have new experiences and learn from others with different backgrounds. Our D&I communities are global, associate-led groups focused on fostering diversity and inclusion, knowledge sharing, learning and development, and relationship building. 

Unidos, our Latinx and Hispanic D&I community, recently led its first formal recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. The team organized virtual events for associates including a live cooking session of traditional hispanic cuisine (arepas con carne or a patacon/jibaritos sandwich anyone?) and a panel discussion featuring Red Hatters from Unidos discussing different aspects of Latinx and Hispanic culture including language, traditional family dynamics and the experience of being an immigrant. 

Founded in January 2020, Unidos has already quickly grown its membership of Latinx and Hispanic Red Hatters from around the world. One of the most meaningful connections within the community is that of associates who currently live in a Latinx or Hispanic country with members who are from the same place but currently living in another country, "away from home."  Two members of the Unidos community share what this community means to them and why it’s meant so much to have this type of space at Red Hat. 

Nair Hernández, business analyst, People Team and Co-Chair, Unidos

I’ve been with Red Hat for a little over two years now. I moved away from Puerto Rico twelve years ago and have since lived in India and several places in the U.S., including my current home of North Carolina. 

One of the things that I learned early on after leaving Puerto Rico, the place that still feels like home, is the value of connections. If you are able to establish a bond or link to people around you that share some common sense of purpose, chances are changes and transitions will be easier for you no matter where you are. 

Unidos is a place where I’m able to be my authentic self. Where the anecdotes and the wisdom from our abuelitas come to life once again, where talking about our delicious food, coffee, sweets never gets old, and where I can share the richness of my culture. It’s also a place for me to celebrate the traditions that I share with my Latinx and Hispanic colleagues around the world. 

Members of Unidos come together to share ideas, build meaningful relationships and find support as they grow at Red Hat. Our hope is to help our members develop their careers through tailored resources and tools for our community. 

This community has helped me expand my professional network. It has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and be more vocal about things that need to be done. It has given me strength, support and a sense of belonging. It has also helped me get involved with initiatives that impact our community at Red Hat, from our interview process to being able to talk with leaders about why diversity and inclusion is critical. 

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month for the first time at Red Hat, we have come together as a community, as one big familia, to showcase Latinx and Hispanic culture for our Red Hat colleagues. 

Consuelo Madrigal Cabañas, brand manager, Red Hat Latin America 

I’ve been at Red Hat for six years now, and I was born and raised in Chile's capital, Santiago. 

The Unidos community helps all of us share our stories. It is a way of sharing our lives with people from around the world. We always talk about "sharing our culture." Culture is how we do things, but it just so happens that we all do it differently depending on where we are in the world and what we've seen. 

You can go through the day drinking coffee--or maybe its mate--or you can have a merienda around 5 p.m., ‘cause dinner is served when there is no more sunlight around. Or, maybe you celebrate New Years' in the middle of the summer because you are in a different hemisphere. Unidos is how we find things in common and also share what makes us different.

For those who live in Latin America, Unidos is a friendly place--a connection. We are a passionate group of people and we love being a part of a community. It's the perfect excuse to reach out and share. And, of course, to celebrate!

I have learned that we can be "a piece of home" for someone living out of their country of origin. I would love for all the Red Hatters living in Latin America and around the world to partner and work closely with Unidos. Even sharing a friendly ¡Hola! in meetings helps build that connection. 

It is important to have the Unidos community at Red Hat so we can show everyone that there is diversity in a community you might think is not that diverse. Latin America is an amazing mix of flavors, languages and natural resources. 

Thank you to everyone that recognized Hispanic Heritage Month by connecting with their Latinx and Hispanic colleagues and friends, learn about their culture and celebrate with them

About the authors

Consuelo joined Red Hat in 2014 as the Brand and Design Manager for Latin America. She was part of our Open Brand Project, leading the efforts in Latin America. She also brought both Co.Lab and the Open Source Stories' first non-United States film to the region. Consuelo was born and raised in Santiago, Chile. She's a designer and an avid Star Wars fan. She also enjoys traveling, food, and fútbol (soccer).

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