We’re growing. And as we grow, we learn. With numerous acquisitions over the past few years, we have had the opportunities to work with new cultures and personalities from different geographies around the globe. This has deepened our appreciation for the value of diverse teams and groups within Litera. Recently, we’ve been focused on celebrating and acknowledging important cultural moments and markers that influence many of our different regions.
Intersectional Diversity: Hispanic Heritage Month, Disability Awareness, and Reconciliation
In the U.S., Hispanic Heritage Month ran from September 15—the date several Latin American countries declared their independence from Spain—to October 15. In Canada, October is Latin American Heritage Month. Both countries are seeking to increase recognition for the contributions of Hispanics or Latinos/Latinx/Latinae who have been historically undercounted and undervalued.
In the US alone, more than 62 million people claimed Hispanic heritage in 2020, and more than 20 million people identify with more than one race. With that said, it is important to recognize that the term Hispanic may not encompass all persons intended to be celebrated. Our goal in celebrating and acknowledging this month is to open the door to a greater appreciation for intersectionality and diverse identifications (eg. Latinx/Latinae).
That’s why we were glad to see that Kira Systems, which recently became part of the Litera family, reached out to Catarina Rivera of Blindish Latina for a conversation about her experiences as a Latina with Usher Syndrome. This particular intersection was intentional given that October is also National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In a fireside chat last week, Kira’s Employee Resource Group hosted a fireside chat and invited the rest of Litera to listen to insights and ask questions and explore those areas where technology has advanced and supported various populations–such as persons with visual or auditory disabilities–and where there are still unmet needs.
As a global organization, we also learned more about Canadian history and the importance of observing days such as the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation this month. Also known as Orange Shirt Day, September 30th acknowledges and remembers the victims of the residential school system that was in place in Canada from 1831 to 1997. We observed a moment of silence to honor, learn and advance a more conscious understanding of the cultural genocide and intergenerational trauma that is still felt today.
Why is all this important?
With each acquisition and hire, we don’t just grow our technological footprint or our capacity—we grow our company culture. It’s crucial that we consciously embrace learning about and celebrating the contributions of all of our employees and team members.
We will succeed by continuing to learn; by seeking to understand the cultures and practices of people who come to join our team. By celebrating, recognizing and holding space, we create more opportunities for an engaged and curious company culture. We’ll always be learning, and we’re excited to be learning together.
Are you interested in building our culture with us? We’d love to hear from you.
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