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Talk at the 30th HACR Annual Symposium.
Pamela Burga, Vanessa Durán and Mónica Gaona during their presentation at the 30th edition of the HACR Annual Symposium. Photo: Screenshot.

Keys of professionals in human resources to grow personally and professionally

It is important to have a diverse human management department within companies.

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HACR's 30th Annual Symposium featured the authors of "Latinas Rising Up In HR: Inspirational Stories of Human Resources Professionals Leading, Thriving, and Breaking Barriers," an Amazon bestseller.

The role of these professionals within the most important companies in the United States was highlighted. This management empowers them to achieve more professional goals and seeks that more Hispanics have better opportunities to access good jobs and climb.

Pamela Burga, global partner of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion of Personnel at Tesla; Vanessa Durán, specialist in labor relations at Equinoccio; and Mónica Gaona, director of human resources at Front Porch, were part of this short list that was accompanied by the conduction of Priscilla Guasso, leader in Talent Management at CDW.

The presentation, entitled “Cracking the HR Code for Personal and Professional Growth,” offered a special opportunity, not only for those in charge of this department in companies, but in general for all the types of leaders, who now more than ever must rely on the work of these professionals to make their hiring processes more diverse and inclusive, respecting and taking advantage of human differences.

These dynamic and charismatic Latina leaders give us tips to try to decipher the code of professional and personal growth in companies, both with the written rules, and with those that are not but may have more value.

Being the first of their families to attend university, in a path full of many sacrifices, but especially resourcefulness, these three human resources representatives know the effort it takes to be able to excel in any company, especially when dealing with own obstacles, such as the impostor syndrome that makes Latino professionals constantly doubt their talents.

"We are not only in charge of hiring and firing employees," said Durán, referring to the importance of their functions in any organization, especially those that are making diversity a true policy to grow their businesses in a sustainable manner.

What Should We Take With Us to Work?

“The most important thing is to be authentic and have adaptability. Many times you are the only Latina in the room, in places that may not be familiar, but we must adapt quickly to interact in a different way with people,” said Burga.

Durán, for her part, pointed out that you must act with empathy and be proactive, first to show respect for other cultures, and second to raise your hand within the organization and propose alternatives that lead to the growth of all.

Likewise, Gaona stated the importance, as head of human resources, of being someone who listens, “an open person who is available to all employees,” she said.

How to be Successful?

Gaona highlighted:

Balance and set limits. You want to do everything and be everywhere, but you have to find time for yourself. It is a challenge to find this balance. You have to disconnect and find time to rest and reflect, it is important for your state of health.

Durán also underlines the importance of seeking qualified help that allows us to advance in specific areas of our professions.

“Hire professional coaches that help you navigate scenarios with difficult decisions to make. It is also important to offer this help when we can,” Durán added.

In the same sense, Burga ratified the importance of seeking advice through coaches, such as Durán, while highlighting Gaona's concept of investing in oneself. Likewise, she noted how companies that have Hispanic personnel in human resources are the ones that are willing to hire more Latinos.

What Would They Do Differently If They Had The Chance?

When asked about what they would have done differently at the beginning of their careers, the common denominator in the responses is self-confidence and respect for differences.

“I would have liked to have known, especially as a woman, the whole concept of unwritten laws, in the face of certain behaviors within companies. It is also important to be a promoter of yourself. Never take the first offer. You must always negotiate, especially women,” Burga highlighted.

In addition to basic things like being grateful and respecting elders, Durán said, “I wish I hadn't been shy, approached more people and asked about their careers and lives, made more connections. I wish I had been braver to try to access those people who could have offered me advice about my professional life.”

“You have to establish yourself soon and let the board know what your next professional steps are. Don't let anyone stop you from achieving your professional goals,” said Gaona, emphasizing that we cannot wait for offers or opportunities that we can achieve only by ourselves, by our own initiative.

"Don't wait for them to offer you opportunities, you must look for them," Burga concluded.

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