Delta on Monday hosted the Hispanic Corporate Council of Atlanta's (HCCA) Annual Forum, in partnership with the company's Latin American Hispanic Business Resource Group (LAHEN).
Among the 300 attendees were more than 120 Delta employees as well as representatives from 41 companies who came to share their experiences and learn from leaders on how to further their career through professional growth and leadership development sessions.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian and additional Delta leaders who graced the stage included Bill Carroll, Delta's Senior Vice President – International CFO and Administration and LAHEN executive sponsor; Nicolas Ferri, Delta's Vice President – Mexico and Aeromexico/Delta Air Lines Joint Business; and James Sarvis, Delta's Vice President – In-Flight Service Field Operations.
"Thank you all for what you do and for making a difference in our communities," Bastian said. "We stand beside you. As a global airline, we believe that our company must reflect the diversity of the world and serve as a model of inclusiveness. Diversity and inclusion are a cornerstone of our culture."
Cid Wilson, President and CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), shared how attendees serve as ambassadors for their companies and can make a significant impact. "It's not a statement," he said. "It's a business imperative. Be the champions of diversity and inclusion."
"I have a challenge for all of you," he added. "If you plan to achieve, but dare to exceed, then great results you will see."
Wilson also highlighted Bastian and other CEOs' involvement in the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion – a CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As a collaborative group of CEOs at many of the world's leading companies, the leaders have agreed to take action to cultivate a workplace where different points of view are welcomed and employees feel encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion topics.
Andrés Barrón, LAHEN President, said that the HCCA forum is an invaluable experience for all involved. "The members can meet and network with executives from Delta and many other Fortune 500 companies," he said. "It provides an opportunity to sit down with executives and ask how they got to where they are in their careers, what steps they recommend and what they can glean from it."
HCCA strives to invigorate the corporate community by elevating leaders in Hispanic Affinity Groups and Business Resource Groups through collaboration and inclusion as well as to be a world-class incubator of Hispanic leaders.
"HCCA events such as the annual forum are focused on facilitating meaningful, practical engagement between members and local executives," said Yovany Jerez, HCCA President and Strategy and Tech Innovation Manager at AT&T. "This includes a 'flash networking' session where participants have an opportunity to interact with their peers."
Yeny Malaver, HCCA President-Elect for 2018 and First Vice President at SunTrust, added that inspiration is an important component of career development. "Finding a role model is crucial," she said. "In this forum, participants can get inspiration from many executives about how to advance and take control of their own career."
Delta's Global Diversity and Inclusion team has hosted a series of summits designed to give diverse groups of employees an opportunity to network and discuss issues specific to their professional growth and development. The summits also reinforce Delta's commitment to increasing diversity and promoting inclusion.
Since 2003, LAHEN has served as a strategic resource to Delta by engaging Latin American and Hispanic employees to build awareness and provide networking and professional growth opportunities. Each year, LAHEN members engage in community outreach, recruitment events and professional development opportunities. Currently, more than 800 Delta employees are members of LAHEN.