There is beauty in having the courage to show who we are and what we believe, and this week’s National Convention in Cleveland will be a testament to this idea.
There, in a city whose story mimics our own—a story of struggle and triumph, hard times and brighter days ahead—SHPE will show its true face and indomitable spirit. But our willingness to reveal our true colors can’t stop at the convention hall doors.
I was reminded of this while scrolling through LinkedIn recently, when I came across An Article Written By Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang. In it, he talks about Lenovo’s longstanding commitment to sustainability, and how the company continues finding unique and novel ways to reduce its environmental footprint. We’re not just talking about an office recycling program. These are big, bold, daring initiatives: from bio-based product packaging to playing a key role in improving conditions around “conflict minerals.”
Throughout the corporate world, programs dedicated to social responsibility, environmental stewardship and diversity and inclusion are on the rise. Not just because these are objectively good things to do. It’s also good for business. When a company erects a one-megawatt solar array on their factory’s roof, those panels aren’t cheap. Over time, however, the savings on energy costs can be enormous, allowing that company to invest money back into the business—and its workers.
In the business world, we’re taught to treat the bottom line as the end-all-be-all. But there’s more to staying in the black than mere dollars and cents. Over the past decade or so, the idea of the triple bottom line—one for profit, one for people and one for the planet—has gained more and more traction. In fact, some of SHPE’s most prestigious partners and sponsors have taken up the corporate responsibility mantle (you know who you are).
But there’s still more to be done—much more. Here at SHPE, we’ve long advocated for more diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and there has been tremendous progress made on this front. Now it’s time to take the next step: As more and more Hispanics enter and scale the corporate ranks, we must be the voices in the workplace advocating for change. For more diversity and inclusion. For more minority-outreach efforts. For more robust sustainability initiatives. It’s not enough to rest on the laurels of progress; we must pay that progress forward, looking beyond our own personal journey to the greater odyssey beyond: bringing about a more peaceful, prosperous planet.
To the thousands of SHPE students and young professionals out there—particularly those of you attending SHPE’s convention—my parting challenge is this: As you pursue your professional dreams, don’t be content with merely “making it.” Instead, find ways to make your workplace—and the world beyond—even better.