Raul Esparza is a Senior Managing Director, Global Occupier Services, Integrated Facilities Management for the Tri-State/Mid-Atlantic region. He is based in New York.
Q: What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
A: Hispanic Heritage Month means that we acknowledge and seek to understand what distinguishes each Hispanic culture, and embrace those traditions that make us unique yet a part of a larger entity, rich in history.
Q: What is a way you enjoy celebrating your culture at any time of the year?
A: The tradition of family gatherings centered on the matriarchs of the family, our religion and enjoying a traditional meal are ways that I celebrate my culture.
Q: What aspects of your culture have served as unique assets to you in your professional success?
A: Being bi-cultural has had a definitive impact on my professional success. My ability to relate to and collaborate with various cultures has given me the ability to assimilate around common objectives. I can maintain an openness to alternate ways of driving success.
Q: Who is a notable Latino figure who has inspired you, and why?
A: A number have inspired me. My parents, in terms of the sacrifices they made to provide my sister and me greater opportunities and a better life. Frida Kahlo comes to mind. Her strength in the face of physical and emotional adversity, as depicted through her art, has illustrated how our inner strength fuels our ambitions in life.
Q: How have you seen diversity as a valuable asset in our business?
A: The strength of our business is derived from the diversity of our people. Beyond how you look, how you speak or what your beliefs are, diversity in our collective thought processes shape differentiated solutions that solve for the complicated challenges that our clients face. I have seen first-hand that the results of diversity in the workplace can solve problems and determine the ultimate success of our business.
Q: What are ways that all employees can be champions for diversity in the workplace?
A: By recognizing that it takes an ongoing, conscious effort to achieve inclusion in the workplace. We must be willing to accept those things that makes each of us different. Otherwise we will not gain the differentiated insight that will allow us to succeed together.
Q: What are ways in which you give or pay it forward in the Latino community?
A: True leadership calls those who have achieved to become role models, helping others achieve their own success. Through mentorship and coaching, I seek to give back and pay forward the opportunities that I have been given. I truly find a sense of pride in knowing that I have helped others, both Latino and non-Latino, overcome obstacles which have allowed them to achieve what at one time seemed impossible.
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