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How our employee resource group, Latinos in Stantec, stayed active and positive in 2020

January 28, 2021

Our Latinos in Stantec (LiS) employee resource group raises awareness of and celebrates the LatinX experience

Our commitment to Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) means ensuring our workforce is representative of our clients and the communities we live and work in. We champion I&D not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because an inclusive culture attracts and invites a full spectrum of talent into the organization.

In 2020, we committed to making a difference, focusing on different areas like leveraging our digital platforms and community relationships to advocate for I&D issues in our industry and our communities. Through our employee resource groups (ERGs), we create and strengthen relationships among Stantec employees to focus on what matters and to work towards common goals. These relationships, combined with our digital platforms, made 2020 a very successful year for the Latinos in Stantec (LiS) ERG. 

Latinos in Stantec

Latinos in Stantec (LiS) is an ERG that believes in the power of coming together. “Todos son bienvenidos” means “Everyone is welcome” which applies to this ERG—everyone is welcome to get involved and make a difference. The LiS vision is that Latinos and allies can come together, regardless of their different backgrounds and nationalities, to combine their hearts and heads to grow together as professionals and give back to our communities.

Since the founding of LiS in Plano, Texas, USA in 2017, we have grown to have six chapters between the United States and Canada.

Our structure is based on three major components:

  • Educational Program – ELEVATE (to raise to a higher state): The goal of this component is to provide guidance and be a positive influence on young students. We strive to reach at risk students and better their opportunities to pursue a college education upon high school graduation. 
  • Community Program – SHERPA (an experienced guide helping others on a mountain climbing expedition): The goal of this component is to serve and support our local communities. We strive to find opportunities to volunteer and get involved in community issues.
  • Professional Program – CIMA (top of a summit, the highest peak): The goal of this component is to strengthen relationships and network among Stantec employees. We strive to create opportunities for leadership and professional growth within Stantec.

The three components symbolize stages of a mountain that we are climbing together. These components help us achieve our vision, which is to empower LiS members to serve as role models, work with their communities, and become leaders within our organization.

A good example of the LiS Sherpa program is the work that the San Antonio chapter has been doing with the non-profit Community in Schools. The LiS San Antonio team works with Community in Schools as volunteers in an after-hours STEM program offered in five public middle schools located in low-income areas of San Antonio. The program consists of helping the kids to design a long-term human habitat somewhere in outer space. This program concludes with an annual Space Club competition where at the end of the school year, each group of kids present their projects to judges who are architects, engineers, and mental and health professionals to select the first, second and third places.

 2020, Stronger than ever

This year was incredible for LiS. We were able to pivot from occasional in-person events organized by individual offices to virtual events, opening the doors to hundreds of Stantec employees and allowing more people to become part of LiS. Some of our achievements are as follows:

  • We launched the year with a CIMA event where we offered a training on how to use Microsoft Teams.
  • We committed to supporting the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – Twin Cities Chapter by becoming a Silver Sponsor of their annual Scholarship program. We also submitted a donation to the Latin American non-profit TECHO in response to the storms Eta and Iota that devastated several Central American countries. We will continue working with them to identify more support opportunities in the future.
  • We organized the first-ever Hispanic Heritage Month celebration consisting of five weeks of activities open to all Stantec employees. These activities ranged from speakers, resources about arts and literature, social gatherings, and other events.
  • We expanded to Canada by officially opening a new chapter in Alberta. We also began working with the Miami Office to open our next chapter in the US.
  • We concluded the year with a very successful moderated panel discussion about designing with diverse communities in mind. Stantec employees and special guest, Edgar Lopez, former City Architect and Deputy Director of Public Works for the City of San Francisco, California, talked about their experience engaging with diverse communities and making connections that lead to inclusive design and successful outcomes.

At Stantec, the ERGs are the dreamers and the doers; the collaborators and the connectors; and both leaders and learners. ERGs create the space where we share our stories and become a resource to all employees with the main objective of making a greater impact in our communities and supporting each other in our professional growth within Stantec.

Read more about our commitment to Inclusion & Diversity.

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