Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Vamos!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Vamos!

Samantha Shankman

11 Oct 2022
4 minute read
A group of latinx employees stand together.

As a global travel company, we take pride in the diversity of our teammates and are always eager to jump into a celebration honoring one of the vibrant cultures represented in our offices. Most recently, our teams came together at our headquarters in the Bay Area, New York City office, and virtually in honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival and Hispanic Heritage month. 

Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, honors the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latin Americans. This month-long commemoration marks the independence anniversary of countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The office parties included snacks, trivia, and allyship education, though Navan's diversity efforts go far beyond the one-off event.

One of the largest Navan employee resource groups (ERG) is “Vamos!” which represents and celebrates the Latino communities where we live and work in countries around the world. Vamos! also works to build relationships and partnerships in those communities through the attraction, development, and growth of our Latino talent.

“Vamos is a place where our Latino TA community and its allies can come together to celebrate our cultures, amplify our voices, and advocate for each other,” says Aimee Villalona, ERG global co-lead and Senior Growth Customer Success Manager.

“One of my favorite things about being a part of Vamos is that it allows me to create a sense of community within Navan on a global scale for our Latino members and allies. Being able to communicate and gather with Navan employees from around our global offices, whether just to simply have a little time to chat and catch up with each other, or to formally plan educational events or holiday celebrations, fosters an incredible sense of belonging.”

To help bring Navan employees together around shared values and interests, Navan sponsors ERGs—voluntary, employee-led groups that support and unite diverse communities to cultivate a greater sense of awareness and belonging throughout the company. Every ERG has two global co-leads who help facilitate the group; they’re also part of the Belong: DEI Council, which helps further the company’s DEI strategy, fosters collaboration, and supports company-wide efforts to build awareness and increase visibility.

Vamos! is led by Aimee, Melissa Mejia, global co-lead and Customer Success Manager - Mid-Market Launch, and  Leo Alves, APAC Regional co-lead and Team Lead in Sydney.

“Working in the Sydney office, most of my peers have a different background than me, so being a part of Vamos! provides a sense of comprehension and comradery. It’s made me feel more confident in performing my job responsibilities, and it’s enriching to know that I can fit in just by being myself,” explained Leo.

Powering Diversity

“Vamos is a safe space for all Hispanics working in Navan. As a minority, it is very special to have a place where you can share similar experiences and traditions,” said Navan Learning Experience Trainer Catherine Rodriguez, who has been a part of the group since its inception.

“When we were thinking of a name, we came up with several Spanish names and ultimately chose ‘Vamos,’ which means ‘let's go’! I’ve met many Latino co-workers through the group, and  there’s a sense of community that comes from our conversations…like the fact that there are others who like listening to salsa and eating arroz con pollo as comfort food!”

Catherine believes ERGs play an important role in recognizing employees’ diverse identities and empowering them to express themselves fully in their work.

“Diversity is good, and I'm very happy that Navan makes it a priority,” said Catherine.

Leo echoed his satisfaction with the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at Navan.

“The DEI program at Navan proves that everyone can be a part of the big picture and that the company truly values them for who they are, instead of trying to change them or get them to adapt to a different culture,” said Leo. “It helps every team member make full use of their potential as they feel supported to be themselves. We can only expect great achievements and strong growth from this environment,” he said.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion permeate every part of the mission at Navan, and the workplace is built to be a foundation for personal and professional growth—regardless of an employee’s gender, nationality, or background. Interested in a career at Navan? See what roles are available today.

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