Guest speaker Marisa Rivera made a solid case for the economic power
of both Latinos and women to an enthusiastic audience at the October
11th launch of Ingersoll Rand’s seventh employee resource group –
GOL!, which stands for Group of Latinos.
“Are you paying attention to the Latino customer?” challenged Marisa, an internationally recognized motivational speaker, life coach and leadership training expert, is a speech titled “The Economic Impact of Women and Hispanics.” She said that Latinos, at 52 million strong, are the largest minority group in the country, generating $346 billion in sales ever year; and that Hispanic-owned businesses are tripling in the United States.
She noted that the inherent strengths of Latino employees – cultural flexibility and nurturing relationships – are important to making sales. Because Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world (after Chinese and before English), she said, the ability to speak it is a big asset in business. She added that 78 percent of the 52 million Latinos in the United States speak Spanish.
However, despite being 17 percent of the U.S. population, only one percent of Latinos are Fortune 500 officers, she said. “We need to see more Latinos in the Fortune 500.” Marisa took the opportunity to explain the difference between “Hispanic” and “Latino.” Hispanic, she said, is a category the U.S. government gave to all Spanish-speaking people in 1969. However, it doesn’t include Brazilians, who are Latino but speak Portuguese.
She broadened her remarks to all women, worldwide, noting that they own 75 percent of all businesses globally and have huge purchasing power. For example, 85 percent of all consumer products in the United States are bought by women. “Globally, women are the biggest emerging market the world has ever seen,” she said. However, “Women are working really hard, but getting paid much less worldwide,” she said. Also, they are “grossly underrepresented in leadership positions.”
GOL! Aims to Grow
The event was kicked off by GOL! Chairman Alexander Occupati, who said that the launch fell at the “perfect time” during National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. Marisa’s speech was welcomed with enthusiasm by members of GOL!, members of the Progressive, Diverse and Inclusive (PDI) team, members of other *ERGs in Davidson, N.C., and others company-wide who dialed in.
In his brief opening remarks, Alexander, Climate Solutions Latin America Service Solutions Leader, laid out GOL!’S plans to increase its membership and to expand to two more chapters by 2015.
Employee Resource Groups support the strategic goal of fostering a PDI culture, which, along with Operational Excellence and Growth through Innovation, is one of the three components of Ingersoll Rand’s strategy to become a premier performing company.
*ERGs are open to all employees; an employee does not have to be of a particular ethnicity, gender or gender orientation to belong to any of them.