October 23, 2023

Celebrating inclusion: Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month honors and celebrates the many contributions, diverse cultures and extensive histories of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. From Sept. 15-Oct. 15, festivals, art shows, community gatherings and more help share the rich culture and history of these populations.

At Lockton, Sept. 15 also marked the launch of Juntos – a national Hispanic/Latinx Associate LEAN (Lockton Empowered Associate Network) group. Juntos, meaning "together" in Spanish, embodies unity, understanding and celebration of the rich and diverse cultures within Lockton.

Hispanic Heritage Month 1

Catch up with some members of our Hispanic/Latinx community at Lockton to hear about Life at Lockton from their perspectives and how they celebrate their heritage year-round.

Anthony Valles 2

Anthony Valles – Account Administrator

Why Lockton?

Why not Lockton? It’s fantastic to be here I can’t envision myself being anywhere else. I‘ve worked a few places before Lockton and our culture is unmatched. The opportunities are unmatched. I know it’s cringy, but it feels like a family – everyone is involved and connected. They’ll ask you about work but also how you’re doing personally. There’s always someone to be a friend and someone in your corner. I really appreciate that.

Why is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month important to you?

I grew up in a predominately white area. I didn’t see people that looked like me or had similar backgrounds or cultures. During Hispanic Heritage Month, there was always something going on in Kansas City, like Fiesta Hispana, and it was a great opportunity to connect with the community and be immersed in so many cultures but similar backgrounds - the culture that we share. It was fantastic to see everything and experience that. I enjoy feeling connected with those who I feel understand me and understand what I go through. Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it allows us to connect with our culture and roots, and celebrates what it means to be Hispanic/Latinx.

How do you embrace your heritage in and out of the workplace?

I try to connect with my community. I volunteer with local Guadalupe Centers and I’m on the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). There’s a big push for Hispanic representation within BBBS. There are a lot of Littles who want a Big who looks like them and has a similar background. I also do a lot without thinking – I share my culture with friends, play Spanish music and invite my friends over when my mom makes flautas. It’s who I am authentically and I’m sharing that with everyone I’m with.

What do you hope to achieve with your involvement in the Juntos LEAN group?

I hope to increase cultural awareness, develop Hispanic/Latinx leaders in Lockton, and inspire those who never would have thought of a job in insurance. We make up 7% of the company and our goal in three years is to get up to 10%. We want to increase visibility in Latinx community and work with strategic partners to make sure we are getting to the right people. We hope to create a Producer training program for those interested but don’t have the connections and experiences to get started. We also want to increase knowledge sharing and understanding – there are a lot of misconceptions and stereotypes that are old and not true. Juntos is a great way for us to share and create programming that benefits everyone and gives knowledge and understanding. The less you understand, the more you make assumptions but the more you’re familiarized, the less likely you are to have misconceptions.

Juntos went from regional groups to a national presence this year. Why are national LEAN groups so important?

With national LEAN groups, you all have the same mission, vision and goal. When we started, you were only able to focus on your own Series since you can’t be everywhere. It’s great to have local groups within the Series, but having that national capacity to share resources, knowledge, etc., and learn from each other to see what works is so important. We met as Juntos leadership this summer. It was great to sit down and share our experiences of why Lockton, and how we can benefit Lockton as a group and provide something that’s missing. It’s great to help other offices with tips and programming ideas. They have different ideas and have different populations, along with their ideas, and it’s an easy way to exchange and share knowledge.

Why is diversity and celebrating diversity important in the workplace?

Our clients represent countless countries and multiple continents. To have a company that has no diversity and can’t connect with its clients is difficult. Having people with different backgrounds and experiences is super beneficial to the workplace. It can help better understand the cultural and regional needs of clients. But also, it’s important for our communities. Kids who aren’t from a white background don’t see corporate America as an opportunity. It’s always been a white area. More diversity and culture within a workspace are monumental to attract new and successful talent. There are incredible people out there, but people don’t know of the opportunities simply because of where they grew up. The world is made up of different people so makes sense to have that here too.

How has Lockton supported you both personally and professionally?

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve received at Lockton. The learning culture is so monumental in starting a career. I’m never afraid to ask a question. I never feel like I’ll fail someone. I always have a network to reach out to and ask questions. We have continuing education; you can get designations where Lockton will provide training materials and pay for your first course. I’m able to better myself and that’s not something other companies focus on as their goals.

Monica Herrera

Monica Herrera – Claims Strategic Lead - Property

Why Lockton?

Lockton came later in my career. I’ve been in the industry for 23 years and 20 of that was outside of Lockton. What attracted me to Lockton was the different way of doing business. I was with a carrier, and I felt like they lost their vision – the vision of always helping clients - and “service first” soon became last. When I did research, I loved Lockton’s motto of We Live Service … that brought me here.

Why is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month important to you?

I am a second-generation U.S. citizen. I am close to my grandparents and they’re the ones that came here to start a new life. They didn’t have much education and left school for several reasons – mainly to help their families survive. Our community has countless stories of bringing ourselves up from nothing. It’s important to me that those stories are shared. Even the successful Hispanics you see today have the same background – lack of education, migrant worker, had to figure out how to assimilate to a new culture. The more those stories come out, the more awareness everyone has about the roots to our success.

How do you embrace your heritage in and out of the workplace?

We have big family gatherings – I know up to my fifth cousins! Christmas is a huge time for us as well. We celebrate Las Posadas with a party each day at someone’s house. We have a ton of different foods and a lot of fun.

What was the motivation to join Juntos?

Within insurance as a whole, minority groups have low representation. My motivation to join Juntos was to create awareness that industry this industry does have a career path for anyone. You can make a name for yourself. Hard work, dedication and loyalty, which Hispanic/Latinx people generally have, go a long way.

In the Mountain West, we are focusing on recruitment and recruiting members of our community. All members decided that’s what we wanted to focus on. We are looking at partnering with local colleges to have recruitment days where we focus on minority groups and students who are about to graduate. We want to have people in Juntos talk about what Lockton is so that younger people can talk to someone who looks like them.

I want to build awareness within the community. Lockton is good at getting out into the community with different organizations. I wanted to bring more awareness to organizations that help Hispanic families. Denver has a large Hispanic community so this is a good opportunity to bring them in and support them.

Finally, I wanted to get to know more Associates. Some of us are judged by how we look. For me, I tend to have lighter skin and green eyes with no accent – I don’t “look
Hispanic. We wanted to make Associates aware that we all look different and have numerous different backgrounds.

Why are national LEAN groups so important?

Having alignment nationally helps us get out of our silos and share ideas. It helps to hear from other Series and other parts of the organization about what they are doing locally. It also helps to know I’m not just one, but part of a larger group. I’ve brought back lots of ideas from our national group and other Series regarding what they are doing within their own communities - this increases awareness.

Why is diversity and celebrating diversity important in the workplace?

DEI in the workplace knocks down a lot of walls but it can come with fear. Knowing your company embraces diversity and is willing to listen and take part helps with alleviating the fear. It’s important to participate in other LEAN Groups because we need to support each other. Seeing our local CEO and President take part in our LEAN initiatives is comforting and shows why it’s important to have DEI in the workplace.

How has Lockton supported you both personally and professionally?

Lockton recognizes hard work. They recognize time and dedication. It’s very rare nowadays in the corporate space where a company matches the loyalty and dedication of its people. Lockton does. If you put in the work, Lockton will match it.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career at Lockton?

I would tell them to come in, get to know people, and focus on relationship building. Yes, work hard and stay focused, but really work on relationships. At Lockton, this is a relationship industry. You build relationships by getting to know people and talking about experiences. Create family, create relationships and create a community around you here at Lockton. If we focus on that first, it goes a long way.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2

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