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How to Honor National Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month: A Guide for Employers  

This month is National Hispanic Heritage Month. Each year from September 15 to October 15, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the contributions, cultures, achievements and histories of people whose heritage is rooted in 20 countries and territories: Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

National Hispanic Heritage Month began as just a week-long celebration in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. “National Hispanic Heritage Week” was celebrated by the  Congressional Hispanic Caucus bringing media attention to notable Hispanic American contributions to the United States and increasing awareness of the legislative interests of the Latin-American community. In 1987, President Ronald W. Reagan signed the bill to expand Hispanic Heritage Week into a month-long celebration starting on September 15 to honor the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Likewise, Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain on September 16th, and Chile observes the 18th of September as its independence day.

Another way to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month year-round is to regularly conduct pay audits to strive for pay parity amongst all employees and make adjustments if necessary. In 2020 Latinas were compensated just 57% of what non-Hispanic white men were for equal work. Striving for pay equity also means transparency with your employees and the public. Publishing your reports will help you remain accountable for narrowing the wage gap and will show your commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Hispanic Heritage Month is an excellent opportunity for organizations to celebrate their diverse talent and share and learn from colleagues from many backgrounds. As an employer, you can take meaningful action toward creating an inclusive workplace where workers can not only feel valued, but also thrive. 

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