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Apoyando y Ayudando / Apoiando e Ajudando

Apoyando y Ayudando / Apoiando e Ajudando / Supporting and Helping

Latinx Heritage Month celebrates the histories and cultures of Mexican, Caribbean, Spanish, Central and South American communities. Our celebrations take place from September 15-October 15; we celebrate across two months to represent all of the various independence days that occur during this time period. 

This year, we chose the theme, “Apoyando y Ayudando / Apoiando e Ajudando'' to highlight how our community uplifts and supports each other in spaces that weren’t naturally created with us in mind. We’re here to celebrate our vibrancy, languages, cuisines, art, dances, and cultures, and show that we’re stronger when our identities are understood for their uniqueness and strengths.

Our committee overwhelmingly voted for this theme because, I think, many of us still struggle to feel seen and represented. This year, we have representation across major US offices, as well as folks in Ireland and Mexico - several of us are early in our career, while others are more established. Regardless of our position, though, I think we unanimously feel that breaking into the tech industry is hard enough, and it’s even harder when you’re a minority. We wanted to continue saying this, while also acknowledging that even once you’ve “broken into” these spaces, and found a job, hurdles continue because these spaces weren’t built with people like us in mind.  

Therefore, Apoyando y Ayudando / Apoiando e Ajudando aims to say: we’re here to take up space, take care of one another, ask for more accountability, and build our community. And by building our community, we’re able to center each other, and ensure we feel heard and seen.

The fight for representation continues, but by choosing a theme that’s honest, hosting events that bring us together, finding a keynote who will talk to these issues, and centering an organization that will help our community and others, we’re able to take small, but impactful, steps towards supporting each other.


Our committee has several celebrations coming up over the next thirty days. On October 5th, we’ll be welcoming Gabby Rivera as our keynote speaker. Gabby is the author of Juliet Takes a Breath and created America Chavez, the first ever Latina superhero, for Marvel comics. Throughout her work, Gabby has explored vulnerability, strength, and what it means to be a queer, young brown girl navigating her way through the world. 

The committee has also planned in-office events in Chicago, Provo, and Seattle. In Seattle, we’ll be partnering with Latinas in Tech to host an in-person collaborative event, where we’ll connect the community with recruiters and host a panel discussion with our very own Qualtrics team. All our events aim to unite our community and allies, while ensuring joy and connection are key parts of the experience. 

Qualtrics is also supporting donations to La Casa Norte this month. La Casa Norte is a non-profit in Chicago whose mission is to provide stable housing, restorative justice programs, and food to people who are unhoused, and primarily serves black and brown communities in the south and west side of Chicago. We encourage you to learn more and consider supporting.


How can Qualtrics help in creating more inclusive spaces for the Latinx community? Representation matters, and that’s never been clearer since I joined the Latinx Heritage Month planning committee. The first time we all met as a formal committee, one of our opening questions was, “What are you most excited about in terms of being part of the LHM committee?” and several responses were iterations of, “This will be the first time I get to work with my community at Qualtrics.” The same holds true for me.  

In order to create inclusive spaces, we must continue to meet our “One Team” mentality. This TACOS value is all about acknowledging that we’re stronger together, and we’re made up of diverse people who bring different perspectives and voices to the table. By meeting this TACOS goal, we’ll be able to work towards better representation in all parts of the company, while ensuring underrepresented minorities feel they have the space and support they need to thrive. That means our identities are understood in their complexity and richness, not as an obstacle. That means further investment in hiring talent from folks who look like us. That means allies initiating difficult conversations, so the weight is not always on us, and so on. 


So how can we in the Latinx community empower each other to forge new spaces that better represent and work for us? Everyone’s answer to this question will be different, and I’m still very much working out my own response. For me, empowerment has been slow to come. Growing up with an immigrant mother who didn’t have an education past high school felt shameful for a long time. For me, that was further compounded by not having traditionally successful role models, and not being able to imagine a future in which financial autonomy seemed plausible. 

We all have incredibly unique and complicated narratives, and I’m trying to remind myself that the obstacles I faced as a young and impressionable brown girl don’t define me. I am still working on finding my voice, and in a lot of ways, leading Latinx Heritage Month at Qualtrics has helped expedite that. It’s been one of the most professionally rewarding experiences of my life, and I hope I can continue feeling okay taking up space.

As I think about continued empowerment, I hope we’re able to see our complex identities as wins and things to celebrate. I think many of us relate to each other more than we know, and speaking truth to our histories is one way to ensure we’re taking up the space we deserve.

With that said, if you’re reading this, I want to say thank you, and also encourage you to continue learning from our community. Every week, we’ll share a story from a different committee member who will talk about their lived experiences. We wouldn’t be able to host a single event without these and all of our other amazing committee members, so I highly recommend checking them out.

Madeleine Mulder // Research Specialist II

Through her education at Sarah Lawrence College, Madeleine discovered a deep love for research. When she joined Qualtrics as a Research Analyst in April 2022, she was excited to put her passions into action. When she’s not thinking about where to move to next, Madeleine enjoys exploring coffee shops and writing events in Chicago.

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