MADE (the Multicultural Association for Diversity Empowerment) was created to help employees build on their unique individual talents and backgrounds through education and exploration. Learn how Andiana has seen each of these in her own experience with the Network she co-founded.
While Nuance’s recognition of Global Diversity Awareness Month is in full swing with employee-led events and panels, we are also wrapping up our internal celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which ran from September 15 to October 15. Our newest Nuance Network (our version of an Employee Resource Group), MADE, lead the recognition of this month with blog posts about its history and significance, resources, and Hispanic/Latinx organizations to donate to and support. Andiana, a Talent and Organizational Development Specialist and co-founder of MADE, took some time to talk with us about the Multicultural Association for Diversity Empowerment and how it has helped her personally and professionally.
What opportunities does MADE give Nuance employees?
MADE fosters and encourages an environment where diversity and inclusivity of all cultures are embraced. This creates the opportunity for employees of all backgrounds to come together to learn, grow, and genuinely feel heard. We work to educate our communities (both internally and externally) about different cultures, build awareness on what Nuance is doing to foster an inclusive environment, and more.
In each monthly MADE meeting, the leaders recognize different awareness days and holidays happening that month. Why do you think this is a crucial aspect of these meetings?
One key objective of MADE is to educate our members on diversity in all aspects and topics. Our members are from different countries, ethnicities, and religions that truly encompass the wide range of identities in the Nuance community. Bringing awareness to important cultural months/dates gives us an opportunity to support and educate our members in a unique way.
Do you personally celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? What does it mean to you?
I have not celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month in the past. However, I have become more mindful of Hispanic/Latinx awareness opportunities this past year than ever before. As I continue to get older, my interest in learning more about my own cultural background intensifies, and it has become a more important piece of my identity.
Do you think that your involvement with MADE encouraged you to celebrate this month? And be more aware of other heritage months?
Absolutely. My interest in learning and understanding different cultures stems from traveling early in life, and I try to bring this passion into MADE. Every time I create a blog to share information about a holiday, tradition or culture, I learn and am excited to share that with the MADE community.
Through my involvement in MADE, I have felt encouraged to continue learning about myself and have made time in the last few weeks to watch different videos and read articles about my own culture. This is my way of celebrating Hispanic (Latinx) Heritage Month. From this, I learned that some of the Spanish words I use are derived from the Taino language, which I didn’t know. If you’re unfamiliar, Taino are indigenous people of the Caribbean.
Do you think it’s important for companies to recognize these months with their employees?
I have seen a growing call for cultural awareness in the workplace over the last few years. I believe this creates an atmosphere where some employees are more comfortable bringing their “whole self” to work. When you take the time to recognize diversity in culture and thought, it allows for some to feel recognized, in a way, themselves. This can create a positive influence where these employees feel respected and more engaged.
We look forward to celebrating more culturally significant events this month and every month, including Diwali in November. MADE has been a powerful addition to our Nuance Networks and has helped Team Nuance become more educated and informed about diversity and inclusion efforts in our communities and around the world.
If you’d like to learn more about our Nuance Networks and how you can get involved with Nuance, please explore more here.
For more resources on Hispanic Heritage Month, please visit the official site.