This group isn’t even a year old and their list of appearances and accomplishments is already a mile long. The Latin@s at HomeAway group launched in 2017 under the leadership of Gretel Perera, Jacob Rosales and Miguel Bernal. Gretel Perera, Global Public Relations Manager, shares more about what they have planned for 2018.
Q: How and why was Latin@s at HomeAway founded?
GP: We started the organization in 2017 with a simple goal of connecting the Latino employees working at HomeAway. A few of us connected and we slowly began growing the community through various events and activities. Our core activities are centered around monthly gatherings that include “lunch & learn” sessions and happy hours.
Latin@s at HomeAway now has more than 130 members, representing all areas of the business, including engineering, marketing, sales, human resources and customer support. We have employees from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain, Tejas, Venezuela and the U.S.
Q: That’s crazy growth for a new group! What were some things the group accomplished in 2017?
GP: Well first, we launched Latin@s at HomeAway! We also hosted two internal happy hours, two lunch & learn sessions, and the first Affinity Group Happy Hour with HomeAway President, John Kim. Our members also volunteered at HomeAway University to recruit more Latino candidates.
Outside of HomeAway, we partnered with 10 tech companies to bring together the Latinos in Tech community in Austin. Mari Rylander, Global Director of Talent Acquisition, participated in several panel discussions, including the inaugural Latinos in Tech event at Indeed during Hispanic Heritage Month. Our group participated in the Latinas in Tech Silicon Valley Summit & Women’s Empowerment Luncheon. One of the coolest things we did last year was host the“Latinos in Tech Austin End-of-Year Fiesta at our Domain office, with 150 participants from 10 tech companies and local non-profits.
Q: What an exciting time to be a Latina at HomeAway! What events do you have planned for 2018?
GP: We will be introducing different activities under our three key areas of focus:
Building an inclusive culture
Developing a talent pipeline
Giving back to the community
We are hosting the Latinitas Game Chica conference at our Domain office on April 28. Marisela Rylander is speaking at another panel, this time at a SXSW event in Austin. We also have more lunch & learns scheduled throughout the year. We recently did one with our Brazilian colleagues to learn more about their country, how HomeAway operates in Brazil, and even some fun Portuguese words—all while enjoying delicious Brazilian cuisine. We hope to get involved in more training workshops, mentorship programs, participate in industry events and give back to the community.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a leader of Latin@s at HomeAway?
GP: It’s been exciting to get to know my coworkers, participate in events together, and introduce new people to the organization. I enjoy connecting with our Latino community and building a strong network within HomeAway.
Q: Do you connect with other Latino groups outside of HomeAway?
GP: Yes, we actually started a Latinos in Tech community that includes more than 14 tech companies in Austin. We host events every two months at different offices. The first one was at Indeed in September 2017 during Hispanic Heritage Month, then we hosted the end-of-the-year fiesta in December. We recently met at Dell to share best practices among the tech companies of our Latino Employee Resource Groups.
Q: How can people get involved with Latin@s at HomeAway and learn more about what the group is doing?
HomeAway employees can find information on our meeting schedule and events on our official Wiki page. If you don’t work at HomeAway, the Life at HomeAway Facebook and Instagram are the best places to find out about upcoming community events.
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