30+ Ways Companies Are Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2021
Founded in 1989, Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and ends October 15. The four-week span over two calendar months may seem a bit odd, but it comes with good reason, as it covers independence anniversaries of several Latin American countries, as well as key celebrations in Hispanic and Latin communities. Apart from commemorating major holidays and historic milestones, this month honors the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans.
We asked some of our partner companies what they're doing to honor and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at work this year, and we were inspired by the wide range of responses, from highlighting the impact that employees have in local communities to hosting fireside conversations on allyship to sharing performances and instruction of famous cultural dances. Not only are these companies honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, they're finding ways to spread positive change throughout the year. Here's what they're doing, in their own words:
Raytheon Technologies — provide career development opportunities
"Raytheon Technologies is celebrating Hispanic Heritage month with a variety of engagement opportunities. For example, our Employee Resource Group members are creating a series of video stories highlighting the impact that our employees have in giving back to our communities; the impact they have in developing technologies that keep our warfighters safe; and the impact they have by being authentic and engaged. Additionally, we are partnering with LatinaVida to provide employees access to their Rise to the Top Program, a career development opportunity which provides a workshop with guest speakers and reflective practices around key career success factors for advancement."
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
Sun Life — host a panel addressing the impact of the pandemic
"In honor of Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month, Sun Life's Hispanic Organization for Leaders & Achievers (HOLA) will be hosting a number of activities to honor and celebrate Hispanic culture, while also addressing the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children. Guest speakers include Teri Worthington Coombs from UNICEF, comedian Martha Chavez, and motivational speaker, "The Cuban Guy" Andres Lara.
HOLA provides an enriching environment for members to develop, serve and support the Hispanic/Latino community while aiming to help cultivate an inclusive work environment that allows our members professional growth opportunities in order to reach their highest potential."
Learn more about Sun Life here.
Freddie Mac — Make a positive impact
"At Freddie Mac, we're building on our commitment to DEI by making an impact with our Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Achievement Business Resource Group (HOLA BRG) in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. The BRG will commemorate the occasion with virtual events and speakers, including:
- A keynote address about the impact of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) on Hispanic and Latino communities featuring HSF President, Fidel Vargas.
- Fireside chat with National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals board member, Nuria Rivera, who will share her story of the positive cultural impacts that have driven her success."
Learn more about Freddie Mac here.
Riot Games — create authentic representation with notable voice actors
"To celebrate Latinx Heritage Month Riot Unidos, our Latinx ERG, will host a fireside chat with the voice actors for some of Riot's most notable Latinx characters to talk about creating authentic representations, what it's like to be a voice actor and some of their favorite moments from the recording session. The team is also hosting a cooking class in partnership with FAR, our Filipino ERG, to make a Latinx/Filipino fusion dish in honor of both cultural heritage months. Throughout the month, we will also be highlighting the incredible people that work in our Latin American office."
Learn more about Riot Games here.
2U — host bilingual book reading for children and families
"2U's Latino/a/x business resource network,TuGente, is ecstatic to celebrate their second annual Hispanic Heritage Month at 2U, Inc. Our theme for this year is "Juntos," which means "Together." Coming out of 2020, we want to celebrate our culture, our traditions, our language, and show everyone how we overcame every obstacle together. TuGente will be hosting a Fireside Chat with a notable Latinx Leader in Higher Education, dance lessons, a bilingual book reading for children and families, and much more! 2U has cultivated an environment for all Business Resource Networks to thrive and we are honored to host an array of events this year!"
Learn more about 2u here.
MongoDB– create a Slack channel with daily Latinx heritage facts
"MongoDB is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month through initiatives that raise awareness, foster education and build community. This includes an educational session featuring an employee panel on the Latinx experience in the Tech industry, external-facing content highlighting the experiences of our Latinx employees, a global Slack channel with daily Latinx heritage facts for all employees, and a music and reading playlist curated by members of TUPOC, MongoDB's affinity group for people of color."
Learn more about MongoDB here.
BlackRock — start a matching program for Latinx nonprofits
We're creating an internal hub to provide a centralized system to continue raising awareness and educating allies on key facts about the Latinx population. We will also be launching 2:1 matching programs for nonprofits that support the Latinx community: La Casa del las Madres, Qualitas of Life, UnLocal, Galeo and United We Dream.
We will host moderated fireside chats with Latinx leaders who have broken barriers in their industries and have achieved success to inspire employees to persevere against odds and continue to be innovators and change-makers.
The newsletter will also highlight resources available to members to learn more about changes impacting our community and the organization's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts."
Learn more about BlackRock here.
SoundCloud — highlight artists and music that are having a major impact in Latin culture
"SoundCloud's mission is to give people the power to share and connect through music, no matter their identity. During Latinx Month, SoundCloud will bring to the forefront the Latinx music community of creators & listeners - highlighting artists and scenes that are having a major impact in Latin culture. This includes spotlighting música pa' bailar, contemporary fusion twists on traditional sounds, bars en español, and música pa' relajarse. Our Clouds of Color Diversity Business Group will also create virtual and in-person moments of engagement, from digital trivia and Latinx dance lessons to spotlighting Latinx SoundClouders and Creator journeys.
Our Clouds of Color Diversity Business Group (DRG) is made up of racially diverse SoundClouders and allies. Check out this picture of some members meeting up outdoors over a meal after many months of working remote."
Learn more about SoundCloud here.
Relativity — share the Latino American experience as it relates to family, upbringing, and language
"Relativity Community Resource Group (CRG), Relativity Latinos in Tech (Rel-L.I.T.), is excited to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month a little early by partnering with our mental health CRG, Rel-Mind, to host a safe space chat in September that will touch on feelings surrounding immigration. We recognize this is a sensitive topic, but also know that it is our responsibility as a Community Resource Group to initiate these conversations and create a space for them! In addition, we will be hosting a Culture Collective talk on Tuesday, September 21, where participants will share their stories on the Latino American experience as it relates to family, upbringing, and language. To close, on Monday, October 14, we will be partnering with SHPE to lead a workshop related to career acumen, and we will also be part of a "Lifting LatinX Voices at Work" Virtual Job Fair with PowerToFly on Wednesday, October 22."
– Lourdes Akande – Manager, Deal Desk
Learn more about Relativity here.
ServiceNow — host talks focused on themes of allyship and intersectionality
"To honor Hispanic Heritage Month, ServiceNow is partnering closely with our Latinx at Now Belonging Group to develop programming that will inspire, educate, and engage employees globally. We will have a series of events focused on themes of allyship and intersectionality, which will feature special guest speakers, ServiceNow leaders, and employees in discussion and interactive dialogue. Additionally, employees are encouraged to volunteer with Latinx nonprofits in tandem with our Month of Service."
Learn more about ServiceNow here.
Moody’s — create celebratory Zoom backgrounds in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month
"Moody's conectaMos (one of our Business Resource Groups) and our DE&I team are sponsoring events focusing on personal brand, climbing the executive ladder, increasing positive Latinx representation in the media, and speed networking. Moody's will also showcase employee profiles, Hispanic cultural traditions, recipes, and recommended cultural book and music lists curated by our employees. We will also share a series of intranet and social media posts and provide our employees with celebratory Zoom backgrounds in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month."
Learn more about Moody's here.
Uber — hold a career development workshop on unlocking your strengths as Latinx professionals
"Los Ubers will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 with Dr. Robert Rodriguez who will host a session on unlocking and owning our strengths as Latinx professionals. Other development opportunities include Cafecito, a series of networking events to foster connections with the many talented employees at Uber. We look forward to celebrating with our community and allies with many cultural, creative, and fun events including a live cooking class with Chef Peter Martinez!"
Learn more about Uber here.
Pacific Western Bank — donate to Latinx nonprofit organizations
"At Pacific Western Bank, the PRISM Council, an internal advisory group of colleagues from across the country, will roll out a lineup of initiatives in celebration of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage month, which include:
- Employee led panel (an employee led panel of emerging and established Hispanic/Latinx leaders across PWB)
- Hispanic/Latinx trailblazers (a curated list of Hispanic/Latinx Americans whose influence has touched everything from pop culture to politics)
- Spotlight Series (highlighting our Hispanic/Latinx clients that bank with PWB)
- PRISM Giving Back (the members of PRISM will be donating to a nonprofit organization in honor of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month)"
Learn more about PacWest here.
AAA — create a family tree with photos of inspirational figures
"AAA NCNU and the Unidos BRG in celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:
At AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, we are proud to celebrate our diverse and inclusive community by highlighting important events. This month, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 in partnership with our Unidos Business Resource Group. During this time, Unidos will host a variety of games, activities and events for all Team Members.
- A keynote speaker who exemplifies the journey of an immigrant into a successful business leader within the Latinx community.
- Highlighting two Unidos Team Members as part of the organization's AAA Proud series that showcases Team Members who are going above and beyond.
- An opportunity for Team Members to learn about the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month by earning points for simple tasks. The Team Member with the most points at the end of the month will be awarded a $50 gift card to donate to their favorite charitable cause.
- Let's celebrate FAMILIA. Everyone is invited to post a photo to the "Family" tree. Share a picture of a relative/anyone who has inspired you, and include a short paragraph as to who they are and why they are special.
- Team Members are encouraged to join a series of career development in partnership with Latina Vida. These seminars are designed to help take your career to the next level."
Learn more about AAA here.
Expedia Group — host a virtual panel on “Powering the Future of Travel as a Latina in Tech”
"This year for Hispanic Heritage Month, Expedia Group will be highlighting programs and stories that can inspire Expedians to follow in their footsteps for a brighter tomorrow. With the theme of "Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope," we will be featuring the work our employees do in their communities, work that the company has done to improve the Latinx travel experience, and are partnering with Latinas in Tech to host a virtual panel featuring our leaders on "Powering the Future of Travel as a Latina in Tech."
Learn more about Expedia Group here.
Bristol Myers Squibb — hold a movie screening
"This year, the Organization for Latino Achievement (OLA) at BMS focuses on showcasing Hispanic leadership and building a culture of allyship.
OLA will kick out the month with a keynote focused on Latino talent and corporate inclusion and close with a fireside conversation on allyship and sponsorship. Through the month, we will be showcasing Latinx/Hispanic leadership in a panel with BMS's Latino executives and a screening of "In the Heights." In addition, we will further model allyship with two intersectional events: a presentation of BMS's work to address health disparities and a conversation on belonging with BMS's PRIDE Alliance."
Learn more about Bristol Myers Squibb here.
Veracode — host live cooking class on the many shapes empanadas, turnovers, and pastelitos can take in Hispanic culture
"Veracode is honored to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans. We have planned a jam-packed month of events including a session with Jennifer De Leon, author of Where are you from? Where are you from-from? Where are you really from? - Jennifer will provide crucial insight into the complex intersection of race, class, and educational issues, dispelling myths and showcasing the diversity of our shared community's experiences. We will also have a trivia, a "Pastelitos for All" live cooking class — on the many shapes empanadas, turnovers, and pastelitos can take in Hispanic culture — and lastly a lunch and learn session on Salsa Dancing. We are thankful to our D&I Team for contributing their ideas and planning these events celebrating our Hispanic Heritage!"
Learn more about Veracode here.
NSA — host a themed poetry contest
"The National Security Agency's Hispanic Latino Employee Resource Group takes the theme of this year's Hispanic Heritage Month of hope, or esperanza, to heart. The ERG hosts a poetry contest where employees submit an original poem connected to the theme of hope. NSA leaders will share personal stories on how hope has driven their lives and their careers during a panel discussion for the workforce. On a lighter note, a Hispanic Heritage Trivia Contest will uncover which agency employees have the best intel on Hispanic and Latin food, sports and more."
Learn more about NSA here.
PagerDuty — host Hispanic Heritage trivia with prizes like gift cards to Latinx owned businesses
"Our ERG Array is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with the theme We're Here: Estamos Unidos. Array is a community of Black and Latinx employees at PagerDuty. Some ways we are celebrating include: hosting company wide activities such as trivia, that highlight our Hispanic Heritage and end with prizes like gift cards to Latinx owned businesses. We are also spotlighting our Latinx Dutonians with a virtual Yearbook throughout the month, and sending out swag boxes full of self-care items from Latinx owned businesses to our ERG members. Another event being hosted is called Spill The Tea, which is formatted as an ask me anything conversation with one of our Board members who is a fellow Latinx! At PagerDuty, I really love that we walk the walk when it comes to one of our company values #BringYourself, and that we are committed to diversity and inclusion! I am so proud of being a Latinx Dutonian!"
– Diego Chavira Chow, Administrative Assistant, Engineering & Product.
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
Kensho — provide snackboxes that feature Latinx-owned businesses
"Kensho facilitates an environment of inclusion and continuous learning, and for National Hispanic Heritage Month we're excited to combine the two in a team-building event during our annual All-Hands employee conference. We'll expand our knowledge of Hispanic culture and history with a fun, fast-paced educational trivia competition.
Kenshins will stay fueled with snackboxes that feature Latinx-owned businesses. Each snackbox purchased also makes a contribution to Techqueria—a nonprofit serving Latinx professionals in tech—and donates a meal to Feeding America.
We hope to expand our knowledge and encourage our people to consider the individual impact their decisions can make."
Learn more about Kensho here.
Capco — offer performances and instruction of famous dances
"Capco's Latinx affinity group will be hosting a series of educational and social events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Our lineup of events includes a panel discussion on Afro-Latino culture and identity featuring professors from two leading universities as well as a profound author, a Hispanic dance showcase featuring performances and instruction of famous dances, salsa and bachata, plus other opportunities for colleagues to come together to network and learn. Hispanic Heritage Month creates a special opportunity to spread awareness on Hispanic identity, discuss persisting issues within the community, and share the variety and richness of Hispanic culture across the firm."
Learn more about Capco here.
Okta — host a Mezcal & Tequila cocktail class
"POC@Okta Presents: Leading Authentically, A Fireside Chat. This discussion will focus on how to lead authentically, demonstrate whole self leadership, and inspire a values-based approach, specifically through the lens of LatinX leaders.
Airbnb Experience: Mezcal & Tequila Cocktail Class: During this class, we will embark on a Mexican spirits creation journey where we will learn about mezcal, tequila, and other flavors that are culturally significant while concocting cocktails (or mocktails)!
Daily Latinx Community Facts Updates: The LatinX Heritage Month Committee will be sharing daily facts companywide on Slack to facilitate learning about unsung heroes in the LatinX community."
Learn more about Okta here.
Autodesk — participate in external networking events
"The Autodesk LatinX Network is celebrating the Hispanic Heritage Month around the theme of Resilience. We will be hosting a series of virtual events with spotlights on our global site leads and ERG sponsors, weekly posts on our community channels to share the cultural traditions of our network members, a professional development workshop, external networking events, and to wrap up, a fun empanadas virtual cooking class!"
Learn more about Autodesk here.
Nestle USA — play Mexican lotería (Bingo)
"The Nestlé Latino Network (NLN) is one of Nestlé USA's culture-based employee resource groups. Throughout this year's National Hispanic Heritage Month, NLN will celebrate the Latinx and Hispanic culture by hosting 14 unique events from September 15th through October 15th. Events include a fireside chat with Nestlé USA's CMO, Alicia Enciso, on the topic of intersectionality of gender and the Hispanic community, virtual cooking classes with Hispanic flavors, Mexican Lotería, a Zumba class and much more. These activities will not only honor Hispanic heritage, but also encourage greater awareness, learning and understanding of the Hispanic and Latinx communities."
Learn more about Nestle USA here.
CoStar Group — promote empowerment in the Latinx community
"At CoStar Group, our Latinx Network, one of our employee resource groups, will lead our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The Network will sponsor a webinar focused on economic empowerment within the Latinx community. This is aligned with the Network's goal of empowering its members to achieve their career and financial goals. In addition, our Latinx Network will host several community building events with food and drinks that are culturally significant. These events will provide opportunities for colleagues to connect in person and virtually, and celebrate shared cultures and traditions."
Learn more about CoStar Group here.
Audible — host a book club
"Audible's Impact Groups empower employees to bring their whole selves to work. Audible's Latinx/Hispanic Resource group Unidos will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by kicking off their book club series with Karla Cornejo Villaveicenio's The Undocumented Americans.
They'll also be hosting a "Looking Forward" meeting for all members, to discuss plans of continued advocacy, celebration, and support within Audible for 2022 and beyond!"
Learn more about Audible here.
PwC — spotlight Latinx stories on social media
"At PwC, we're building on a culture of belonging through diversity and inclusion, and Hispanic Heritage Month is another opportunity to demonstrate that commitment. PwC social channels will spotlight Latinx PwCers sharing stories from the workplace and their communities, highlighting supportive benefits and inclusive leadership. The PwC US Latino Inclusion Network will host a candid conversation, exploring how to amplify your authentic voice to drive understanding and empathy at scale, with Soledad O'Brien, award-winning documentarian and journalist, and actor John Leguizamo. The Network will also host a cooking demonstration by Mexican chef and 2019 Masterchef México winner Carmen Miranda."
Learn more about PwC here.
Facebook — celebrate Latinx parents pride
"Facebook is honoring and recognizing Latinx and Hispanic Heritage month this year by 'Celebrating Latinx Parents Pride in Facebook Employees Careers'.
Hear from three Latinx employees as they discuss what it means to be Latinx in Tech, what their parents think they do, and how Facebook benefits give employees the flexibility and opportunity to continually put their families first.
Learn more about Facebook here.
MindBody — watch Spanish-language TV shows
"In 2021, the [Hispanic Heritage Month] theme is "Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope."While official 2021 celebrations have yet to be announced, vaccinated Americans can certainly throw a party of their own. And if you're staying close to home, you can always relax with a good book by a Spanish-language author that takes you into someone else's experience. Make it a point to support Latina-owned businesses. You can even brush up on your own Spanish by listening to these great Spanish-language podcasts and watching these Spanish-language TV shows (La Casa de Papel/Money Heist and Elite will have you hooked!)."
–Excerpt from Oprah Daily article, What is Hispanic Heritage Month– and Who Celebrates It? "
Learn more about MindBody here.
T. Rowe Price — provide PTO for volunteers
"Teach. Learn. Act.
T. Rowe Price's programming, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, emphasizes action and authenticity. The firm's Latinx Heritage group invited Maria Echaveste to speak at their upcoming signature event. The former U.S. presidential advisor to Bill Clinton and White House Deputy Chief of Staff during the second Clinton administration, Ms. Echaveste will speak on "the importance of taking up space."
In addition, the firm's Day In The Life campaign features Latinx talent and their experiences navigating their careers. T. Rowe Price is encouraging associates to contribute their time and money to organizations uplifting the Latinx community and is providing paid time off and operational support to do so."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Skedulo — curate a collection of quotes by famous Hispanics
"At Skedulo, we are honoring Hispanic Heritage Month globally through a variety of events which will highlight the diversity of cultures within Latinx and Hispanic communities. Our events include: virtual, instructor-led Cumbia and Salsa dance sessions with a brief history of each dance, Hispanic-American trivia, a Lotería session (described as Mexican bingo), and Weekly Wonders (a curated collection of quotes by famous Hispanics, with information about each historical figure). Through these events, we will promote greater understanding of this month with engagement, education, and support for our Latinx and Hispanic communities."
Learn more about Skedulo here.
Lockheed Martin — support youth in local communities
"In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Lockheed Martin will be hosting a variety of events highlighting the influence, importance, and education of Hispanic Heritage. Through our business resource group, Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Awareness (HOLA) employees will learn historical and cultural information, family recipes and so much more in two special edition newsletters, engage with fellow employees and leadership through culture-inspired events such as cook-offs, recipe exchanges, trivia night and will host an event to support the youth in local communities."
Learn more about Lockheed Martin here.
Joseph Arquillo doesn’t work in Human Resources — he works in People Operations. And the distinction matters.
“It was named ‘human resources’ because it saw humans as resources, utilized for certain tasks or behaviors. But that’s not really what it’s about,” says Joseph, who is a Senior Manager of People Ops at Clyde.
“Calling it ‘people ops’ adds back what you lose with ‘HR.’ My philosophy is that I am there to support you. I am there to work with you, empower you, and enable you so you can be your best self.”
For Joseph, a key element of helping employees become their best selves is making sure that the workplace, whether in-person or virtual, is an inclusive space for all. That doesn’t happen by accident — it requires a dedicated DEIB strategy and leaders who are committed to asking hard questions of themselves and others.
We sat down with Joseph to hear more about his professional journey, and the practices of leaders who create environments where everyone feels included.
More Than Just a Number
As a college freshman, Joseph planned on sticking with liberal arts when it came to choosing a major. But then he took a class in Boston College’s School of Education, and loved its holistic approach to applied psychology.
This inspired him to switch his major to psychology and human development, and select minors in political science, and management and leadership, where he enjoyed learning about organizational psychology.
After graduation, he explored the consulting space to put theory into practice, but found out during an internship at a multinational consulting firm that finance or accounting weren’t the places he wanted to build his career.
“Since Big Four companies have 250,000 employees, you become just a number,” he says of the experience. “It wasn’t my cup of tea. Too corporatized.”
That kicked off Joseph’s interest in startups.
“It’s always fun to get in the weeds! One thing that’s very interesting to me is a challenge,” he says. “When you’re helping a company like Clyde grow and scale, joining when they’re at a Series B and helping them get to the next level, you really get to focus on the interaction between people, process, and product,” explains Joseph. “You need to hire the right people to work towards increasing efficiencies in all areas, but also make sure that we’re enabling them to create a strong product.”
6 Keys To Building Inclusive Spaces as a Leader
Across the different industries and companies that Joseph has worked in, he’s identified the behaviors that create truly inclusive environments — as well as those that discourage them.
Here’s what he’s seen:
- First, recognize your own privilege. “If you’re a man, you have privilege, even if you’re a gay male. If you are a white woman, you have racial privilege. It’s really important that you’re cognizant while you interact with somebody how they might interpret the interaction based on your identity.”
- Leaders should always speak last. This is important always, but especially in in-person spaces, where it might seem even more nerve-wracking to speak up in a crowd, says Joseph. “You want to make sure you’re creating that space for employees who aren’t as senior to feel comfortable voicing their thoughts.”
- And, leaders should use check-ins liberally. “You need to ask yourself how you’re supporting your employees. Are you checking in on them as people before you ask about certain tasks? You want to foster a workplace where employees from all walks of life can feel supported,” he says.
- DEIB isn’t just about adding new initiatives — sometimes it’s about removing barriers. “You need to remove unnecessary bias,” explains Joseph. “That can mean making sure you have appropriate policies and practices that don’t hinder people depending on who they are or where they live.”
- Maximizing participation requires planning with a diversity lens. Joseph has helped the Clyde team gather together and bond as a group. Along the way, he’s been careful to consider physical and psychological safety for everyone involved. “For instance, if you’re doing an event, do you have someone who’s not drinking? Have you set up the environment for people who might have a physical disability, or carefully planned the flow of activities for people who might be neurodivergent?”
- Saying you want to be better isn’t enough — articulate actions you will take. “Pride is a great example,” explains Joseph. “Yes, June is a time to celebrate. But it’s also a time to march. And beyond that, how do you show up and celebrate with the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the year?”
Embracing the Unknown
If you visit Joseph’s LinkedIn profile, you’ll see his personal motto: “Without challenge, change, and a bunch of unknowns, it’s no fun.”
That belief has led him to study what he’s passionate about, to take on new and exciting roles at growing startups, and now, at Clyde, to help formalize what world-class people operations looks like at a fast-growing company.
“I view myself as a connector that really empowers people, challenges teams, and helps drive us towards what I consider to be an improved future,” he says. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to be the chief advocate for each of our employees, and remove any barriers in the way of their growth.”
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
Click here for some of our highly rated programming bootcamp options! Make sure to check out the discounts available to PowerToFly members.
Insight from SoftwareONE’s Jeff Cannon and Chris Lecosia
SoftwareONE’s Jeff Cannon Business Development Executive US) and Christopher Lecosia (Senior Consultant) share a similar adventurous and brave spirit, which has led to a long trajectory of creative experiences for both of them. From taking care of two new puppies to backpacking across Europe — neither of them back down from a challenge.
As members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Jeff and Chris spent a large portion of their careers fighting for inclusive workplaces where they feel a sense of belonging, and opportunities to use their experiences to serve people, no matter what career stage they’re in. And they’ve both recently found that in the global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions SoftwareONE.
We sat down with Jeff and Chris to hear their stories on how they navigated mid and late career changes and their journey to finding a company where they felt valued. Keep reading to the end for four major tips on how to successfully pivot careers.
The Journey to SoftwareONE
Jeff Cannon was born in Tacoma, Washington, but considers both Texas and Georgeia his home. After graduating from college with a bachelor's degree in English and History, “I wanted to go to graduate school for history,” he explains. But upon arrival, he realized graduate school was not the right path for him, so he packed his backpack and set out for a trip through Europe instead.
This adventurous spirit led him back home to pursue exciting challenges, such as opening a hotel in Austin, working as a flight attendant in New York and Hawaii, and eventually pursuing a sales career at Dell. “I was an account executive for large university systems and large K-12 systems providing information technology to students to be able to further their education. It really fit in with my mantra around how important education is in society,” Jeff explains.”It's kind of my thing.” But after nearly 20 years at the company, he decided to look for new opportunities. “I was tired of doing the same thing all the time.” Enter SoftwareONE.
“This was an opportunity to do something completely different and take the information that I learned and use it to help build a practice that can accomplish some of the same things,” Jeff explains. He joined the company as a Business Development Executive Executive where he works to build the company’s education practice within the public sector in the United States.
SoftwareONE is a company where Jeff can thrive professionally and personally. He specifically cites the company to be people-first, which his coworker Christopher Lecosia agrees with. “SoftwareONE is a place where you can thrive as an employee, and where your creativity can flourish,” says Chris.
SoftwareONE is a leading global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions, with headquarters in Switzerland. The company itself prioritizes people as their “greatest asset” and advocates for life-work harmony. Their company’s core values are Employee Satisfaction, Customer Focused, Speed, Passionate, Integrity, Humble and Discipline, to name a few, and they ensure that they have “a welcoming – and constantly evolving – work environment for all”, no matter the racial, ethnic, religious, sexual or other preferences.
Christopher works as Senior Consultant for SoftwareONE. He entered the field of IT in 1974. “Back then it was called data processing,” he jokes. “But I kind of fell into IT consulting.” He enrolled in college as an accounting major, but quickly realized that was not the path for him. “I drove into the parking lot of this college for the first day and I got very scared,” explains Chris. “I turned around and went home and I found a job.” And he was able to pursue jobs that allowed him room to change and grow with the market. He began as a systems programer and, progressively, he scaled to managerial data processing roles at multiple software companies, including IBM. He played a key role in leading and growing software asset management programs, directing support for configuration and asset management, and serving as a senior project manager for multiple teams in his previous companies.
His successful 40+ year-long career led to the start of a well-deserved retirement. “I turned 65 last October, and I thought, ‘okay, I think I’ve had enough,’ and I decided to retire in full.” But his retirement was short-lived. “A few months before I retired, [my company] had put out an RFP to the street, which SoftwareONE responded to, and I'll never forget,” says Chris. “I was hearing them respond to me and I thought, ‘Wow, these people know what they're talking about. They're really sharp and I really believed in the value that they could bring.’” So when he was offered a position as a Senior Consultant, he didn’t think twice about coming out of retirement. “In November, a recruiter from SoftwareONE called, and I started in January of 2022.”
Changing jobs after working for a company long-term can be risky, especially later in your career. But both Jeff and Chris agree that the benefits of working at a company like SoftwareONE are well worth the risk. And for the first time, they’ve felt like they can show up as their full, authentic selves at work.
Jeff recalls past workplaces that, when push came to shove, “had an undercurrent of non-acceptance.” This undercurrent brought many challenges, but he credits them for his confidence today. “I have no issues whatsoever showing up originally as myself. And at SoftwareONE, everybody's been really lovely.” Even remotely, he finds ways to connect with his coworkers, and he feels like he can do so authentically.
Chris reiterates this in his own trajectory at SoftwareONE. “When I started, my Regional VP asked me for a bio. In my bio, I talked about my husband and my two dogs and how long we've been together. That got sent out to everybody in the organization. So when I onboarded, everybody already knew,” he explains. “It was the first time in 65 years that, right from the get go, there was no pretense at all as to being something different than I am. And that's how I came out at SoftwareONE. It was good to do that. I feel truly authentic.”
Advice for Mid-Career Pivoters
Both Jeff and Chris have successfully pivoted roles and companies later in their careers. They offer four tips to consider before making the jump to a new role or joining a new company.
1. Find a place that values service to the client. “Have the mindset of service,” says Chris. “ I'm a service oriented person and part of being of service is to share my experience, strengths, and hope with other people. Whether that's on a, social, spiritual, mental level, or on a professional technical level, this helps bring growth to you, and to the company you’ll work for.” Jeff shares that, “with this mindset, we see the challenges that customers face, so we're able to better articulate to customers what our value proposition is. We can help clients achieve their goals, and everything comes a lot more easily and naturally.”
2. Believe in what you have to offer. Chris and Jeff share that aligning with the company’s mission is another key aspect to consider before changing companies. “I never thought that anybody would want to hire me at 65 years old,” Chris shares. “I had been in my former job where I saw many opportunities that I thought I was perfect for, in terms of advancement, but I wasn't given those opportunities because of my age. I started to feel dried up a little bit. When I got the offer at SoftwareONE, I felt I really wanted to come back, be of service, keep my brain sharp, and do something. I do believe I have something to offer to many clients, as well as colleagues. And that's what made me make the move.”
3. Think of the experiences you bring to the table. Jeff shares how he transferred his knowledge to his new role. “I was able to take everything that I had learned about building an organization and bring it over to a company that needed that expertise specific to the United States. Being able to have the opportunity to do some of that background work and build on alliances has been, and continues to be, a great opportunity.”
4. Find a workplace that prioritizes diversity. “Each one of us brings a certain set of characteristics with us that sit well with our clients,” explains Chris. “The diversity we bring to the company — whether it be age, gender, color, educational background, intellectual capacity — all of that color makes us more relatable to our clients and our customers.” This leads to the company’s overall success.
SoftwareONE is constantly looking for dynamic employees like Chris and Jeff. Check out their company page to find out more about their roles!
So you’ve spent some time job searching, found the perfect role, aced the interview, and finally got your dream job.
But what happens if accepting a job offer means having to decline another one?
We’re living in a candidate’s market, and that means it’s becoming more and more common for job seekers to receive multiple offers. The good news is that this gives the candidate the opportunity to choose their perfect position. The bad news is that the candidate will probably have to turn down an offer or two when choosing the best role.
But how do you turn down an offer, without severing ties and keeping things cordial and polite?
Keep reading for our top tips on how to professionally decline a job offer — and keep your network strong for future career opportunities!
How to Professionally Decline a Job Offer
When turning down a job offer, it’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with the hiring manager and company you interviewed with. After all, you never know where your career may lead you next, and just because you decline one position with a company doesn’t mean they won’t have a place for you in the future!
Not prioritizing relationships in your job search can be detrimental, so here are some important points to keep in mind when you decline an offer.
1. Make your decision carefully.
This may seem obvious, but, before you give your final decision, make sure that it’s the move you truly want to make.
Ask yourself: Why do you want to decline it? Why isn’t it a good fit? Weigh out the pros and cons and examine how they could affect your career in the long run. Even though they’re important, don’t just focus on immediate benefits, like salary and flexibility. Consider how this career move could affect your mental health, whether or not it will help you advance professionally in the long run, and if you would be a good fit with the company.
This is a big decision, so make sure that when you do say no, you mean it.
2. Don’t wait to give your answer.
If you’re sure the position just isn’t right for you, it’s wise to contact the recruiter or hiring manager as soon as possible. This is the most considerate and professional approach you could take when turning down a position, because the sooner they know, the sooner they can find someone else to fill the position.
Waiting too long to give your answer could push the hiring process back to the beginning. A hiring manager will appreciate an efficient answer so they can move on to the next candidate and keep the process moving forward without too much delay.
The best way to do this is to try and give them a specific day that you will contact them with your answer, or keep them apprised during your decision-making process. As soon as you’ve made your decision, it’s important to let them know. As difficult as saying no can be, the sooner you do it, the better for everyone.
3. Call before you send an email.
Most of us would probably prefer to give our answer in an email, and that’s understandable! But calling to verbally decline the offer first shows an extra bit of care. This will demonstrate that you care about the time and energy invested in you during the hiring process and are grateful that you were chosen for the position.
It’s also a great way to maintain a good relationship with the employer, because it demonstrates your professionalism and maturity, and will give you an opportunity to be specific about why you are declining. If you are unsure of what to say, write your response down before you call.
You can follow up with an email that reiterates what you said on the phone so that the recruiter or hiring manager has written proof of your response.
4. Be appreciative and humble.
The hiring process isn’t simple. It requires a lot of time and energy from multiple stakeholders, so it’s important to show your gratitude before you decline the job offer. Thank everyone who was involved and acknowledge the investment they made in interviewing you. Let them know you are honored to have been chosen and that, while you carefully considered the offer, the position just isn’t right for you.
5. Explain why you’re declining.
While getting into specifics isn’t always necessary, and you should only share as much information as you feel comfortable, letting the hiring manager or recruiter know why the position isn’t right for you can help keep the communication portal open.
Maybe you received another offer that better aligned with what you were looking for in terms of pay, or perhaps you need more flexibility than the one you are declining can offer you. This feedback can be helpful to share, and sometimes the company might even respond with a counter offer to better suit your needs!
Perhaps the reason you are turning the offer down is due to more personal reasons that you don’t feel comfortable sharing. That’s okay too! Either way, it can be helpful to be transparent about why you are declining.
6. Utilize the opportunity to network for future career moves.
So the position isn’t right for you — that’s okay. But maybe your values aligned with the organization’s, or perhaps you felt that you connected during the hiring process and you’d like to keep the door open to other positions in the future. Just because the role now isn’t right for you now doesn’t mean that the organization won’t have a place for you down the road.
Networking is key for career growth. If you really like the company, don’t be afraid to let them know that you would be interested in other positions in the future. Giving them the means to contact you, like your email and your LinkedIn, will give them the ability to reach out if any other positions open up.
If you find that the company itself just doesn’t fit you, keep in mind that networking and maintaining a good relationship is still important. You don’t have to plan to work there in the future, but you never know who is connected to who, and how that good relationship may pay off in time!
Email Templates for Declining a Job Offer
Turning down a job offer is a delicate task, but it is becoming increasingly necessary in this competitive candidate’s market. If you’re unsure of where to begin or how to write your email, we have included some examples with links to help you get started.
Example for when the position isn’t a good fit
Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]
Hi [insert last name of hiring manager],
Thank you very much for offering me the role of [insert name of position]. However, I have decided that this is not the right fit for my career goals at this time.
I sincerely enjoyed our dialog as well as discussions with your team, and I very much appreciate your taking time to share information about the role and vision of [insert company name].
Again, thank you for your time and consideration; best wishes in your continued success.
Example for when you’ve accepted another offer
Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]
Hi [insert last name of hiring manager],
Thank you very much for offering me the role of [insert name of position] with [insert company name]. Though it was a difficult decision, I have accepted a position with another company.
I sincerely enjoyed our conversations and very much appreciate your taking time to interview me over the course of the past few weeks.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration; best wishes in your continued success, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.
Example for when you’ve already accepted the offer
Thanks so much for offering me the position of [Job Title] at [Company]. It was a pleasure meeting you.
Unfortunately, after a great deal of thought, I have decided to turn down this gracious job opportunity. I am truly sorry for any inconvenience this decision may cause and hope it will not affect any future relationships with your company.
I wish you continued success and hope to hear from you in the future.
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