Equity, diversity, and inclusion activist Claudia Romo Edelman says inclusion is the key to creating equity for Hispanics.
In the latest episode of the video series AHA! Moments for Diversity & Inclusion, SAP Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Supriya Jha talks to Romo Edelman about how personal experience and a desire to safeguard her daughter’s future has resulted in 300 global corporations signing the Hispanic Promise, a pledge to recruit, retain, and promote Hispanics.
Video by John Hunt
Romo Edelman is a Mexican-Swiss diplomat: an activist for diversity, equity, and inclusion who has led marketing and advocacy for global organizations such as the World Economic Forum, UN Refugee Agency, and UNICEF. She founded We Are All Human to advance equity through diversity and inclusion, as well as the Hispanic Star to elevate and empower Hispanics, the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States.
“I lived my entire life as a happy Mexican,” she recalls, until, after 25 years in Europe, she moved to the United States and heard, for the first time, that she was not (just) a Mexican or a Mexican-Swiss but a Hispanic – that is, a person living in the United States who is descended from Spanish-speaking people.
Initially, being Hispanic seemed amazing to her. Judging by the number of Hispanics living in United States – the largest ethnic minority – she thought she would no longer be in a minority. But she “didn’t see the red carpet anywhere,” recalls Romo Edelman.
Her ‘AHA’ moment came when she realized that her Hispanic daughter would face discrimination in the workplace, likely earning far less than her U.S. counterparts. Wanting her daughter to graduate and get a job in a society where being Hispanic is a positive and not a negative, Romo Edelman decided to focus her energy, experience, and expertise on her own community, creating Hispanic Star, a foundation to promote Hispanic inclusion.
Romo Edelman’s approach to Hispanic inclusion is threefold, comprising the Hispanic Star Fund, the Hispanic Star, and the Hispanic Promise. The Hispanic Promise, of which SAP was one of the first signatories, is a corporate pledge to recruit, retain, and promote Hispanics; the Hispanic Star is a brand to represent Hispanic unity and pride; and the Hispanic Star Fund allows companies to donate to causes important to the Hispanic community.
Romo Edelman says that the journey to equity for Hispanics is about recognizing their distinct roots and cultures, and that the “Hispanic Star” is one of many stars that make up the United States. “There is no one seat at the table because there’s no table. There’s only a country full of opportunities for everybody to be able to shine,” she says.