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Balfour Beatty Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
September 22, 2021
Teams across the nation celebrate the rich traditions and diverse backgrounds that comprise the Hispanic/Latin@ communities
Cesar Chavez, a historical Latin American labor leader and civil rights activist, is known for coining the now famous mantra, " Sí, se puede!", which translates to "Yes, we can!" Best known for his efforts in advocating for laborers' rights through nonviolent resistance, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. He believed that there is power in the people to create lasting social change.
At Balfour Beatty, we believe there is power in celebrating our people, the different backgrounds each teammate brings to the table, and that celebrating our diverse heritages can create a more inclusive culture while also providing opportunities for growth.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Balfour Beatty's newly formed employee affinity group representing our Hispanic/Latin@ teammates, Somos, will play a vital role in the company’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The group will host various activities and events across the nation, including highlighting teammates within Somos, educational opportunities and a fireside chat during our annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) summit held every October. Maria Salinas, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, along with several members of Somos, will host the fireside chat, discussing how Balfour Beatty can play a leading role in diversifying the construction industry through proactive engagement with today's youth.
"With Somos, we are unearthing a voice that hasn't been represented in the past," says Gil Fullen, Somos national lead and Balfour Beatty senior vice president of business acquisition in California. "We have a seat at the table, and we can impact our people at Balfour Beatty, support their growth and serve as leaders within the minority community to motivate and inspire our teammates."
As a gender-neutral term that translates into "we are," Somos exists to unify cultures, promote inclusiveness and inspire change. At the heart of Somos’ mission is ensuring our collective voices are heard to identify new paths forward with greater empathy, awareness and mutual respect.
Much like the rich and diverse Hispanic/Latin@ heritages that comprise our Somos employee affinity group, Hispanic Heritage Month represents many of the independence days and holidays celebrated within the Hispanic communities.
According to the Library of Congress, Hispanic Heritage Month begins mid-month on September 15 and ends October 15 in homage to the independence anniversaries of five countries: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. It is followed by Mexico's Independence Day on September 16 and Chile's on September 18.
Balfour Beatty recognizes that as an industry leader, it is our responsibility to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where our teammates can bring their authentic selves to work and proudly celebrate the diverse heritages that make up our business.
As we kick off our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we use Cesar Chavez's famous mantra to accomplish Balfour Beatty's goals:
"Yes, we can make a difference!"
"Yes, we can build an inclusive culture!"
"Yes, we can celebrate our diverse teammates!"
"Yes, we can ensure everyone's voice is heard!"