Culture is everything at RingCentral, and diversity is a critical element of that culture. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we convened a panel of our peers to discuss the experience of Hispanic employees within the RingCentral culture.
Our panel included:
Berto Arroyo, UX/UI Designer, Belmont, CA
José Serrano, VP, Associate General Counsel, Belmont, CA
Lisa Del Real, VP, Global Channel Programs & Operations, Denver CO
RingCentral: As Hispanic employees, how are you feeling about RingCentral’s diversity and inclusion efforts?
José: “I think this company definitely makes a big effort in highlighting diversity—more than I have seen in any other company. My background has not been a limitation by any means. In general, in my career I’ve been able to be true to my own family values and things that come with. ”
Lisa: “From a diversity perspective, we’re making great strides in bringing more women, people of color, and those from diverse backgrounds to the table. That’s incumbent upon the company, right? I’m so glad to see that we take it seriously here at RingCentral. In working with our talent acquisition team, they work very hard to ensure that everyone has an equal shot. So from that perspective, I’m definitely seeing great improvement. And it is, as José said, an incredibly big effort for every leader to push for diversity. Building a diverse company starts with the attitude of leadership and cascades on down, and it’s refreshing to see how the leadership team at RingCentral makes diversity a priority.”
José: “(Diversity) isn’t just rhetoric here. We really do have these conversations here: “Is the team diverse? Are we adding people with different backgrounds to the team?” So I think we do take the time to be conscious about how teams come together and stay conscious about how teams are evolving. Definitely.”
Berto: “I agree with both of you. I’ve felt very comfortable since I joined…and I see us hiring from all types of backgrounds, which is beautiful. I love that more than half my team are women— you don’t see that often. I love having different opinions and backgrounds, because it really does help from a design perspective.”
RingCentral: “According to the Harvard Business Review, studies show a majority of Hispanics in the US workforce do not feel they can bring their whole selves to work—a large number say they feel like they have to repress parts of their personas at work to get ahead. Does that seem true at RingCentral? Can you bring your whole self to the office here?”
Lisa: “I laugh, but you know, like many Latin people, I speak with my hands. I’m doing it right now—waving my hands. That’s something I don’t try to suppress. I’m conscious of it, but I don’t feel that it in any way impacts how people perceive me. Hispanic employees tend to be passionate in how they communicate. Unfortunately, this passion can often be misinterpreted as aggression in terms of our tone, but that’s just the energy we use to try to transmit the language. Luckily, I don’t feel like that’s an issue here at RingCentral—in no way has it colored the way people perceive me. RingCentral creates a very welcoming environment. People no matter how they express themselves are accepted here and can move up the ladder based on their merit.”
Berto: “I’ve never felt uncomfortable at all. I don’t tend to back down if I have an opinion on something, but I’m able to speak up here. I feel comfortable. I feel heard.”
José: “There’s a benefit to recognizing people with very traditional, family-oriented values. I think (Hispanics) tend to be very family-oriented in our culture and (RingCentral) is inclusive in that way. Holiday parties for example – we’re encouraged to bring a spouse or significant other. Not every company does that. Even some activities outside of the office within the community often include the family.”
Lisa: “I definitely have the support of leadership when it comes to taking care of my family. Like most Latinos—especially Latina daughters like me—my parents live with me half the time. At RingCentral, I’m so grateful that there’s flexibility when it comes to taking things like taking them to doctor’s appointments. I’m also a wife and a mother, and I’ve always felt supported taking care of my family by this company. Never have I felt that having a family would impact me being promoted or moving up in my career, and I’ve been with RingCentral for ten years. And that’s been true from the beginning.”
RingCentral: When you look up the corporate ladder, do you see people who look and sound like you?
Lisa: “Look, we can always do better, and we should always strive for that. I would love to see more effort in terms of recruitment and hiring regarding Latinos—even going to universities to find more Latino candidates.”
José: “I think Lisa and I are probably the highest ranked Latinos in the company, but as someone pointed out to me — most people in the leadership team have an accent. You go to meetings and you have people with a Russian background, an Indian background, or Chinese backgrounds, and so you get less intimidated and more comfortable with your own accent because we’re multicultural, right?”
RingCentral: “Any suggestions on how to increase Hispanic representation at the executive level?”
José: “We have to be as intentional about recruiting Hispanic talent as we are about other groups. We could also promote Lisa.”
RingCentral: “How does Hispanic culture strengthen RingCentral’s overall culture?”
Berto: “In a word: family. We are very family-oriented. It’s one of our priorities. I feel like if your team feels like your family, you want to do anything for them and work with them to solve any kind of problem that you might have. On the UX team, we do consider ourselves as a little family. We’re constantly trying to lift each other up. We celebrate together, we talk…it feels like I am hanging out with my family.”
Lisa:“I’d also throw in hard work and passion. I think we have a passion for life in our community. We tend to be energized around food, music, and family, of course. Latinos are very passionate about our work, and we work really hard. RingCentral looks for people with tenacity like that—so it’s a trait that’s a very strong match within RingCentral and the Latino culture as well.”
José: “We have a way of finding the love in people. Of building the person-to-person relationships that help build partnerships, teams, or just a better environment.”
RingCentral: “Any advice for Hispanic applicants on a career at RingCentral?”
Lisa: “Bring your whole self to work. There’s no need to feel like you can’t bring your authentic self here every day.”
Berto: “We want someone real and who has an opinion, not someone who’s just going to say yes, all the time. It’s a benefit to the company when people aren’t just conforming to others ideas, but trying to challenge them and make them better. Bring your own opinion.”
José: “Yeah, speak up. I often think people coming from Latin cultures tend to be way too shy at the beginning. You can be a little more confident and speak up. This company offers that – an environment that values what you have to say.”
Lisa: “OK, I’ll speak up—just to say, bring your creativity too, because we all come from such diverse backgrounds, such different experiences that sparks imagination and drive. I think that’s a trait of our Latino community and it’s very important here at RingCentral, whether you’re driving a project or initiative, that you bring your creativity and drive.”
Celebrate drive. Celebrate creativity. Celebrate finding love in people. However you celebrate, we wish you all a positive and productive Hispanic History Month. If you’re a Hispanic employee, (or even if you’re not,) we encourage you to join our new Hispanic Employee Resource Group HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Development).
We hope you’ll join us in continually celebrating the role everyone plays in strengthening our culture of working together.
Originally published Oct 22, 2020, updated Feb 24, 2021