Feature Stories

Astellas celebrates Latin American culture during Hispanic Heritage Month

Oct 17, 2016

Occurring annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is an important time to recognize the profound influence Hispanic culture has had on the world. At Astellas, we celebrated all month long with our Hispanic Employee Resource Group (HERG) by showcasing Latin culture through food, history and information sessions.

Our HERG is one of seven employee resource groups (ERGs) at Astellas that help foster diversity and inclusion through the creation of support communities for employees with similar backgrounds. The mission of the HERG is to advance professional development for Hispanic employees by providing career and networking opportunities, while also celebrating Hispanic culture and heritage.

Henry Johanet, co-chair of the HERG, said they have formed five committees within the HERG to focus on addressing the individual needs of its members while maximizing the impact the group has on the Astellas business.

“In addition to providing a support community and educating employees about Hispanic culture, the HERG is committed to making a positive impact on the organization’s business objectives,” said Johanet. “Our development team is connecting members with mentors so each person within the HERG has an expert to assist in their development. We also host networking events that foster interactions and camaraderie among HERG members, who all hail from a number of diverse backgrounds.”

Throughout the month we engaged in a variety of activities with the HERG to raise awareness of the group and celebrate Hispanic culture. These activities included:

  • A Latin-inspired cafeteria menu, featuring different regional cuisines from Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Banners and signage stationed  throughout our Americas headquarters that highlighted the contributions of important Hispanic public figures and the impact of Latin American countries and Hispanic culture on society
  • An information gathering booth to educate employees about the history of Hispanic influences in fields of science, music, art and food

The activities culminated with the Consortium of Latin Employer Organizations (CLEO) meeting, hosted by the HERG at our Americas headquarters. The CLEO event aimed to help foster networking and the exchange of ideas in attracting and retaining Latino talent.

“The CLEO event provided us with a unique opportunity to meet with several Chicago area corporations and their ERG leaders to share best practices and learn about how we can better engage Latino employees,” said Johanet.