Celebrating diversity and helping those who need it the most.

By: Jennifer Marin
Communications Strategist/Writer

Highlighting a Latina powerhouse and supporting las personas afectadas por Hurricanes Ian and Fiona.

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Today we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which is commemorated every year from September 15 through October 15. It’s a month-long celebration, but at Verizon we celebrate and honor Hispanic Heritage all year long.

On today’s episode of Entérate con Verizon, we celebrate and empower women. Latinas are a powerhouse both as entrepreneurs and in the workplace, yet continue to be underrepresented in higher leadership roles in corporate America. Host Jennifer Marin sat down with our very own Christina Schelling, SVP of Talent & Diversity, to explore this topic as she shared her own story. We also gave an update on how we’re supporting the communities affected most by Hurricanes Ian and Fiona.

We’re shortchanging the world by not having more Latinas in prominent roles

In a very personal conversation, Christina Schelling opened up about her background and unique upbringing, being raised in Massachusetts, in a very multicultural area by her mother of Colombian descent and European father. She shared how her unique circumstances impacted her curiosity on people and culture, and helped her find out who she was.

She spoke about often being the only Latina in the room and how that is a privilege that comes with big responsibility and pressure by "being the one person who is supposed to speak on or represent lots of people - lots of cultures". Christina shared the importance of “having people that look like you, that you can aspire to be like, be the ones to help show you the way and chart that course for you”.

When asked what she thinks of the statistic that Hispanic women make up just 1.6% of senior executives in the nation's largest companies, Christina shared “When I look at our emerging talent, I see the future, and the future looks a heck of a lot better than just 1%”

Her advice on bringing your whole self to work…”Push yourself to do it”.

Hurricane relief: supporting our community

Unfortunately, this month hasn’t been all about celebrations. This past month, the Latino community has been heavily affected by Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian. We join nuestra gente in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Florida and the Carolinas during these very difficult times. Verizon committed $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help assist disaster relief efforts.

As residents of Southwest Florida continue to recover, Verizon announced that it’s extending its support for counties most impacted by Hurricane Ian. Consumer and small business customers in affected areas will continue to receive unlimited calling, texting and mobile data through October 31, 2022.

Our on-the-ground efforts continue, The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team has now deployed more than 300 Verizon Frontline solutions including drones, smartphones, routers, mobile hotspots, and portable satellite assets in support of emergency response operations in the region and 52 government agencies.

Watch WAPA América and Televisión Dominicana on Fios

WAPA América, available on Fios TV channel 1508, and Televisión Dominicana, Fios TV channel 1506, are Spanish-language television stations in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, providing up to date news on what is happening locally and globally for its viewers. Both WAPA América and Televisión Dominicana are always available in Fios TV's Mundo and Mundo Total plans, as well as the Spanish Language Package and the Spanish-language regional packages.

As a result of recent events, Fios announced that its TV customers in the United States can stay informed of the latest news in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic with free access to WAPA America and Dominican Television until October 21.

Supporting our V Teamers and their families in Puerto Rico

The latest hurricanes have affected many of our colleagues and their families, including V Teamer Carlos Esdailes Jr. a New Jersey Sales & Customer Service Call Center Supervisor, who was in Puerto Rico with his family as Hurricane Fiona made landfall. He shared his first-hand account and how it feels to work for a company that’s doing their part to help. “Yo me siento bien orgulloso” Carlos shared. “It’s pride that the company you work for is standing by their pledge to be there for people”

Our hearts remain with all the V Teamers and customers affected by hurricanes Fiona and Ian.

“We are strong, we are resilient, we are powerful. Believe in that - stay with that - and if you feel alone, just know that you are not alone, connect with them, help them and they are going to help you.”

About the author:

Jennifer Marin is a former local news reporter/anchor. She was born in Colombia but raised in Northern New Jersey. She loves to craft new recipes, create videos, and spend time with her pug, Sweetie.

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