HACE is a national non-profit that devotes its time to the employment, development, advancement of current and aspiring Latinos. HACE’s mission is to establish a strong population of Latino professionals beyond multiple industries that will create a channel of diverse talent and numerous opportunities for leadership roles. Their vision is to see a world where Latinos are achieving their full potential personally and their community. Patricia Mota, the CEO of Hispanic Alliance of Career Enhancement, shared some insights into some of the organization’s core values and strategies to move the mission forward, revealing a strong focus on long term and multi-generational leadership programs.
Interviewer: Ruben Saavedra
Interviewee: Patricia Mota, President & CEO of HACE
In your own words, what or who is HACE?
HACE is a like a big family, it’s a network of high potential members who are actively supporting one another’s career aspirations across generations”
What brought you to HACE?
In 2010, I was wrapping up my graduate degree in public administration. My goal was to serve the Latino community by working with a national nonprofit that serves the community. After interviewing with a few organizations, when I interviewed with HACE board and staff members, it was a perfect match. I saw so much potential for not only myself with HACE, but for the community overall. This has been the case because I learned a lot and was promoted twice.
What are some key components of the programs HACE has to offer?
Self-Awareness, Culturally-Relevant Leadership Training, and Coaching. HACE offers a variety of programs to assist companies recruit, retain and advance Latinos in the workplace. Some of our flagship programs include a women’s leadership program that has impacted over 750 Latinas across the national. A key component is an assessment of the participants to understand their capabilities to build off. All of our programs offer opportunities to connect aspiring leaders with mentors, leadership programs with rigorous content and cultural sensitivity, and a strong network of Latino professionals to support each other
How does HACE continue to empower its members after completion of one of their programs?
We have created an alumni network for each of our program which is led by an alumni board, which keeps participants engaged to mentor back, become ambassador of HACE and host professional development events.
Can you explain the importance of having Latinos in leadership positions?
Currently, there is a shortage of Latinos in leadership positions. Certainly there are great examples – and we all need to do a better job championing those – but our mission is to help Latinos reach higher levels of leadership. Many Latinos entering higher education and professional careers are still the first in their family to do that. We thrive to showcase more examples of success stories to inspire future generations and equip them with mentors and models.
What difficulties has HACE had to overcome to carry out its mission and goals?
When the recession in early 2000, HACE almost had to shut its doors. Fortunately, our great board members and other leaders took it upon themselves to make personal contributions and fundraisers to make sure the organization could keep moving forward, and here we are back and stronger today with at least 25% growth year after year since then.”
What is the biggest challenge Latinos face in the workplace today? How does HACE prepare them to overcome it?
Better showcasing the impact of our work. In general, and I could even say for myself, Latinos shy away from asserting their accomplishments. HACE prepares Latinos to build alliances within an organization to advocate for them, and find the people can really speak to what you have done in the company.
How vital is diversity & Inclusion to the workplace?
“Its beyond race and ethnicity; it’s also about diversity of thought, preferences of leadership styles and ideas. Amongst Latinos there is a lot of rich diversity that we should be embracing and making sure our country knows about. That diversity brings innovative ideas, increases performance of companies who hire employees reflective of the market they serve”
What’s in the works for HACE in the next few years?
To continue to build off the mission and vision that we have enhanced over the last couple of years with a focus on leadership development. By the end of 2018, we will have implemented a full cohort based leadership academy for high school students, college students, emerging leaders and mid-level Latina professionals. We will continue to expand these programs in other markets.
What is the strategic planning that goes behind each one of HACE’s programs?
Diversify our revenue streams, continue to enhance our programs, processes, and procedures, and to expand visibility and reach through individual and corporate partnerships. We are looking to reach 100,000 members by 2020 and enroll over 1,000 Latinos in our program each year.
Aside from programs, what does HACE do to contribute to their members’ leadership development?
We offer the monthly webinars, one on one coaching sessions, and free events throughout the year to network. We also conduct customized workshops for employee resource group and host a national leadership summit annually.
How do you ensure HACE and its programs communicate its core values?
Being clear and consistent. HACE’s core values align with our mission and vision. The vision is to see a world full of Latinos that reach a high potential for themselves and the committees we serve. We are actively pushing that forward in all of the programs we are doing.
What is one characteristic participants build after finishing one of HACE’s programs?
Confidence, the assertiveness to navigate the political and workforce climates.
How have you contributed to the success and culture of HACE?
I’m fortunate to be able to work in a role that is my own personal mission. My personal mission has always been to a promoter or advocate for a community but also ensuring that we can be the best we can to do so effectively.