As a part of TIBCO’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative for the month of September, we are spotlighting employees who are of Hispanic heritage, asking them what makes them proud of their heritage and what they plan to do to embrace their identity in the future.
TIBCO: Tell us about yourself
Lilly Lehr: My name is Kimberlea “Lilly” Lehr. I’ve been at TIBCO for six months as a Digital Media Copywriter for the High-Velocity Demand-Generation Team. I’m based in Iowa and am a member of the BLACC and Women of TIBCO employee resource groups.
TIBCO: What is your Hispanic heritage?
LL: I’m Mexican.
TIBCO: What about your past are you most proud of?
LL: I am very proud of coming from such honest and humble roots.
TIBCO: This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month theme is ‘Hispanics: Be proud Of Your Past, Embrace The Future.’ In what ways will you ’embrace your future’ during the month of September and beyond?
LL: My grandmother’s only wish was that all seven of her grandchildren would go to college. For me, this month’s theme includes remembering those humble roots and what accomplishments—like being a first-generation college graduate—mean for the greater whole. It includes considering the work ethic and values that helped me accomplish what I have today. Finally, it includes consideration of how I can impart these same values and work ethic on my own children, and how I can use them to advance/improve the lives of others.
TIBCO: In what ways do you feel the Hispanic communities have helped shape the world?
LL: In my experience, I see Hispanic people as being very passionate. This often transfers into every facet of our lives, including our work. I think that Hispanic communities have found ways to persevere and demonstrate strength. By being so passionate about the things we pursue, you can see our influence throughout the world today.
TIBCO: What does being a part of the Hispanic community mean to you?
LL: It means a lot. I actually grew up in a small town where I was one of three Hispanic children in my whole grade (100+ kids). I spent a lot of time trying to be less Hispanic to fit in. There weren’t really any role models in my community that were like me that I could aspire to be like. It wasn’t until I joined the military at 19 and began to travel the world that I really found the strength of owning my identity. Today, my Hispanic community is mostly virtual but seeing the accomplishments of my fellow Latinx colleagues and friends feels like an accomplishment for all of us—and that is everything.
TIBCO: What are the benefits of celebrating our shared history and cultures throughout TIBCO?
LL: I think that a lot of people love to learn about difficult cultures, and they are genuinely curious to know more and be part of these different experiences. Extending a hand to share our cultures and history means offering an opportunity to others for growth and education. That’s worth a lot, in my opinion.
TIBCO: What is a Hispanic tradition that you wish to pass down, that your parents have passed down to you?
LL: Food and faith. I was taught that these two things will keep us forever content and connected with each other. I learned to really cook with my grandmother and I learned how food brings everyone together. I will pass these traditions down to my own kids, and I will feed anyone who comes to my house on an empty stomach.
TIBCO: How do you think TIBCO embraces and embodies diversity?
LL: I think that TIBCO is actively working to embrace diversity with the new employee resource group (ERG) and by actively trying to improve where they are seeing disparities. I think that the company embodies diversity because it’s international. We have colleagues all over the world that represent every different ethnicity and race.
TIBCO: Any other thoughts you would like to share related to being part of the Hispanic community within TIBCO?
LL: Just that I’m glad to be part of the team and happy to be part of a team that embraces my identity.
During the month of September, join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Are you a TIBCO team member? To get involved and join an ERG today, visit TIBCO Connect for more details!