Hipoges did not want to miss the opportunity and once again celebrated the European Diversity Month in May, creating the hashtag #HipogesDiversiryMonth. To commemorate this time of the year, the company carried out a series of initiatives under the objectives of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that made the month of May a month dedicated to inclusion and diversity.
These initiatives follow the main goal of raising awareness and giving greater visibility to important issues such as equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Hipoges Initiatives for the Month of Diversity and Inclusion
In order to not only raise awareness and give visibility to the issues of diversity and inclusion internally, Hipoges made a series of communications on its corporate profile on LinkedIn, with a series of infographics.
In addition, the Director of Human Resources of Portugal, Anabela Semedo, shared with us a little more about the topic through an interview for this year’s Diversity Month.
I like to think of myself as a self-made woman, I come from a humble family, with an emigrant father from Cape Verde and an Alentejo mother that is used to working the land.
Fortunately, there was never a shortage of food on the table, although we had some difficulties. I learned early in life that it takes a lot of work to support a family and that’s something I carry with me to this day, and I realize that I’m also instilling it in my son.
I have college studies in Modern Languages and Literatures – Variant of Portuguese Studies. I didn’t finish my degree because I decided I wanted to experience the real world of work.
I had the opportunity to work in the administrative area of a language institute and later in a law firm until the challenge of a start-up called Hipoges came 13 years ago.
When I got here, I was supposed to give administrative support, but since we were so few, I ended up having the opportunity to do so much more. At that time there was not the multiplicity of departments and areas that we have today, so everything that was not the core business ended up being assigned to me – we are talking about reception work, office management, accounting, HR, etc.
As the company grew, I too had opportunities to grow and was given the possibility to choose the area in which I would like to stay and develop myself and here I am today, at the head of the local HR team in Portugal.
I am very proud of my path, I had many challenges, but also many opportunities for evolution and professional growth.
May is Diversity Month. What do the concepts of diversity, equality and inclusion mean to you?
These are 3 words that mean a lot to me, as a woman, as a mother and as a member of the African community.
For these 3 reasons, I know from experience that it is necessary to work twice or even triple than those who do not fall into the above categories.
Adopting the characteristics that distinguish us instead of isolating ourselves, treating people fairly and according to their condition and giving them voice and power, this to me is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
There’s a phrase I’ve heard and love to describe Diversity and Inclusion:
“Diversity is being invited to a party; inclusion is when you don’t want to go out and they invite you to dance; The fair thing is when they remember to put on their favorite song; To belong is to dance as if no one is watching.”
What advantages do you see in a company like Hipoges, committed to diversity?
Perhaps the openness to hearing different perspectives stands out. When we work with different people, we are faced with ways of being and thinking different from our own and this forces us to exercise tolerance, empathy and understanding that makes us, in my view, people with a greater capacity to listen to perspectives different from our own.
And it is precisely in this type of context that different ways of working flourish, fostering collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of working in an environment where there is diversity and inclusion?
This exercise of tolerance, empathy, understanding and respect to accept the characteristics that distinguish us. It is not overnight and there has to be a constant work, not only of the company itself, focused on awareness, training, and information, creating moments that allow people to hang out together and make themselves known, as well as on the part of people, who also must do their part and take advantage of all these opportunities to be more inclusive and tolerant.
How would you argue for the importance of diversity, equality, and inclusion to someone who doesn’t understand these concepts so well?
Imagine that you are invited to a party and that at that party someone invites you to dance and even plays your favorite song?!
What measures have you seen that are most effective in achieving true diversity in the workplace?
Assuming we don’t know everything and that everyone, in one way or another, has prejudices. This self-awareness is the basis for monitoring ourselves and actively working towards inclusion.
The awareness and training of recruitment professionals and also managers for inclusive recruitment, deconstructing prejudices is also, for me, one of the ways to achieve this diversity.
Train those who seek talent and those who make decisions is a first step, but we must not forget that then it is necessary to create the conditions to welcome people with different characteristics.
It is also very important to create the right partnerships that can help us reach different potential talent pools.
What would make Hipoges stand out in terms of diversity?
The companies of the Hipoges group, which currently employ more than 1700 people, have about two dozen different nationalities. In terms of gender, there is a slight preponderance of female people, which seems balanced to me, if we think from a global perspective and bring together the most diverse age groups. This small sample of diversity already represents a great challenge and we know that there are many more dimensions that diversity encompasses. As an organization, knowing that we continue to work, day in and day out, to build an inclusive environment it is something that makes us very happy.
Concluding, would you like to leave some comments about diversity in Hipoges and in the workplace?
The future and sustainability of companies and businesses is associated with the ability of companies to adapt to the constant changes of the world, to be creative and disruptive. Having people with different characteristics means having different visions, different ideas and, consequently, working the innovation component.
I have no doubt that companies that do not work from a diversity perspective may see their long-term sustainability affected.
In addition, internally, an informative video about the Diversity Month was available on all screens of the offices in Portugal and Spain.
Would you like to know other actions that Hipoges has carried out? Discover other corporate social responsibility initiatives of Hipoges.