As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month between September 15 and October 15, it is important to reflect on what our businesses and organizations are doing to promote cultural awareness and inclusion in the Latino community.
Inclusion is integral to AT&T’s corporate culture, and diversity at all levels of our workforce is critical to our success. I am proud to work for a company that signed “The Hispanic Promise,” which is the first-of-its-kind national pledge to hire, promote, retain, and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace.
The Latino community represents 15.9% of AT&T’s workforce in the United States and is continuing to grow, along with its impact on our economy.
As the largest racial/ethnic minority population in the nation, Latinos contribute significantly to the country’s economy.
• The GDP produced by the Latino community in the United States was $2.3 trillion in 2017.
• There are 4.7 million Latino-owned businesses that, combined, contribute more than $700 billion to the economy each year.
As we celebrate the important contributions of Latinos to our communities and businesses, we must address the negative impact that COVID-19 has had on these communities.
According to The Brookings Institution, the loss of jobs and wages due to COVID-19 has hit Latino adults the hardest, and 33% of Latino parents/primary caregivers have either seen their business shut down and/or have experienced significant drops in revenue.
What is AT&T doing to help?
At AT&T, our corporate value to Stand for Equality has never been more relevant, not only inside AT&T but outside, as well. That’s why we recently committed an additional $10 million this year to create economic opportunities and foster upward mobility for underserved communities who face social inequities and higher unemployment, all of which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of this commitment, AT&T North Carolina is supporting organizations that help create sustainable progress for underserved communities in the state, such as: El Centro Hispano, North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals, Latin American Excelente Awards Charlotte & Raleigh (hosted by La Noticia), Amigos Internacional, the Hispanic League, Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte, NC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Latin Americans Working for Achievement.
Plus, now more than ever, internet access is important for staying in touch with your family, friends, work, and school. That’s why AT&T will continue to offer you an affordable way to stay connected. The “Access from AT&T” program provides internet service for $10 a month. Furthermore, we have expanded the eligibility requirements.
In response to the current public health crisis, the “Access from AT&T” program is temporarily:
• Expanding eligibility based on income and to households participating in the National School Lunch and Head Start programs.
• Waiving home internet data overage fees until September 30, 2020 (excluding DSL).
For decades, AT&T has worked to better serve our Latino customers and communities, and that work continues today as we remain committed more than ever to being a leader in diversity and inclusion.