Latinas Talk Life Inside the Auto Industry
March 19, 2014
According to the United States Department of Labor Women’s Bureau, “our nation’s 67 million working women hold nearly half of today’s jobs. Of these 67 million working women, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity (who may be of any race) make up 9.2 million of the 67 million women workers.”
Many companies such as FCA US LLC, understand the importance of diversity and inclusion and have made the commitment in creating a diverse workplace. One magazine has taken notice.
Latina Style magazine named FCA US the 11th best company for Latinas to work for in the U.S. in its 2013 ‘LATINA Style 50’ report – the tenth time the Company has been named to the list since its establishment in 1997. The report identifies the 50 best companies dedicated to diversity, inclusion, recruitment and professional advancement for Hispanic women.
From the Plant Floor to the Corporate Office
This honor came as no surprise to employees Susan Alonzo, Jennifer Lowenberg, Paulina Noriega and Virginia Teeple, all of whom are of Hispanic descent. We sat down with them to talk about embracing the opportunities available at FCA US.
Paulina Noriega, Standards of Compliance Manager at FCA US, thinks being Latina has really helped her progress in an industry often referred to as ‘male-dominated.’ Noriega, who began her career in a FCA US manufacturing facility, said the lessons she learned there has also helped her in the corporate offices.
“We are such a big company and there are so many areas where your talent can be utilized,” Noriega said. “FCA US has always valued diversity, working in the plant and being a woman, it really helped me to bring my Latina point of view to the corporate world.”
Latinas hablan sobre sus vidas dentro de la industria automotriz: http://youtu.be/1iTNX4l8UeE.
Virginia Teeple, Fleet Management Supervisor, recalls her first experience working in a FCA US plant in Mexico.
“The first time I became part of the FCA US team, the company was working on a project to have a woman as a production supervisor,” Teeple said. “I was the very first woman in Mexico to work as a production supervisor. In my case it helped (to be a woman).”
Meeting and interacting with new employees can be just as important as mastering a job skill.
Jennifer Lowenberg, Supplier Diversity Program Manager, explains the importance of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) as a valuable networking asset.
“I had worked at other businesses and automotive companies prior to coming to FCA US,” Lowenberg said. “Being a member of the FCA US Hispanic Employee Network (CHEN) has really helped. You get to meet people from all over the company and have new friendships. It was actually a wonderful networking tool and great introduction to the company.”
In addition to networking, CHEN and other ERG’s offer mentoring programs to helped employees advance in their careers.
Susan Alonzo, Marketing Design Process Controller, is the president of CHEN. Alonzo’s career is the prime example of how mentoring can lead to a promotion.
“I’m actually embarking on a new career myself,” Alonzo said. “I’m going to try marketing and sales; it’s still a finance role, but I’m transitioning and trying something different.”
“I think the FCA US Hispanic Employee Network allowed me to do that by making different contacts, and the mentoring programs are huge,” Alonzo said.
“But I think the overall leadership at FCA US is outstanding,” Alonzo continues.
“I worked at other companies before, and there are always one or two people you can admire. But at this company, it’s all of them. You can look and admire them all—their all great examples of great leadership. That of course trickles down to middle management. So it’s great experience.” Alonzo said.
Virginia Teeple shares the same sentiments.
“I would encourage not just Latino women but all women to come and work at FCA US,” said Teeple. “This Company has the best practices, leadership and management for empowering all women to become leaders.”
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