We interviewed Teresa Padilla, Operations Administrator out of our Reno, Nevada office and co-lead of the LatinX at SWCA Employee Resource Group (ERG). She shares what her LatinX heritage means to her and the ERG’s current priorities and goals.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at SWCA
A: I was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico and have lived in the USA for almost ten years. I have a husband, Eugenio, two strong-willed kids (like their mother), Emma and Sara, and a dog, Miri. My professional background is in Human Resources, and I started working for SWCA in June 2019 as the Admin at the Reno office.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
A: I really enjoy reading fiction, running with my dog, playing board games with my family, being outside, and going out with my friends – music and dancing are a big part of my life.
Q: What does your heritage mean to you?
A: It is part of who I am. Our values, traditions, and culture are inside of us. It doesn’t matter that I live in the USA; I still teach my kids the beauty of our community. No matter what, I’m so proud to be Mexican.
Q: What would you like people to know about your culture?
A: The LatinX community is so diverse. Being Mexican, I thought I knew everything about my community, but I was wrong. Listening and learning from everyone’s stories reveals so many blind spots. Knowing this community is a journey of knowledge sharing.
Q: What are some things that you do to recognize and celebrate your culture?
A: I speak Spanish to my kids inside and outside the house and we are always playing Spanish music. We cook Mexican dishes at home, such as tacos, carne asada, and chiles rellenos. Not every day, but we try to do it weekly at least – my kids love tacos. We also visit Mexico often to help our kids to learn about our roots. I buy products there like shoes, clothes, and makeup to support Mexican products and companies.
Q: What does leading the LatinX ERG mean to you, and how did you become involved with it?
A: I started as a member in 2020 and when Natalia, the founder, left. I raised my hand since I wanted to be more involved in building a culture of belonging. This role has been a big privilege as well as a big responsibility. Every LatinX member has been vital in this leadership journey and I’m very grateful to work with them.
Q: What are the goals and activities of the group?
A: To be seen and heard by SWCA. We are trying to educate the company about the LatinX culture and community through raising awareness, providing resources, and establishing a network that encourages cross-collaboration across other ERGs. We are also focused on outreach to increase the number of LatinX employees and leadership roles at SWCA.
Every meeting has a purpose to further those goals. We always keep it different, fun, and engaging with music and activities like trainings, guest speakers, breakout rooms, and panels.