An inclusive focus: Embracing grit to own your future:
Inclusion at RSM
Earlier this year, our Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA) employee network group hosted a virtual event for students as a part of our Inclusion at RSM webcast series. The theme of the webcast was embracing grit in your life and career. RSM Audit Partner, National Health Care Consulting Leader, and National HOLA leader Carlos Hernandez shared how his involvement and passion for culture, diversity and inclusion and his personal grit lead him to where he is today:
I believe grit is based on passion and perseverance which ultimately leads to success. When you have grit, you give everything you can even under tough circumstances. You stand firm in the face of adversity and ultimately stay the course and use good judgement.
When I think of an example of embracing grit, I think about my grandparents who immigrated to the United States from Cuba. With nothing but $18 in my grandfather’s sock, my grandparents brought their family to Miami to start a new life. Right away, my grandparents started working and my mother and her sisters started going to school, despite not knowing English. With inspiring perseverance, my grandfather eventually started a successful printing business and my mother and her sisters continued their education and made their own success in our new country.
The perseverance of my grandparents has always inspired me and led me to profound experiences in my own life. I first left Miami to go to a college in a small town located in central Illinois, where I seemed to be the only Cuban American. Despite facing adversity as an outsider, this experience put me in a position to appreciate how everyone was different and how learning about our differences can be powerful. I kept this in mind as I entered my professional life in public accounting, which then lead me to become a champion for diversity and inclusion.
After previously working for two big accounting firms and a major health care company, I was blown away when I finally got to RSM. It was a breath of fresh air to see how diversity and inclusion was truly a part of the culture. It was inspiring to see so many initiatives and investments that went into RSM’s focus on CDI, and I immediately got involved. Then two years ago, I was given the honor to become the national leader of our Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement employee network group (HOLA).
As a contributing leader to our firm’s CDI efforts, I help strategize and determine what we can do to give all of our people a voice, foster a sense of belonging in our culture and ensure everyone has a path to success and access to equal opportunities. Today, the Hispanic community, as well as other minority groups, are growing in our country and clients are seeking diverse representation. Therefore, our CDI efforts are more than just the right thing to do—they are forward-thinking and critical to our firm’s success.
I am proud to be a national CDI leader and partner at RSM, and I know that I would not be where I am today without grit and perseverance. I’ve learned that in order to own your future and have success, you must lead from where you are, stick to your goals and use your own personal grit to pave the way.