Sharing Their Stories: A Conversation with Drift’s Latinx ERG

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This is a podcast episode titled, Sharing Their Stories: A Conversation with Drift’s Latinx ERG. The summary for this episode is: <p>In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re lifting up voices from Drift’s own Latinx community.</p><p><br></p><p>In this episode, Elias sits down with four members of Drift’s Latinx employee resource group (ERG). Spanning across the marketing, recruiting, sales, and customer success teams, Lorraine Chon-Qui Rodriguez, Luisiana Cruz, Orlando Gomez, and Francisco Oller Garcia share their stories of what brought them to Drift.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>Tune in to hear why Lorraine’s tennis coach is the reason she made it into the tech world, how Orlando found a community on Twitter, how Francisco learned to honor his roots, and what Luisiana was asking for for Christmas when she was 12 (hint: it wasn’t Barbies).&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>Be sure to hit the subscribe button to get new episodes when they drop every month.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In the meantime, be sure to leave a ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends. You can connect with Elias, Luisiana, Orlando and Francisco on Twitter at&nbsp; @eliast, @LuisianaC, @OrlandoGomezzz, @VitaminCisco, and @DriftPodcasts and Lorraine on LinkedIn.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>For more learnings from Elias, check out his quarterly newsletter, The American Dream. You can subscribe at</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

Elias: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the American Dream podcast. This episode airs during Hispanic Heritage Month. So we're doing something a little special for it. I'm here with four members of our LatinX ERG Drift, and we're going to have an open conversation about what being the new face of corporate America means for Drift. It's going to be a packed 30 minutes, so let's get right into it. foreign language Welcome, everybody. Lorraine, Orlando, Francisco in Louisiana. It's so good to have you all in one place, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. A very special month for us Latinos in this country, in the United States of America. I want to talk a little bit about you. I want to hear a little bit about your stories, we're fellow drifters. I really excited to have you here. Like our producer from our show Elizabeth said, you guys have heard my story enough times. We want to hear yours. And everybody's story is incredible. You guys have a lot to share. And my goal, right? Is to really promote and lift our voices. So others would be inspired to keep growing and succeeding in search of accomplishing their own American dream. Let's do a quick intro, everybody. So we'll go to Lorraine first, Orlando, Louisiana, Francisco, give a little intro about who are you, what do you do at Drift and a little bit about yourselves.

Lorraine: Awesome. Hey everyone. We already know each other, but I'm Lorraine. I am originally from Ecuador, born and raised, and I'm a digital marketing specialist here at Drift.

Orlando: I'm Orlando, I'm helping build out the freestyles program. A little bit about my background, I'm from the south side of Chicago. Parents are from Guanajuato, Mexico and I'm a first gen American here.

Elias: Yes. Lorraine. Are you a first- generation born here.

Lorraine: Born in Ecuador. I was raised there till I was 16 and I moved to lovely Florida about 11 years ago. So I'm definitely Ecuadorian with a Puerto Rican mom who was raised in Honduras. So it's quite a mix there. I'm from everywhere in Latin America, you can say.

Elias: Just like David.

Lorraine: Yeah. Which is actually extremely rare to find.

Elias: Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican.

Lorraine: Yeah. It's super rare.

Elias: Orlando, Mexican descent. Right? But you were born in Mexico?

Orlando: No. In Chicago. My sister was born in Mexico and then I was born in Chicago. I had citizenship, but she had to go through that process.

Elias: Perfect. Luisiana?

Luisiana: Hi I'm Luisiana. I'm a recruiter here at Drift and my parents are from Puerto Rico. I was born in Lowell, Mass. So I've lived in Boston and new the New York area all my life. And I'm happy to be here.

Elias: That's awesome.

Francisco: My name is Francisco. I'm from Puerto Rico, born and raised in Puerto Rico, 100% Puerto Rican. So I work on the customer advocate team. So anytime anybody has a question about how to use Drift, I'm there for them. Tickets, chat, email, whatever it is, I'm there. And part of my journey is, I was born with a physical disability, but that has never stopped me. Right? Can you imagine it Puerto Rican in Providence, Rhode Island for college, freezing, because that was me, but I learned to roll with it. And now I can say I've survived blizzards and winters Panola in Florida. So just roll with it now.

Elias: That's incredible. You're a tough guy in this. It seems to be an overwhelming Puerto Rican panelists here. So I got to be careful what I said about Puerto Rico.

Lorraine: Puerto Rico.

Elias: I lived in lower Louisiana.

Lorraine: Oh really?

Elias: Yeah. I lived in lower for about eight years.

Lorraine: Oh wow. Yeah.

Elias: So Know the area well. I really love this mixture. Right? Some of you are born here. Some of you immigrated and want to hear a little bit about your journey, you know what it was like. So let me hear maybe Lorraine, tell me your story about coming into United States and how did you break into, now you're in tech. I think that one of the things that I like to promote is the opportunities that tech create for us Latinos. And when everybody's always asking me for the advice, how do you break into tech? And I think all of you have done. Are successful in it. You are now, you are in tech, you're official, you're working with one of the best companies out there biased. Right? But I think people want to hear your advice. How did you do that? Lorraine? I know Orlando has good stories too.

Lorraine: Yeah. So I mean, moving when you're a teenager, it's definitely a challenge because your priorities are not exactly where they should be. Your priorities are your friends, and what are you do after school and your little groups here and there? So that was definitely a challenge, not to mention the language barrier. So when I moved, we actually moved to central Florida, which there was not a lot of Spanish influence or Hispanic influence in general. The first couple of years it was complete denial. It was like always looking back and wanting to go back to your country. And it's also always feeling like you are fit in, or a little behind on the process. So for example, when everyone was making career choices on what they wanted to study in college, I was more focused on, oh, how do you say this quote in English? It was always feeling a little beam, a little behind on the process and having that pressure. But you grow, made it to college. I played tennis thankfully in college. So I had that outlet for me to pay for school and build that circle that I really lagged off. When I moved here to the U. S. originally. When I graduated, I actually switched my major like three, four times. Because honestly, like when I was in college, that's when it hit me. I was like, oh, this is my education. This is my future. I really need to make an actual decision on not on the size of major anymore. I needed to focus on what actually saw myself to one. So I went for communications because for me, communications was a challenge. So I was like, okay, if I can master this part, I can just get used to the work environment. Anything else I can learn it as long as I have this communication, part of things established. So when I graduated college, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with my degree in communications or marketing. I went into hospitality. Honestly, when you graduate, you just take the first job that looks core bread. When you're right out of school. Didn't really paint well or anything. But I was like, okay, I'm going to focus on doing the best I can on that job that I had. I mean, it was indirectly what led me to Drift. It was focusing on the job that I had, which was a lot of event planning and membership retention in the hospitality world, like country club company. So I feel like I focus on that for two years and a half. And I didn't notice that I was building those transferable skills that really helped me in the tech industry on, especially on Drift, hyper growth company where things change all the time and we're always growing. So I feel like those transferable skills on focusing to do just the best work possible with a position I had, really made a huge impact on how I broke into the industry. To be honest, I didn't even know what SAS was before Drift. I was like super fresh in the market. I was like, I knew that I wanted to get into tech and I applied to a bunch of roles, but they weren't necessarily SAS. There were more IT base or things like that. And I got rejected from every single role. And then the opportunity just presented itself when I had enough experience two years and a half later, my curriculum started catching eyes and whatnot, and I was able to be recruited through LinkedIn. And that's how I worked. I mean, I just focused on doing the best work possible with the position I had, instead of always looking ahead of like, oh no, you know what? I hate this role. Let me break into something that look more appealing and whatnot. So yeah, that's my story on how I found Drift. And drift perfect because of the nature of our product. I wanted to break into the digital marketing world. I started as a sales development rep, master the message, master what marketers actually care about in the industry. So it was perfect timing.

Elias: That's amazing. Congratulations. I'm definitely seeing you grow at Drift. And I think there's so many nuggets, right? That we all have to make sure that we point out, right? I love what you did overcoming, right? That imposter syndrome that we all have. I still to this day will say that I'm afraid to write because I came when I was 17, right? And it's like not being a native speaker and not having grown up here and taking the right courses on writing, I feel uncomfortable. And those are the things that we have to constantly overcome. We never done with that. You are living proof that we just have to move on. And you took the first job. I mean, just so many great things that you said, right? You took the first job. We Latinos have that humility, right? That we understand, especially first- generation immigrants where we're like, we'll do whatever it takes. And that's something that employers look and want and need, right? Especially for people that are just developing their skillset right. And their experience. But ultimately you knew where you were going, right? You knew you wanted to be in marketing and you were smart about that. And the other thing is that you're living proof that people worry about like, how do I get in? Well you just get it? You apply. You look you see, and I want to encourage companies, Latinos or whites, listen to this to encourage your companies, to go to places like Tampa places, where there is a larger there's concentrations of diverse candidates and population, right? Something that we want to encourage because that's how we allow more equity to happen in this country. Right. If we stick to the places that there is not enough candidates, then we worry about not satisfying diversity.

Luisiana: So for me it was, so I came from a agency background, staffing agency background. So I got to work on a lot of different brands, from tech, beauty, luxury, all that stuff. And so I got a little bit of a taste of everything. And just the entire time that I worked in staffing and boutique agency side, I always felt like I was taking on these massive, really elaborate projects that were challenging. And they were exciting and got me in the room. Right? And at the table. But once those projects were done, it was like, all right, now I've got to go start all over again, all over again. And not really seeing the full picture coming to life long- term. I think that was the breaking point. Not in a negative way, but more so of like, I know what I'm not liking right now. And I want to change that. So what does that look like? And technology has always been something that I've always been interested in. Even as a kid. When everybody was asking for toys and dolls during Christmas, I was like, can I have the new camcorder that came out, it was like a laptop. It was something out there. And my parents were looking at me like, you're 12. What do you need a fully lighting setup for and whatnot. So I made a list and I was like, these are the, my top five companies that I'm going to start looking at. Obviously living in Boston Drift's everywhere. Everybody's always talking about Drift. And oddly enough, when I posted that I was coming to drift on my Facebook. So many people from different backgrounds and industries were like, I love Drift. Oh my gosh. And they were just so excited. I was like, wow. I'm coming from an agency where I worked with all these large brands and nobody knew where I was working. And now I'm going to this like company that's in hypergrowth. And everybody's like sounding off in the comments for Drift. So it felt great. And for me, it was really at the end of the day, I'm a proud Hispanic. I love where my colors on my sleeves. And I let people know when I show up, like, yep, that's, I'm Puerto Rican. And so to be able to have an opportunity to come help build a tech company where the founders are Latin X, it was a no brainer for me. It was like, that's where I get the full nugget. And furthermore building something that's going to disrupt the market. Because at the end of the day, I want to be working towards something that has value. That's going to be making impact. That's big. So for me, it was, let me set a goal and where I want to go. And that's where I'm going to keep at it until I get there. That's been my mindset with certain things throughout my career. And initially when I first interviewed at Drift, it was a great conversation and they were going to set up the next round and then COVID hit. So things were paused and I'm just like, oh, you know, I was bummed. And a lot of time went by, but I made sure to keep checking in with the recruiter. I'm like, Hey, what's going on, are you guys hiring again, are you back? And they're like, not yet. And I had multiple conversations and just keeping in touch and just not necessarily taking it as a no, but as like the time's not right. And you know, at the end of the day, I was thankful that I kept harvesting that relationship. And when there was an opening and they're like, Hey, guess what we have is opportunity. And to be honest, the opportunity that was presented at the time, wasn't necessarily aligned to my experience and years in staffing. But it wasn't even a question for me because it was like, this is my opportunity to go help and work for something that I believe in and where I want to go. So it was a no brainer. They're like, are you sure? I'm like, I'm sure. I'm ready to start today. Can we do this? And here I am five months later and I have the career pathing that I've been looking for and moving in the direction that I want. And I couldn't be happier things align. And it's just about coming up with a plan where you want to go and there's no right or wrong path in that it's, let's figure out how to get there and mapping it. And so being flexible and being able to take a step back and not being set on this is the way it has to go, will allow you to see other opportunities to get you where you're looking to go.

Elias: Francisco, you want to tell us a short story. Francisco Has stories galore. Like I love the blizzards in Rhode Island in the wheelchair. Oh my God, you got to be so tough. I can barely walk in the snow. It's like, you're amazing. Tell us a little story.

Francisco: Absolutely. So my story to Drift is very interesting, right? Because before even coming to Drift, I knew about Drift because I went to school in Rhode Island and I moved down to Tampa to pursue my masters. And I graduated with my masters and I always kept an eye on Drift. And one of the things that I think is so important is that we forget how influential people can be and how someone we meet today can open the door for us later. Right? So one of the things that I'm known as a super fan, because I spent probably an entire year and still do, as Drift's biggest cheerleader on LinkedIn. Right? But in that journey, it took me, I think it was about a few tries to get into Drift. But one of the things, and I think some of us have alluded to is, no doesn't mean no forever. Right? It just means how important it is to identify what areas we need to make up and where we can double down on our strengths. So with that being said, right? One of the things that I was always, I would probably seem to always been. But one of the things that was always on my mind when I would go through an interview is my disability. Right now in this remote world, it doesn't matter as much. But I would always be like, do I say, do I have a disability to not say like, what's going to happen when they seem to be rolling in the door in my Ferrari red wheels? Are they just be like, oh, what's happening here? And when I interviewed at Drift, one of the things that really stood out to me was that my interviewers asked me about my disability. They ask me about my perspective. They ask what about what I had seen and what I have lived through. Right? So it wasn't, when I mentioned my disability, it wasn't this awkward pause, but it was something where I was told is like, a lot of people can say they're resilient, but you've lived it. You are a living example of resilience of persistence. Not just because you went to college in Rhode Island, but because you face all these obstacles and you continue going, right? So the two things that I think are so important in breaking into tech is, it doesn't matter where your path has been up to now. You can meet the people and you can find the resources to get there. And just because someone tells you no, now, doesn't mean you shouldn't keep that conversation going. Just keep going, keep going. And know that you have the ability to go to wherever you want to go. You may not be when you want it, but you can do it.

Elias: It's incredible. And do you know, but like all the people that you know on LinkedIn, you know how many people would message me all the time? You and I did not talk to her in the interview process, but you know how many people were like, messaging me. You have to hire Francisco. You have to hire Francis. And I'm like, I'm on it. I'm on it. I'm on it. And I'll be like, pass in the links. When are we hiring again? When are we picking up steam again? And everybody, you build some great relationships. I think that's a very important thing that you've done. Your network, your group of supporters. We all need a community that encourages, that believes in us, right? Because that's what really, what keeps us going when we get a rejection and we Latinos, we're going to get a lot of rejection. All the time. We're going to get rejected. We're going to get beat up. People are not going to understand it. By the way, my father is in a wheelchair Francisco, since he was like 20 something years old. So like, I definitely appreciate the strength and the persistent you have to overcome a lot of the difficulties that we just take for granted, right? Just like I remember helping him get him in the car, everything that he could do by himself too, he's unbelievable. He can do everything by himself, but it's just like how he goes about it. It's slightly harder, but it doesn't stop him. It never has. He's a big inspiration to me as well. Orlando, tell us a little bit about, about your journey here. Drift for startups. Francisco's big, hot shot on LinkedIn. You're on Twitter, right? Orlando, Twitter is your game?

Orlando: Yeah, that's my preferred source. It's actually how I got my Drift job. It was through Twitter.

Elias: Oh, I know. We see it.

Orlando: Yeah. So I'm new to tech. I joined Drift in April, coming from finance. I spent a better part of a decade in private wealth and investment banking. And then once I was in investment banking and spending 110 hours a week, doing like decks and modeling and had like no life outside of that, I knew that I wanted to spend all my hours. If I was spending say a hundred hours a week on something that I wanted to build something, instead of possibly having a deck that gets trashed. So I was like, okay, I want to go be a builder. I want to go be an operator. And being in tech or being in Twitter, allowed me to see these tech circles and what it meant. And there's a real thing called tech Twitter, where a lot of tech companies are at it. And I was using LinkedIn a lot, which is a great source. But then as soon as I started using Twitter that I found out about Drift's just rev growth, which I attended back in the fall and then got so inspired by just like putting yourself out there. And I decided, well, I'm going to join a company that wanted to make sure that the culture's right. And I decided to use it a little bit of my personality. I made a jingle, a Spanish shingle for Jeff, and then I tagged you in DC. And it was one of those things where like, you can think I'm a total fool and then never want to talk to me again, or like, if you wanted to talk to me after at least I knew that there was some kind of culture fit there. And that's how the conversation with Jeff started. And then Jen, my teammate back in March, posted about the Drift's startups program on Twitter. And I, luckily I saw it on my timeline and then DMD her. And it was just like this, I was unbelievable how Drift had been on the radar for months and months, but it also went to breaking into tech. The role really matters, especially I'm coming from finance and MBA. And I wanted it, would have loved to join earlier, but the role has to be right. The company right but also the role. And Jen posted it, it was a perfect fit. And we interviewed, and then I joined the Drift's program and loving this so far. I love how drift has celebrate hiring diverse people. People of color, Latinos, blacks, everything I get, everybody's that reaches out to me and say, look, we hire Orlando. We hire Francisco, Louisiana. It's all of your stories are amazing because first of all, you guys have no idea what it means to me to hear your stories. Because building companies is really hard. It's like, to the point of that sometimes I would say to people, I don't want to hear, why do you want to start a company? It's like, it's just ridiculous. I'm telling you where you don't have no idea how deep this comes from the pain. Everybody just wants to see the positive things, but it's really difficult. It's really hard. And in the end you really have to find out what the definition of your dream is. And I think here in Louisiana, like when I say goosebumps, I really mean it. Right? It's like to create opportunities like this, right? To have people excited, to have people progress, just like when I was your age. And I was breaking in into tech and getting a job and the excitement, there's nothing more rewarding than that. That is so pure for me to like, feel that excitement and the energy that you guys bring, your fanfare, your loudness, your colors, you just, however we come across. It's what I love, right? Is to create an avenue for us to be welcomed. For us to be understood. For us to be accepted and not be seen as weird or different. I usually I'm too loud in a meeting or I'm too insane. I'm too energetic or too crazy. Right? And it's like, we're culturally different. And we are both humble. We learn, we want to work hard. And we going to deal with the rejection and the negativity. So it's like, I love to see how you guys have pushed through all of you. Coming out of those places. We come out of those zip codes. Do you guys know that your future and your economic success is defined by the zip code you grew up in? It's crazy how it is. I was going through, I forget it, opportunityatlas. com or. org. I actually looked up all the places I have lived in the United States and all my zip codes, oh boy, not good. Tampa, Florida, south gate and Connecticut Lowell, it's like all the zip codes. It's like, God, I can't find a good sip code. But I was able to break through that. And so that's really my inspiration. I think all of you are doing it. If not already did it. It's incredible. Right? Because it's possible. And that's what I love about this country. Right? That we can break through, if we want to. If we focus on our goals, like Lorraine said at the beginning, you were worried about like, thinking about one foot in the past and you want to go back, where are you from? You're from inaudible

Lorraine: foreign language

Orlando: Yeah. And so it's like you want to go back to inaudible the scene is there, your friends, your family, the culture, it just feels amazing. And you overcame that. And it's doesn't mean that we can forget our culture, but you had to balance that.

Lorraine: Yeah. And I think just listening to everyone's stories, I think one thing in common that we all had is that somehow someone decided to help you out or open a door for you. And I think we don't realize how valuable it is to have not necessarily a mentor. Because I feel like the word mentor is saturated at this point. It's a ton of pressure of like, oh, I need to find a mentor and all this things. It's just the little things that people that have more societal power have, the impact that they've had in their lives, I don't think that they realize. For me, for example, like it was my tennis coach when I moved to the U. S. in the middle of nowhere, like he took me, Ukrainian guy from the military. We are total opposites, but he took me under his wing. He was like, Hey, I think you can pay your college education with tennis. And that one decision that he took to guide me through the process of what an ACT was or what is the score that I need in order to play for a certain university or things like that, that we overlook, that open a series of events. That honestly it led me to where I am today because one, I wouldn't have had to probably a college location or I probably would have, and I'll be in a ton of debt right now, trying to figure out what my path was. I wouldn't have able to build that network with the team and all that stuff that ultimately led me to my first job and let me to Drift and led me to where I am today. So one thing that I think that we all had in common was that, that someone along the way, like Francisco with their interview process and Orlando, with your Twitter stories, and same with Louisiana. I feel like there was always that one person that took a shot on us and that saw that potential. So I feel like at Drift, that's the common factor, that we were all given that opportunity to prove ourselves beyond our resume or our curriculum or a background.

Elias: What do you think of Hispanic Heritage Month? What does it mean to you? What it should mean in this country? What can we do to create and raise more awareness about our culture, our people, and the struggle that we have and the desire and hunger that we have to succeed just like everyone else. Right?

Francisco: I love it. I really, I appreciate the time because I think exposure is very important coming from the south side of Chicago, we were talking about earlier about your zip code determines. When I was in banking, I once told someone else on the south side, Chicago, and they just like looked at me up and down this like, I've never met someone from the south side of Chicago. I felt like an alien at that point. I just, what do you mean? There's three million people in Chicago, you haven't met one? And that's like the reality. But in terms of the Hispanic Heritage Month, it's like a time where we can celebrate the people who are paving the path for everyone that comes after them, such as yourself, Elias in DC, where we can celebrate the people who are really building that foundation so that other people can continue to build on top of that and celebrating our culture. Because Latinos, I know we're not a monolith. We have so much culture and music and dance and everything. And just getting everyone insight into that. Even if they're not Latino, I think is an amazing thing.

Elias: I love how we always have to be like music and dance and music and food. Of course, everybody is with me.

Luisiana: For me, it's a bit two- part. But growing up, born here and with Puerto Rican parents, there's always the sense of like, where do I really belong? And it's like, it's the sense of belonging, right? Role as you know, is very diverse in population, but still very separated in terms of the groups. Like you have little Portugal, you have little Italy, like it's very separated. So I feel that Latin heritage month is the month where like, we're in every right to tell everybody all rate, it's our turn. We, you guys, you need to hear what our cultures are about and learn about why we're proud of what we do and how you experience our culture all the time. But these is really where the roots come from. And it's really that month for me of like, I feel like I ultimately belong. Right? Because it's about our people, our culture, and it's at the forefront. So it's an exciting and proud time for me personally. And if I could, every day it would be a party, with the food, the music and the dancing. The whole month.

Elias: The whole month. Yeah. If we would only wasn't for COVID.

Luisiana: Right.

Elias: I think, yeah, we would be doing that. Absolutely. I think that's a really good point you're making. One of the things that we should, we're trying to encourage. Right? And I personally want to encourage people is just to have a voice to speak up, right? To feel comfortable. I do believe in some moderation, right? I believe in that, we should have a civil conversation. We should be respectful. We should be tolerant. But nonetheless, I think that we are many times don't have the confidence or the voice or the strength or the words to tell about ourselves. To tell about our culture. To fight for our rights. To fight for equality. And so I really appreciate this month, being that I think what you said, right? It's when helps us, gives us this encouragement, this extra push to just speak up. I fortunately don't care anymore. I do it all year round. I don't have to wait for September, October to defend Latinos in this country. I just feel like I lost all shyness or the imposter seminar. I just put it in front and I'm just like, look, I'm going to tell you about how Latinos do it and what we want and what we need and what we deserve and what we're going to earn, because I don't just want to be given things because I'm Latino. I want to earn it. I want to earn every single thing that I accomplished. So I did it as an important thing, right? For people use this moment as a launching pad. Right. But it's like, you got to keep going and doing it because it's like, we can't just be relegated to one month. We always have to be, to feel comfortable telling about ourselves.

Francisco: Okay. Think one of the things that has, and I touched upon this a little bit when I talked about my story, but I think it's about owning your story, right? For a lot of my life, I always say like, I'm a proud Latino with a disability, right? It's like both come together. And when I found myself in Rhode Island, feeling out of place in terms of just like new people, new cultures, without my parents. And the thing that helped me get through it was leaning into my identity, leaning into who I was and being that loud person who always wants to make a scene. Well, in a way I always make a scene because when I roll in everybody stops and if there's also something people know about me is I do terrible jokes. So that was one of them. But to me, it's about owning our story, owning our history and knowing that our past is the foundation for what we want our future to be. And as long as we honor our roots, we can create these new paths and we can create new opportunities for others. And that's what important about Hispanic Heritage Month. It's not where we've gone to. It's where we want to go and striving everyday to helping others get to where they want to go too.

Lorraine: Orlando. You want to touch first on the ERG.

Orlando: Yeah. The Latin X ERG, which is Latin X at Drift here. The real mission behind it is just to provide a sense of community and belonging for the Latin X drifters here. And then through that community and belonging, we can help each other professionally, so professional development. So you can have representation across departments and not just an entry level roles, but ideally, and also in manager and director roles and up the ladder as well. So that from the professional side. But also from the personal side, because we are more than just start jobs. So having that connection amongst people, especially in the virtual environment, that's really what we're trying to create with the Latin X ERG.

Elias: And I think there's something that people forget about the ERGs Drift and that I learned from a mentor of mine when we're growing and getting big enough to say, it was time for us to start establishing them and looking for people that want to delete them and create them, is that it's good for what you said, everything that you said. But most importantly is for you to help bring people like us into the company. One thing it is, is not just to have parties or food and gatherings, but also for us to help us bring the talent and make sure that Drift is welcoming and is following the right process to hire more like every single one of the ERGs that we have at Drift. So something to keep in mind. So we can give that opportunity. Like Lorraine say, we can be that helping hand. We can make that one comment. We can make that one encouragement, you know that to a person that needs. It says, look how you came here, it's not so hard, but you took that leap of faith. You took a chance, right?

Orlando: I think on that note as well, in terms of what brought me to Drift, it was also just content that Drift puts out, much like this podcast, because I saw your story in DC story. And I saw everything that was happening at Drift and content is a powerful recruiting tool. So having something like this, just cements the fact that we take it seriously about how we want to make people feel and how we want to be looked at in the market, to prospective employees or to competitors.

Luisiana: That's the number one thing that comes up in recruiting calls that I have with candidates is when I ask them, what do you know? And they're like, well, I see the content. And the number one question is, is the culture really what it seems like. And it's been described online. I was like to be honest, exceeded my expectations when I got here. And so I think for me from a recruiting standpoint, it's always so fascinating speaking to other individuals who have such an excitement for a product and for the brand based off of what they've seen on our content. And being able to speak to them about specifically, because I work on the SDR program and part of our initiatives is really helping underrepresented people and women get into tech sales and break in with zero to nine years experience you could start a tech sales career and we'll help you get there. And when I tell them of that focus and why we're doing it, it's like, wow, this is a no brainer. Like when can I start? And they're so excited and you just hear it in their voice. And they're, and they just like, can't contain it almost. They're like, I need to go work there. I need to work there. But there's also this other layer of like, what other advice can you give me? What is it like for other Latinos? What is it like for other black people at Drift? And what do you, what kind of programming? And when I go through the ERG and I talk about certain events and initiatives and how we put a focus, it's like, you just hear it in their voice of just like finally. This is where I got to go. This is where I'm supposed to be. So I think to your point, Orlando, that's big.

Elias: I love Louisiana is the recruiter here. And I think that that's where we leave it. We are recording this to recruit more underrepresented people in this country that want to break into tech. Please reach out. Reach out to any of these personalities here that we have in this panel today, let's celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Let's tell everyone our story. Let's share this podcast. If you don't know what to share, we want to make sure that everybody knows that Drift, our mission is really to be the new face of a diverse corporate America and really help define that, right? And show and model it to other companies that we need to be able to open our minds and hear stories. Give people a chance. Go seek them out and you're going to find amazing, incredibly diverse, talented, fun, energetic, strong, persistent people in the Latino culture and other places around the world that makes this country so great. So thank you so much, everybody. The stories, you have no idea that they mean so much. A lot of people might not understand and relate to them, but they know at least the Latinos in us, we all know we can appreciate every single one of your stories. Thank you very much and have a fantastic month. Thanks for listening to the American dream. Let me know what you thought of this episode by tweeting me @ lest. Be sure to hit subscribe and leave a five- star review board, porfavor. If you're looking for more leadership insights and stories like the ones you just heard sign up for my series, the American dream at drift. com/ american- dream. Every quarter, you'll learn how drift is progressing towards our mission of remaking the face of corporate America. And you will get insights from amazing Latin- American and entrepreneurs of color. And leaders like Manny Medina of Outreach, Maria Martinez of Cisco and many others along with curated content, news, events and ideas delivered straight to your inbox. Muchas gracias. And don't forget to sign up.


In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re lifting up voices from Drift’s own Latinx community.

In this episode, Elias sits down with four members of Drift’s Latinx employee resource group (ERG). Spanning across the marketing, recruiting, sales, and customer success teams, Lorraine Chon-Qui Rodriguez, Luisiana Cruz, Orlando Gomez, and Francisco Oller Garcia share their stories of what brought them to Drift. 

Tune in to hear why Lorraine’s tennis coach is the reason she made it into the tech world, how Orlando found a community on Twitter, how Francisco learned to honor his roots, and what Luisiana was asking for for Christmas when she was 12 (hint: it wasn’t Barbies).