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For Hispanic professionals group, diversity is about action.

Byline: Erika Strebel

Seventeen years ago, diversity and inclusion weren't even being talked about at many businesses and institutions. However, both topics have been front and center at the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee since its founding in 2001.

The organization offers various types of support to Hispanics to help ensure the state has a diverse workforce.

"For us, it's about actions more than words," said Kim Schultz, HPGM director of strategic partnerships and events. "It's one thing to talk about diversity and inclusion and it's another thing to actually put together meaningful initiatives in place that affect the makeup of your workforce."

HPGM's work over the years has included the start of 10 student charters at various universities and colleges in the region. This has helped Hispanic students get support and resources they might need to go further in their schooling.

HPGM also started the Board Pipeline Initiative in 2016 with the Greater Milwaukee Fund. The initiative provides training to people who are interested in serving on boards. It also, in 2015, started the Consortium of Leading Employee Organizations Milwaukee, which brings corporate partners and affinity groups together for workshops.

HPGM's most recent priority has been a workforce study partnership with the Wisconsin Policy Forum. The study is meant to help the group gather and analyze comprehensive data about Hispanics and their progress in various careers.

"We really feel that that will help drive any future initiative that we take on moving forward," Schultz said. "We want to make sure that whatever we're doing is providing value for people and really meeting people where they are versus just where we're trying to get them."

HPGM's main goal is to build partnerships, whether they be with large corporations, small nonprofit groups or individual people.

"It's about really being open to allowing people to bring their talents to the table to share with our membership and then seeing what our members have already that they can offer," said Schultz.

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Publication:The Daily Reporter
Geographic Code:1U3WI
Date:Nov 15, 2018
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