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April 6, 2023

Strengths in Differences

Leslie Barboza

Strenghts in Differences diversity in marketing article.

Recently, CE has started a project with Olé Mexican Foods to bring people together through food and authenticity. Olé Mexican Foods is one of the U.S.’s leading companies in authentic Mexican products with brands such as La Banderita and Verolé. This brand touched very close to home for me as a Mexican-American woman working in marketing. I was able to bridge a gap with a cultural experience that, before this client, I took for granted.

What feels like boring, day-to-day things for you may be just the thing your team needs to bring an idea to life and provide your client with a plan that feels authentic and true. In today’s globalized world, diversity is crucial to the success of any business. With different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, diverse teams bring a wealth of perspectives and ideas to the table. However, being diverse can often feel like we are simply checking a box or meeting a quota for a company. Acknowledge the strengths in your differences to remember your true value. Your culture is who you are, how you view things, and what you see in the world.

Different Perspectives Offer Valuable Insights

As previously mentioned, I was brought onto the Olé Mexican Foods project as the social strategist. I tried my hardest to contain my excitement but, as a Mexican-American woman who was raised by head-strong Mexican women and whose diet has always been 90% La Banderita tortillas and Verolé Queso Fresco, that was an unrealistic goal.

Our VP of Creative Services, Will Griffith, explained the story of Veronica Moreno, founder of Olé Mexican Foods, and how our efforts will be focused on amplifying her story. From my experience, I saw Moreno’s story as something more than a success story—it is a rallying cry for Latinos in America. While hearing her story I could only think of a particular saying we have in Mexican culture that gives Moreno’s story a full circle: ponte las pilas.

“Ponte las pilas,” figuratively translated, means to buckle down, work harder, and keep pushing. Directly translated, it means “put on your batteries.” It is a saying we hear often when we find ourselves in difficult situations or hardships. The saying is a modernized, light-hearted version of “Si se puede,” which literally translated means, “Yes, it can be done,” which was popularized by Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez in the United Farm Workers Union in the 1970s and later used for the immigration reform marches in 2006. These sayings add cultural relevance and understanding to the story we are telling for our clients. Being able to provide that piece of background knowledge to the team forced me to reevaluate the assets I bring to the table.

Understanding Your Value and Leveraging Diversity

For young minority professionals, there is often a feeling that we need to tone our true selves down to blend with the norm of corporate culture which can be draining for your mental health. I have come to understand that trying to fit in with the majority is a huge disservice not only to you but to your team and client. The life you have lived, the stories you know, the sayings you hear, the way you view things, all have value when you are the minority. The things you overlook on a daily basis are your strong suit so take a step back and reassess your differences to understand your strengths.

Diversity, in all its forms, is an invaluable asset to any team. Leveraging different perspectives and experiences is one of the best ways to tap into the full potential of a team. When we work with people who come from different backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. It allows us to consider new ideas, gain insights into areas where we may not have any experience, and think more creatively. In a world that is constantly evolving, diversity has never been more important. It is only when we embrace our differences that we can truly reach our full potential. So let us celebrate diversity and all its complexities, for it is what makes us stronger and more successful as individuals, and as a team.

It’s time to challenge old mindsets, break down barriers, and invite difference and diversity into the workplace. By doing so, we can unlock a world of untapped potential and unique perspectives that can help us tackle complex problems and create truly innovative solutions. So, let’s start celebrating our differences, embracing diversity, and harnessing the power of strengths in differences.