Interview With Claudia Romo Edelman, Founder of the We Are All Human Foundation

Silvia Davi  |

Claudia Romo Edelman is the Founder of the We Are All Human Foundation and the Co-Host of "Global GoalsCast," a podcast distributed by CBS News Digital, which highlights global progress through the stories of champions making a difference. She is an advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion. Her mission is to use her voice to build bridges and remind us that we are all part of the same human family. Claudia is the Editor at Large of Thrive Global and it was recently announced that she will step into the role of Editor in Chief of Thrive Hispanics.

Prior to this, the Mexican-Swiss diplomat was seconded to the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to lead communications and advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals. Claudia is the former Chief of Advocacy of UNICEF. While living in Europe for 25 years, she successfully led public relations and brand and marketing for global organizations including the World Economic Forum, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB & Malaria.

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1) What inspired you to create We Are All Human Foundation?

  • The world is making progress. You can call me an optimist but also a “possibilistic.”
  • Every matrix indicates progress and forward movement as well as forward thinking so I guess you could see me as very optimistic individual!
  • It is possible to achieve the sustainable development goals; however, one thing does concern me. Unfortunately, the world is becoming more and more divided.
  • The inspiration to create the foundation was to remind everyone that we are all human and we belong to the same human family. If we forget this, then all the progress we have made to date from health to gender to education will diminish.
  • The world is pretty diverse, but we have to make an effort to make it INCLUSIVE so we can achieve equity. This is what our foundation is all about. The We Are All Human is a non-profit foundation dedicated to advancing the agenda of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our vision is for every human to value every human. Our mission is to advocate for every human to be respected and empowered by focusing on our common humanity. By focusing on the universal values that make us all human, we can reach common ground, eliminate discrimination and achieve a more equitable society.

2) Why are there so few Hispanic leaders in Corporate America?

  • 11 out of 500 CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies are Hispanic. This number is such a low number.
  • The situation will change in the next couple of years because Hispanics are the fastest, growing population in this country. I think our community is 30 years behind or so when it comes to understanding our power.
  • Let me tell you. We don’t have mentoring systems in place. We don’t have people in senior positions to take someone with them as a mentee to guide them through a workplace environment let along surviving in Corporate America.
  • Awareness is my top priority to make the Hispanic community aware of their own power.
  • My number 2 priority is to identify and showcase role models so these individuals can join Corporate America.
  • We will soon announce the first round of companies who have signed onto The Hispanic Promise (Promise), the first-of-its-kind diversity & inclusion pledge, in Chicago on April 26. More than 40 companies have signed onto the Promise, including such as Microsoft, Unilever, Nielsen and SAP.
  • The Hispanic Promise pledge has fostered engagement with companies nationwide to make a commitment to create inclusive workplace environments and to take positive actions to hire, promote, retain, and celebrate Hispanics as employees, customers and citizens. The pledge and commitment also call on businesses to promote employee engagement, mentorship programs, employee or business resource groups, talent advancement, and inclusive company cultures, where employees feel they belong, are valued, and have a voice.

3) What are some surprising facts about the future of Hispanics in America?

  • I want to share with you some of the surprising facts about the future of Hispanics in America. We actually surveyed Hispanics across the country to bring more awareness and clarity. We are the FUTURE of America. I would proudly add also that we are the muscles of the middle class of this country.
  • The Hispanic GDP equals $2.13 trillion. If we would be a stand along economy, we will be the 7th largest country in the world.
  • Latinas create businesses six times faster than any other group in the United States. If current Latino-owned business follow the average rate of growth for US business, they would add $1.4 trillion to the economy.
  • 83% of Hispanics believe that Education / Access to Education / Cost of Education is one of the most important issues facing their community today.
  • I have seen communities thrive with far less than the Hispanic community has had to thrive.
  • I have seen first-hand really dismantled situations. Perception matters at the global level so shaping the narrative for Hispanics is important for me and the organization.
  • I am humbled by the global experience I have had. From my experience, I know that the Hispanic population will also thrive if we UNIFY and if they are aware of their own power.

4) How have your past experiences at UNICEF, the United Nations and as a humanitarian impacted you professionally?

  • I have seen communities thrive with far less than the Hispanic community has had to thrive.
  • I have seen first-hand really dismantled situations. Perception matters at the global level so shaping the narrative for Hispanics is important for me and the organization.
  • I am humbled by the global experience I have had. From my experience, I know that the Hispanic population will also thrive if we UNIFY and if they are aware of their own power.

5) What advice do you have for companies looking to diversify their workforce?

  • Start with the I and not with the D of Diversity & Inclusion. The world is already diverse, and we should make it more inclusive for everyone to bring their best selves to the workplace.
  • It is important to retain employees so you can celebrate their successes along with them!

6) What role should our government place in encouraging organizations to implement diversification programs?

  • Just a couple of examples that I would like to share.
  • Voter engagement is key. People need to know that they are choosing a candidate who represents his/her interests. If they don’t have this confidence, a lack of voter disengagement will occur.
  • Government can encourage organizations about the voice that each has in order to implement diversification programs.
  • The mid-term election really lends itself to the potential and future of women running for office. And, more Hispanic women will continue to be encouraged to run and have a voice for the communities they represent.

7) As Founder of the We Are All Human Foundation, what do you want future entrepreneurs, C-Suite executives or our future workforce to know?

  • We, Hispanics, are powerful, we are makers and can become entrepreneurs.
  • Make the effort to bust bubbles so we can break the silos that unfortunately do exist within our community.
  • Take someone with you and you can guide them on their journey to become a successful entrepreneur.

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Silvia Davi, Equities.com Contributor
Founder, RenaissanceMinds
Instagram @Renaissance_Minds

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

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