A community can serve as a support group, a stand-in for friends, or as one Under Armour employee and member of UA's culture club Latino Alliance (UALA) puts it, an "instant family." At Under Armour, community isn't just a metric for customer engagement, it's one of the building blocks of our company's DNA.
Here at Under Armour, we nurture community through dedicated investment in 10 culture clubs, or employee resource groups. UALA's Baltimore and Austin chapters serve as safe spaces for members to connect with fellow Latino colleagues and their culture, build their professional standing and network, and elevate their voice and visibility within the company.
In the spirit of sharing, and during Hispanic Heritage Month, we want to highlight the value our Latino colleagues bring to our company and to the communities we serve every day.
How A Sense Of Community Helps Latino Employees Feel Seen and Heard
Diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect are at the heart of any great organization. They’re qualities that define Under Armour’s global fingerprint and draw employees to join UALA. Accordingly, each one of our culture clubs – UALA included – are accessible to everyone at Under Armour, irrespective of background.
“It’s helped me not only connect to a community, but to a side of myself that sometimes isn’t accessible through friends or family,” says UALA member Liz Lopez. “And that helps me bring that part of myself to the office."
“We're all on the same team, regardless of where we come from,” adds UALA member and Senior Lead of Hardware Engineering Jose Avila Cano. “And we make good products because we are in it together.”
Celebrating Latino Culture
Through UALA, Under Armour employees have been able to explore their culture and language, upending stereotypes in the process.
“We’re concentrating on not just throwing out caricatures, but learning more about our shared experiences and embracing what that culture means,” said Diaz.
For example, UALA provides space for members to practice their Spanish or Portuguese in a judgment-free zone. Members deliver presentations about their unique Latino heritage. As UALA continues to evolve, members see even more opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration and celebration.
The goals of UALA go far beyond inclusion and celebration, however. Diverse viewpoints result in better decision-making, and a better experience for both employees and consumers.
“There is strength in who we are, not only what we provide professionally,” said Lopez. “UALA gives us more visibility. It lends us more voice.”
Connecting the Company to the Community
It isn’t just Latino teammates that stand to gain from UALA efforts; the group’s work has started to reach far beyond office walls. During Hispanic Heritage Month, UALA has lent a hand to home renovations for low-income families, helping build bunk beds for kids. Teammates also have the opportunity to participate in events celebrating Latino culture, including a translation event at local elementary schools, salsa dance classes, cooking classes, and teammate talks.
As Gabriel Rodriguez, Director of Run Apparel, puts it, “We want to educate, expose, and energize the Under Armour population. We’re all a team. We’re all a family. We want people to see us and to create the best, most inclusive company on the planet.”