National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins today and runs through Oct. 15, recognizes the generations of people living in America whose families and ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America as well as the positive influences of their histories, cultures and contributions to the U.S. The Library of Congress, National Archives, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service and Smithsonian Institution will be celebrating with a number of programs. The event began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and expanded in 1988.
The observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month gives HR professionals an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in two HR competencies: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) and Global Mindset, which are defined in the SHRM Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge (SHRM BASK), the basis for SHRM certification.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion encompasses “a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, feel a sense of belonging, and use their unique backgrounds and characteristics to contribute fully to the organization’s success.” Global Mindset describes the knowledge, skills and abilities that an HR professional needs “to value and consider the perspectives and backgrounds of all parties, to interact with others in a global context, and to promote a culturally diverse and inclusive workplace.”
As a behavioral competency, DE&I is new to the SHRM BASK, which was issued in January 2022. In the earlier version of the document, the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK), Diversity & Inclusion was an HR functional area. This change illustrates the evolution of SHRM certification as a reflection of the evolving workplace. Major world events of the past two years had profound effects on workers and underscored the need for DE&I to become a more important component of SHRM’s credentialing program.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is itself a reflection of the importance of America’s largest ethnic minority population.