When Angelique Alvarez joined ATR International 11 years ago, her first assignment was at the front desk as a college recruiting coordinator. Confident and outgoing, she knew her voice had value. But even she couldn’t have envisioned that just a few years later she would be the company’s head of supplier inclusion and diversity and a sought-after speaker and subject matter expert on supplier diversity.
Alvarez was the first person to hold a dedicated diversity role at Santa Clara, California-based ATR. Latina-owned and -managed, the company takes pride in its diversity record; more than half of employees identify as a minority and 90% of leadership roles are filled by women. Alvarez’s approach has been multi-pronged, including making sure that diversity is part of the company’s mission statement, affirming the CEO’s commitment to diversity, updating the corporate website to reflect that commitment, conducting training, and putting out a monthly newsletter.
She relishes her role of providing opportunities to underrepresented populations, including minorities, women and working mothers, and military veterans and spouses. “I was influenced by so many mentors,” Alvarez says. “Being Latina, it’s an honor to help other people learn from their careers and influence our company on what we should be doing for diversity.”
To that end, she has spearheaded efforts to rewrite job descriptions to make sure they attract people who are diverse and who value diversity. She has also developed valuable partnerships with diversity groups such as Girls in Technology – Women in Technology, Latinas in Tech, and the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
Alvarez advises other companies to make a thorough commitment to promote DE&I — and to follow through. “Our program is about creating an official commitment internally, really valuing our internal employees, and making sure everyone is appreciated for their differences,” she says. “We want to be an attractive company for diverse people to work at.”
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