Four years of diversity
Diversity can take many different directions, and is rooted in our DNA. The +d program was created four years ago, springing from the conviction that each person has the ability to contribute unique attributes to their daily tasks, making for stronger teams. The event was celebrated with an online meeting, reaching people in different countries. Julieta Delorenzi, Sr. Manager of Cultural Transformation, said with enthusiasm that, “We are extremely proud of what we have managed to accomplish over these last four years. This achievement is a great reminder to us of what it is we do every day.”
Ricardo Ferreiro, President of G&P, Business Development & Commercial, followed and took the floor to say, “In addition to thanking everybody, I want to emphasize the far-reaching relevance of the program. Diversity is an intrinsically cultural issue, and seeing things from another perspective can sometimes help to change them. It happened to me when I was living abroad: I learned that we have to step outside our own frames of reference. The world is a far more interesting place when you see it through +d. I want to encourage everyone to keep pursuing these issues.”
“Behind each initiative, there are all kinds of life stories,” resumed Julieta, as she welcome six participants to talk about their experiences and share how much +d meant to them.
Vilma Bettini, Chief Audit Executive, went first: “In 2021, I took part in the mentoring program for women. I told them what things were like thirty years ago when I had to interact with directors and managers, who at that time were all men, and I said how much my career had changed over time. At Tecpetrol, I was offered new work goals which meant taking on more areas under my responsibility. When I shared that with my mentees, we moved onto how opportunities can present themselves to everyone equally, whether they’re men or women, and sometimes all it takes is to be prepared. All you need are effort and capabilities.”
Néstor Barahona, Optimization Process Expert, expressed his belief that, “Mentoring is enriching, as Vilma said. It means you can meet a company leader working in another field. Words can open doors you wouldn't even dream of knocking on. And, as she said, it’s about plucking up the courage and seeking out opportunities. That was what led to the temporary assignment I'm working on: I wanted to take on other responsibilities and I saw an article on the intranet about a sector working on an issue that interested me. Then, they offered me the opportunity to work in Argentina—that was a challenge because I have two girls! I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my wife's support. Nor without the help of my teammates, either!
Then it was the turn of Dual Careers. Andrea Fernández, Human Resources Business Partner, shared her experiences. “A few years ago, when I took on a new professional challenge within Tecpetrol, I ended up moving from Buenos Aires to Salta. The Dual Careers program helped my husband, and provided the accompaniment he needed to help settle in. For me it was unimaginable for a woman to be offered the chance to move with her family. We are extremely grateful."
Jaime Garate Santana, from the YP Pool, recounted his experience at the Tecpetrol University Induction Camp (TUIC), working with the members of Experiencia GOTA. “We met the kids, a mixed group as regards ages and gender. They all had some cognitive disability. We’d never worked with differently-abled people before. We held group and individual activities with them and were able to learn on the basis of this experience that sometimes, we’re the ones limiting the participation of differently-abled people in work, social or recreational activities. That’s why it’s so important to really know another person as it allows us to include them.”
María Angélica Gamba, Treasury Lead Analyst, spoke about her pregnancy. “I didn't know how to tell people to begin with. But to my surprise, I received unconditional support. My leader put me in touch with HR and I started a program for moms-to-be. I joined support networks providing coaching for groups of women in the same situation, which supported and accompanied me throughout.”
Talking about Lean In Circles was a voice with experience and authority: José Feretti, Colombia Country Director, sang the virtues of this successful cycle. “These are scheduled meeting spaces which are incredibly rewarding and instructive. Everything we talk about remains there, as confidentiality is key to having frank and honest conversations. It really helped me at work, and also in my personal life, as I learned the Platinum Rule, which overturns the tenet that says that we should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. The Platinum Rule proposes that you treat others how they would like to be treated. Which is far more inclusive, as it creates a space for the person to be who they are, so that they don't have to be different in order to be treated as they want.”
Empathy, equality, an anniversary full of achievements encouraging people to look into the future. The +d program continues on its quest for tools to make integration an easier prospect for each individual. The end of the event was the moment to present the "+d Moments ": these are thought cards to be used before work meetings at all offices and sites. The idea is to pick up a card printed with the main issues covered by the program (Harassment and Micro-Aggressions, Culture, Disability, Generations, Gender and LGBTQ+) and read out the slogan printed on it to encourage debate for a few minutes before the meeting starts. Each +d Moment card comes with a guide inviting people to reflect on these issues which are so important to all of us and have such an impact.
Julieta closed the meeting with gratitude for all those who contributed. “We thank you for your stories. Let's keep the conversation going about diversity. If we want a more inclusive workplace, something that transcends our daily lives, we have to recognize all the aspects of diversity and talk about them. Thank you for participating in the program. I am firmly convinced that these changes are here to stay.”
We’ve already been trying the exercise out on our networks! Follow us on Instagram to see how to join in the +d Moments cards dynamics.