11 November 2021 


United Through Diversity


Marcia Rothschild highlights the importance of developing and retaining diverse talent, as well as how to incorporate diversity into business decision-making.

Hispanic Heritage Month highlights the importance of inclusivity and being united because of, not in spite of, our differences.

This year, the theme of Hispanic Heritage Month is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation. That’s a concept that resonates strongly with me, because it embodies the work we’re doing at State Street to build a stronger, more inclusive company. While we are united in moving toward our goals, we also celebrate diversity. As a U2 fan, I think Bono said it best: “We're one, but we're not the same.” The things that make us unique — perspective, culture, background, gender — make us more powerful together.

As head of State Street’s business in Latin America and the Caribbean, I lead our growth strategy in the region, with focus on Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru. It’s a business imperative that my team represents a large swath of this region, and I’m proud to note that our 40-plus-person team represents 14 different countries.

Our employees bring a deep connection to and understanding of the region, which makes a remarkable difference for the business. Our diversity allows us to interact with clients, regulators, prospects and industry associations on a meaningful level. The impact goes beyond speaking the same language; our different backgrounds and experiences allow us to relate profoundly to the culture of each marketplace and generate better outcomes.

As part of my leadership role at State Street, I pay close attention to our 10 actions to address racism and inequality. I have particularly focused on Action No.1, our commitment to increase Black and Latinx employee representation. We aim to
triple our Black and Latinx leadership and double our percentage of Black and Latinx populations. Recruiting and hiring are critical to this effort, but it’s just the beginning. It’s even more important to retain, develop, mentor and promote people once they are on board.

A big part of that process involves ensuring the team feels safe in their work environment, without feeling they have to change who they are when they come to work. People should feel empowered to make decisions and safe to voice their
opinions. To that end, I recently launched office hours, which gives my team time to talk with me one-on-one about whatever is on their minds. It is another channel that fosters open and honest communication, and it is a two-way street in that I also learn a lot from each one of those conversations. 

Because my team is spread across North and South America, with about half in Brazil, we need to be intentional to ensure employees don’t feel isolated from the rest of the company. Retaining our diverse talent means creating opportunities for
collaboration and meeting in person, making sure everyone is included, and communicating our vision clearly so we’re all on the same page and understand our “why.” 

State Street’s Latin American Professionals Group (LAPG) is one way we make these meaningful connections. The LAPG, founded in 2005, is dedicated to ensuring Latinx employees can celebrate their cultures and diversity while feeling valued and engaged in the workplace. I am the co-executive sponsor of this passionate group, which, among other efforts, has been instrumental in assisting me as I search for job candidates and helping us with different projects. The LAPG has also helped drive employee engagement, professional development and talent retention for State Street. For its hard work, the LAPG has received the Diversity Impact Awards Top 25 ERG Award for two years in a row. It was also named a 2021 Employee Resource Group of the Year. 

As I meet with clients and colleagues at other organizations, I’m often asked for advice on incorporating diversity into business decision-making processes. Here are three key steps I suggest: 

1.  Seek out different voices, cultures, and experiences when assembling a team. It’s easy to keep doing things the same way out of habit, but think outside the box when it comes to recruitment and retention in order to build strong teams.

2.  Be concrete about your goals and generate accountability within the team, while ensuring outcomes are measurable. Doing so allows you to celebrate the team’s achievements along the way — and to see where you have more work to do.

3.  Don’t be afraid to start small. Seemingly minor actions like mentoring, job shadowing, or helping someone with mock interviews can make a big difference over the course of a career.

Hispanic Heritage Month highlights the importance of inclusivity and being united because of, not in spite of, our differences. Our diversity and inclusion programs have had a tremendously positive impact for employees and clients at State Street. I look forward to celebrating that progress this month as we continue to move forward together toward our goal of shaping a better and more just world.


Marcia Rothschild
Senior Vice President and Head of State Street for Latin America and the Caribbean.

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