#LifeAtHireRight: Spotlight on our HOLA Affinity Group
We love when our team members share with us what LifeAtHireRight means to them! This time, we talked to Cristina Collazos-Garcia, President of HireRight’s HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Latinos/as and Allies) employee affinity group. She gives us the scoop on the group, as well as what it's like for a Latina woman working in InfoSec.
Here at HireRight, our teams work hard to build the future of screening services while striving to put the customer first. Internally, we rally around a culture committed to collaboration, service-first mindset, sense of ownership, and other corporate values to help employers get it right – every time, everywhere. But what is it like to work here? And who are the employees behind our background screening and workforce solutions? Today, we are talking to Cristina Collazos-Garcia, President of HireRight’s HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Latinos/as and Allies) employee affinity group. Cristina shares with us her leadership role in the group, and a bit about her role here at HireRight.
Cristina, can you tell us a little about the HOLA Affinity group and how it got started?
HOLA stands for The Hispanic Organization for Latinos/as and Allies and is committed to celebrating and embracing our heritage and culture. HOLA was created last year because there currently wasn’t an affinity group for the Latino/a/x community. Our goal is to amplify our voices and provide a safe space to discuss important topics pertaining to the Latino and Hispanic community.
Why did you feel it was important to create an affinity group for Hispanics? What are some of the current projects planned for the group?
I believe that communities create camaraderie and connections that you can’t always obtain in your day-to-day work life. Also, our company is so vast and international that I wanted to bring people from all over together that share a love for the Latino/Hispanic culture and its people. One of our goals is to expand our membership so we can bring more ideas to the table. In fact, I have just had one person join the leadership group! Carolina Felix in our Mexico City office is joining leadership at HOLA to help us collaborate more with the team in that office. We hold regular virtual “coffee breaks” for our group to meet, interact, and have fun. We recently held a wonderful discussion about biases and hope to bring more discussion-based topics for our future coffee breaks this year. We have also started doing coffee breaks in Spanish (Cafecitos) with the Mexico City team, and they have been well attended so far!
Let’s learn a little more about you! How long have you worked at HireRight and what is your role?
I have been at HireRight for a little over a year now! I started as a GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) Analyst, working with a wonderful team. This has been a great introduction into the cybersecurity world, to which I transitioned two years ago from a marketing position. I was recently offered the opportunity to move into a Jr. Penetration Testing Role, which involves helping find and mitigate vulnerabilities through penetration testing and vulnerability scanning, within the Information Security Team and I’m excited for all the learning ahead! I feel like this truly speaks to the amazing leadership at HireRight, especially with GRC, they want you to succeed and continue growing.
What HireRight office location are you working from? Or do you work from home?
I currently work from home in Los Angeles, California. My coworkers (cats) seem happy with that arrangement.
What was it like to join the team, and what do you love most about your job?
Let’s just say it’s not easy breaking into the cybersecurity industry as Latina woman. No one in my family is in STEM careers, and being a first-generation immigrant, I had to figure a lot out on my own. So, getting that chance and working at HireRight has been wonderful. What I love most about my job is the opportunity to constantly grow and learn new things. As a team we can learn a little bit about everything that concerns security within the company. Now with my new role, I get to take an active role in protecting the company, which is super exciting.
What does inclusion and belonging mean to you?
To me, it means not needing to constantly prove oneself beyond the normal expectations as to why they deserve a job, a raise, or an opportunity. It also means that one can feel seen or represented, especially in the workplace.
Why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important for organizations?
It’s important to help employees feel seen and valued. Part of that entails having a diverse company. This goes for all levels of leadership. Different people bring different ideas, and this is a great benefit to HireRight.
How do you feel that the HOLA group is making a difference here at HireRight?
The group is still young but bringing awareness and creating a safe space for important discussions has been a great start. Engagement has been active so far; we are looking forward to more growth this year.
What do you hope to see in the future for the HOLA group?
We just started doing Spanish coffee break sessions with the Mexico City Team and other Spanish speakers, and I hope to make it a permanent recurring meeting. I would also like to incorporate something food-related for a group activity! Finally, I’d love to see growth in the other affinity groups and potentially the creation of at least one or two more.
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Release Date: April 20, 2022
HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.