Building community and celebrating culture with HOLA
Rob, a lifetime Miami resident, wanted to share his Cuban heritage and community with his coworkers at Capital One. He turned to HOLA, Capital One’s Business Resource Group (BRG) for Hispanic associates and allies, for help. The BRG helped Rob advertise, organize speakers and find vendors for an all-day block party for Café associates and the Miami community in 2019.
“It was exciting to see my hometown represented at a Capital One event,” Rob, a senior manager for branch and Cafés, said. “HOLA helps me amplify my voice and celebrate my Cuban heritage.”
Capital One and HOLA empowers associates like Rob to strengthen local communities, celebrate culture and grow their careers.
Honoring culture and embracing vulnerability
HOLA brings people together by creating space to celebrate Hispanic culture through a variety of programs all year. Informal events, such as cooking demonstrations and coffee mixers, provide a space where associates can get to know one another. For Maribel, a branch ambassador in Dallas, these events are where her HOLA journey began.
“When I joined HOLA, I was looking for a community,” Maribel said. “Just through attending events, I built so many connections and relationships.”
For a recent Hispanic Heritage Month, HOLA invited Maribel and other associates to share their unique stories and struggles. Maribel experienced an outpouring of love from her colleagues for opening up about her journey.
“I got so many messages from people that I did not know that day that were so kind to me,” Maribel said. “We all struggle to find our identity and a group that we belong to. HOLA gave that to me.”
Developing associates’ careers
HOLA provides their members the tools to continue exploring their career potential. Associates can take advantage of two internal programs, the Hispanic Leadership Development Program (HLDP)—for principal associates and managers—and the Hispanic Leaders Coaching Program (HLCP)—for senior leaders—to grow their skills through executive speakers, networking events and one-on-one mentoring.
Stu, director of card integrated delivery and co-lead of HOLA, attended the HLCP in 2017.
“The learning was interactive and collaborative. I was suddenly connected to a peer group of very talented leaders from all parts of the company,” Stu said. “It was a place where we could discuss real-world scenarios, apply the tools and language we were learning, and problem solve together.”
Stu graduated with more confidence as a leader and an inspiration to help others.
“HOLA and HLCP helped me find my voice,” Stu said. “It’s a powerful thing to bring together high-potential leaders who share similar career experiences and challenges.”
Community beyond Capital One
HOLA’s internal work supporting associates with their career growth and celebrating their culture has positive ripples beyond Capital One.
When a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico in early 2020, HOLA associates quickly gathered resources to send to those affected. Local chapters also do important volunteer work. For example, the Dallas-Ft. Worth HOLA chapter partners closely with a local pre-school program, Mi Escuelita, to volunteer their time to read bilingual stories to children.
For Rob, having a BRG like HOLA has given him the tools to grow his career, celebrate his culture and serve the community he loves.
“I can't hide the fact that I'm a Cuban American. Nor would I, for that matter. Instead, I've learned to use my Hispanic identity to really connect with people inside and outside of work.”