Archive for April 2014
On March 11-14th, I traveled to Mexico City to be part of the 2014 National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Trade Mission and LGBT Summit of the Americas. It was an exciting combination of attending and presenting workshops with business leaders from across Latin America, meeting with prospective large Mexican clients, reuniting with old friends, and even a little sightseeing. In addition to this excellent overview (link) of the trip from the NGLCC, I wanted to briefly share some of my personal experience along three areas.
1) LGBT Economic Empowerment. It was exciting to see first hand how the movement for growing economic equality for LGBT-owned businesses is expanding beyond the USA to be truly global. As it enters into its second decade, the NGLCC is expanding across North and South America and empowering LGBT-owned businesses to grow. In addition to the 20 delegates from the US, there were approximately 80 government officials, business owners, executives and chamber leaders from Mexico and several other Latin American countries. The opening plenary included the historic signing of a cooperative agreement between the NGLCC and Mexico’s Council to Eliminate and Prevent Discrimination (COPRED) (link to COPRED website – in Spanish)
2) My own business development. One day was dedicated to meetings set up by the US Commercial Service, part of the US Department of Commerce. The mission of this team is to spur US economic growth through the exporting of US products and services to trading partners outside the US. I was very pleased to meet with 3 large well qualified Mexican companies that had a real need for my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping offering, as well as the Executive President of Mexico’s largest association of human resources professionals (link to my March 7th blog about my conversation with Pedro Borda Hartmann … our discussion about the top HR challenges facing Mexico.)
3) Sharing in the workshops and panels. Finally, I was privileged to both give a presentation titled “Leadership for the New Diverse Global Economy: Effectively Leading an International Team,” a critical topic since expanding businesses globally is so much more a reality given the global web and increasing multicultural mix of people in any locale; and to serve on panel with four other people discussing expanding LGBT diversity programs globally. I was proud to speak of how my former employer IBM expanded our LGBT initiatives from the US to be worldwide continually from around year 2000 up through the current time.
And then the icing on the cake was reuniting with several old IBM and NGLCC friends and two half-days of sightseeing in and around beautiful Mexico City.
This blog is loaded with links – please do explore them!
On March 11-14th, I traveled to Mexico City to be part of the 2014 National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Trade mission. It was an exciting combination of attending and presenting workshops with business leaders from across Latin America, meeting with prospective large Mexican companies to present my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping offering, meeting with the Executive President of Mexico’s largest Human Resources Professional organization, reuniting with old friends, and even a little sightseeing.
Next week I will provide more details on the entire trip, but in this blog I want to highlight my meeting with Pedro Borda Hartmann, Executive President of the Asociacion Mexicana en Direccion de Recursos Humanos (abbreviated AMEDIRH, link) and Lia Duran Herrera, the group’s communication leader who shared some of their excellent resources and publications.
Translated to English, the Mexican Association in Human Resources Management was founded in 1947 and has now grown to a membership of over 12,500 executives from different areas across the human resources profession. The equivalent organization in the Unites States of which I am a member is SHRM (link,) Society for Human Resource Management.
In my meeting with Sr. Borda, I asked him what the top key human resources challenges facing Mexican businesses. It is amazing how similar these challenges are to those on the top of mind here in the United States. Sr. Borda’s top four:
1) Attracting and building the right kind of globally competent talent so that Mexican businesses can be internationally competitive. Sr. Borda remarked that Mexico will quickly fall behind global business powerhouses like China and India if they do not develop the right kind of sharp global talent.
2) The too-high unemployment rate, especially among the 15-29 year old demographic. This groups is often referred as “Ninis” in Mexico (link to article about Ninis) – they are neither working neither going to school. This kind of unengaged populace can both hurt the national economy as well as the global competitiveness issue.
3) Demographic shifts. While there is this significant number of “Ninis,” there is also a growing number of senior citizens, now topping off at 9%. As health care continues to improve in Mexico as it is all over the world, life expectancy is increasing. Many of these growing number of older workers have great skills and want to continue working. Are they being leveraged by Mexican businesses? (See my blog about older workers in the US)
4) The strategic place for human resource leaders within corporate Mexico. Just as in the US, there is a growing movement in Mexico as to the strategic importance of Human Resource Management. HR managers need to be engaged by C-Suite executives since leveraging human resources is increasingly critical to business success. (see my blogs on HR strategy part 1 and part 2.)