Embracing Community, Mentorship, and Growth as a 2022-2024 ASAE DELP Scholar

Written by Bostrom

By Libby Lane, Senior Marketing Manager and Josie Hernandez, Account Executive

Bostrom is proud to share that Account Executive Josie Hernandez has been selected by ASAE for the 2022-24 class of the Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). DELP is designed to help participants from underrepresented groups enhance their careers in association management through a program of professional enhancement that includes attendance at education programs, networking opportunities, coaching, and mentoring components.

We recently caught up with Josie to learn more about this incredible opportunity and the critical importance of the DELP program. In true Josie style, she was enthusiastic and passionate about sharing her journey and perspective about why programs like DELP are crucial to the advancement of Latinos and other underrepresented groups in the association space.

I am honored to have been selected to be a DELP Scholar for ASAE’s 2022-2024 Diversity Executive Leadership Program. I look forward to the opportunity to evolve as a leader and continue to expand the growth of diversity within the association management community.

Right off the bat, I feel it’s important to set the stage with some statistics about Latinos in the US:

  • Hispanics, representing one out of every five people in the US, are estimated to drive nearly 25% of the country’s GDP growth.
  • Since the global financial crisis, Latinos have accounted for more than three-quarters of the US labor force growth. Positive impacts on America’s Hispanics will continue well into the future, with 6 in 10 Hispanics in the US aged 35 and younger.
  • Yet among corporate executives, Hispanic representation is remarkably low: just 4%.
  • Latinos make up 19% of the US population.

People may come to DELP because of their volunteer service or commitment around DE&I, but let’s make it perfectly clear that our goal is to be excellent as association professionals – to bring value, to gain the opportunities that will allow us to use our skills and talents and grow them as well. There is a great passion to excel in our field.

Some significant benefits of the DELP program include:

Mentorship: Someone to advise you and guide you and may develop into sponsorship, promoting you to other people to help advance your career.

Coaching: Support to improve your performance or learn how to brand yourself.

Professional development: Tools to sharpen your skill set and value.

Recognition: Exposure to highlight your skills as an association professional.

Networking: Access to a network of DELP Scholar alumni and other executives in the association industry.

The IBM Institute for Business Value has published a fascinating research brief entitled, “Untapped potential: The Hispanic talent advantage.” I encourage you to read it, as I can honestly say it resonates with many aspects of my career journey. There are experiences referenced that I have experienced and can agree that the barriers listed make an impact on one’s career trajectory. I have always said that I am the same person that started my career after graduating college with a desire to succeed, the talent, and the skills to get me there (to success) and all I need is an opportunity.  My motto in life is that opportunity is the most important thing you can offer anyone.

The question is, what is success dependent on? It is dependent on a lot more than your education, natural talent, work ethic, and skill.  It is dependent on relationship building, mentorship and sponsorship, and these can be hard to come by if you have no awareness of what these things are, as outlined in the report I referenced above. Things did not change for me until I opened myself up to volunteering, mentorship, and sponsorship; that all came through building relationships and putting myself out there. It took a long time in my career to do this.

The DELP platform is so powerful in that it provides you with access, a cohort, and a community to lean on, learn from and grow with. I hope it will be transformational to allow me to fulfill my untapped potential, and I am grateful to have a partner in Bostrom to be part of my journey.

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