Introducing LEAD: Latinx at Expedia & Allies for Development (formerly eLatinos)

Part 3 of 9 in our “Meet our IBGs” Series

Expedia Group has eight Inclusion Business Groups.

¡Celebremos! Let’s celebrate!

We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15. Our LEAD IBG has a packed schedule of events planned over the next few weeks. This year’s theme is Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.

colorful decoration and poster for Hispanic Heritage Month
Expedia Group celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month will feature events on:

  • Marketing to Latinx customers in the travel industry
  • An intersectional event with the PRIDE IBG
  • Latinas in Tech panel discussion moderated by LEAD executive sponsor Ariane Gorin and featuring Latina leaders, Erika Sanchez, Cintia Tavella, Claudia Valecillos, and Cristina Alcocer on the topic of “Powering the Future of Travel as a Latina in Tech.”

Launching the IBG
Originally called Expedia Latinos or eLatinos, the Inclusion Business Group was founded in 2015, initially from the need to connect with other Latinos and allies and to create a place where employees belong and can do their best work as a result of it. The IBG’s name was changed from eLatinos to LEAD to encourage inclusiveness by making the word Latino gender neutral, and by including allies in the name.

In 2020, the global LEAD IBG was formally introduced to the company, but prior to that eLatinos had chapters in Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin and Madrid.

LEAD logo featuring colorful graphic of LATAM
LEAD’s logo

Mission and Goals

LEAD’s mission is to connect and develop Latinx employees and allies to promote Expedia Group’s culture of inclusion.

screenshot of slide depicting LEAD's mission and goals
LEAD’s mission is to connect and develop Latinx employees and allies to promote Expedia Group’s culture of inclusion.

Currently, there are 435 members in the LEAD IBG. In addition, they have kicked off their local office chapter boards in LATAM, Austin, Chicago, London/Madrid (EMEA region), Miami/Orlando (South Florida chapter) and Seattle.

The group’s goals for the year include:

  • Increase visibility, awareness, visibility and growth
  • Increase visibility, education and awareness of our Latinx community and IBG’s across EG.
  • Advocate for Latinx shoppers to have the best relevant experience as EG plans to target the Latinx market.
  • Establish a foundation around data to measure impact
  • Baseline quantitative metrics to continuously measure quarter over quarter. 
  • Survey output from members on what they are looking for. 
  • Strengthen, empower, and set local chapters up for success.
  • Mentoring and resources to guide leaders in the local chapters. 
  • Chapter-led initiatives and contributions

As a global IBG board, it’s important for employees to be known for advocating for the Latinx community to inspire and influence them so they can grow in their careers and can also feel they have a safe, supportive space within EG.

Introducing some of our LEAD Members:

Daniela Veloz is the Global President based in Seattle. Her pronouns are she/her/hers. Daniela was born and raised in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where she completed her major in Computer Science and moved to Seattle in 2017.

woman with black hair smiling
Daniela Veloz

“Ever since I immigrated to the U.S., I felt the need to connect with Latinos and to provide a safe space for them to feel comfortable with who they are and take action to create a better place with more personal and professional opportunities for Latinos. In addition to that, it’s important to highlight the presence of Latinos and the contributions they have made to the world as historically Latinos have been hidden in the shadows and being part of this IBG (Inclusion Business Group) has helped to expose those stories and to feel proud of them.” – Daniela Veloz

woman with black hair smiling
Cris Pompa

Cris Pompa is the Global Communications Chair based in Kirkland, WA. Her pronouns are she/her/hers. Cris is from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and has lived in the U.S. for 11 years.

“I joined LEAD because I am inspired by the Latinx community at Expedia and it’s a privilege for me to work with them and help build a community and bring visibility to our community’s challenges but also highlight our accomplishments. I hope my work can help others who come after me, to find a home here at Expedia, and have their voices be heard.” – Cris Pompa

woman with black hair smiling
Monica May

Monica May is the Global Events Chair based in Austin, Texas. Her pronouns are she/her/hers. Monica was born and raised in Edinburg, Texas, which is in the Rio Grande Valley on the U.S./Mexico border. She is a Native and identifies as Tejana.

“When reflecting on my career path, I can identify decision points where it would have been immensely helpful to have a mentor that could have helped navigate corporate life as a Latinx individual. I hope to encourage and advise others by giving them the representation as a strong leader.” – Monica May

man with black hair and glasses looking at camera
Luis Perez

Luis Perez is the Global Finance Chair based in Madrid. His pronouns are he/his/him. Luis is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. 

“As a Latino who has lived in different countries throughout my career, I feel inspired when I find other Latinx and when we share our experiences. I joined LEAD to be closer and get energized by my community around the world and to also contribute with my own story for the success of others.” – Luis Perez

Claudia Valecillos is the Global Development Chair based in Madrid.

woman with black hair smiling
Claudia Valecillos

“When I moved to Spain I realised the multiple challenges the Latinx community also face in Europe and decided to found the chapter in Madrid to help increase visibility on those issues, that initiative opened up many valuable opportunities to meet amazing Latinx globally and across EG. Together, we are joining forces to give back and keep building and empowering this beautiful familia! Also, I’m passionate about enabling and creating opportunities for our community to develop skills that would allow Latinx to hold more senior roles in our company, in LEAD you can find great people that would be willing to mentor you, which is amazing.” – Claudia Valecillos

Francisco Scarpitto is the President of LEAD chapter in Florida based in Miami. His pronouns are he/him/his and was born in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.

man with black hair smiling at camera
Francisco Scarpitto

“For me, LEAD creates the opportunity to collaborate in the professional and personal growth of groups hidden behind inaccurate perceptions. LEAD means the chance to scale the reason why I work in travel: to transform cultural barriers built from differences into bridges that let us learn what makes up different. LEAD means to work in a multidisciplinary space from where we can show our true selves to make a difference in others’ lives. I feel a huge responsibility to honor LEAD’s objectives and am proud to belong to LEAD Florida’s chapter, where we are fully focused on contributing to our community and other chapters. Change begins with us and the success of LEAD and its chapters is our responsibility.” – Francisco Scarpitto

Dalia Diaz is the VP of LEAD’s Austin chapter based in Austin. Dalia is a first-generation Hispanic from La Grulla, Starr County, in South Texas. She is also a member of the South Texas Lipan Apache tribe.

woman with black hair smiling
Dalia Diaz

“The reason I put my hat in for VP of our Austin LEAD chapter is to help our membership locally and interact globally with members who are like me. I want to work at helping LEAD retain Latino talent at Expedia, create an environment where we feel we all belong, help advocate for our voice and our communities’ voices to be included in conversations within the business, and help develop LEAD talent. Many of our members are quiet leaders. They lead from a place of strength, are loyal, hardworking, and respectful. These basic values especially “respeto” (respect) may hold some LEAD members back and they may avoid disagreeing or expressing doubt to a person in authority. It is because of this that we may be ignored, overlooked, or invisible. The most important reason why I joined LEAD is to help fellow members find their own voice and still maintain their values and the sense of “respeto.” – Dalia Diaz

Past Events
In the past, LEAD has celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by introducing “La Charla,” where employees featured their cultures on a weekly basis to educate their peers on Latinx cultures. This has also evolved into a monthly member meeting focused on rotating social, professional and cultural topics for employees to engage in.

screenshot of slide with La Charla and two headshots of women speakers
“La Charla” is a forum where employees can share and educate their peers on Latinx cultures.

They also held an end of year Fiesta with Latinos in Tech that featured Chief Inclusion Officer Michael Davis Velasco and other tech companies joining together to share knowledge across their employee resource groups. In addition, LEAD also planned a panel with Ariane Gorin and IBG member leads discussing the benefits of IBG engagement and why the board is driven to do this work. Mentoring is also an important focus for LEAD members and they’ve previously hosted a Q& A to promote the EG mentoring/reverse mentoring program.

Reflection

LEAD has evolved and grown over the years. Last year was no different. In fact, Cris shared how the group came together during the pandemic and built a community very quickly during unprecedented circumstances, and they’ve continued to see their membership grow.

three people in festive gear smiling at camera
Daniela Veloz (center) celebrates with performers during a past Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

“Building a community of Latinx employees in a global and remote environment and promoting the development of the Latinx community at Expedia. Organizing the IBG by roles and chapters, and further to that re-engaging Latinos around the world has been an achievement that the board is proud of,” Monica added.

Timeline for our IBG Series

DatesInclusion Business Group
August 2021 Indigenous Diversity, Expedians & Allies (IDEA)
September 2021 Latinx at Expedia and Allies for Development (LEAD) 
November 2021 Expedia Group Veterans Families & Friends (EVFF)
December 2021 Ability Inclusion Movement (AIM)
February 2022 Black Expedia Allied Movement (BEAM)
March 2022 Women at Expedia Group Learning & Leading (WELL) 
May 2022 Asian Community at Expedia Group (ACE)
June 2022 Expedia Group LGBTQIA & Allies (PRIDE)

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