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SHPE Attends the World Economic Forum in Davos

Davos, Switzerland skyline


In January, SHPE attended the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This yearly convening welcomes over 100 governments, all major international organizations, 1000 Forum’s Partners, as well as civil society leaders, experts, youth representatives, social entrepreneurs, and news outlets.

SHPE representatives, Interim CEO Miguel Alemañy and Chief External Relations Officer Monique Herrera were invited by the We Are All Human Foundation to join the Hispanic Delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The overarching goal was to prioritize the importance of unity and the representation of Latinos in global decision-making. This delegation aims to ensure that Hispanic voices are heard and that Hispanic leaders have a seat at the table when decisions impacting their communities are made.

While this was SHPE’s second time joining the global gathering, Miguel and Monique were not in unfamiliar territory. Many of the organization’s greatest supporters had both representation and influence there. SHPE partners like IBM, Microsoft, Bank of America, Accenture, Qualcomm, and JP Morgan Chase were major players in discussions that took place both on the stages and in more intimate one-on-one meetings throughout the week.

“The access we had to industry decision-makers was truly remarkable,“ says Monique. “It was incredibly valuable to be able to have a myriad of conversations with various corporate leaders in one place. What might usually take weeks or months to make happen due to cross-country travel and scheduling, we could accomplish in one evening while we were there.”

This year, the Forum’s theme was “Rebuilding Trust.” Mainly in response to the rise of AI and the effect on the global workforce, it was designed to be a crucial space to focus on the fundamental principles driving trust, including transparency, consistency and accountability. 

Speaker sessions and panels provided important insights into the future of the STEM employee. Key learnings included the role of the knowledge worker in conjunction with the tactical abilities of machines driven by AI. Exploration, curiosity, and passion are traits uniquely available to humans, and those are the qualities that should be encouraged and fostered in our workforce.

There was also a lot of emphasis on pre-skilling workers, or, in other words, training employees for the next generation of tech before current jobs become obsolete. This not only ensures a smooth transition for companies, but builds security and loyalty among the workforce.

Companies were reminded that their fortunes lay in the hands and on the shoulders of  middle management – meaning that the recruitment and retention of middle managers is paramount to their success.

And a commitment to DEI was reinforced consistently throughout the conference. Regardless of some growing skepticism of such programs, corporate leaders reasserted that DEI still comes down to dollars and cents. “It does not matter what you call it,” said one speaker, “you just have to do it.” It will cost companies more in the end not to do DEI. Forget about the legality of it all, the products will be richer, more innovative, more in demand. DEI is here to stay even if the name changes. 

“We walked away with three truths,” says Miguel. “STEM careers, including tens of thousands of cybersecurity jobs, are still on the rise and will be for the next 20, 30, 50 years. As the 5th largest economy in the world, Hispanics are both an economic powerhouse and workforce goldmine in the coming decades. And SHPE is uniquely positioned to answer the call of this supply and demand with our passionate, resilient, and eager members.”

“This experience was helpful on two levels,” Monique added. “It reinforced that SHPE’s current programs are providing necessary pre-skill training, leadership development, and problem solving for the next generation of STEM workers. It also helped us lay a groundwork for new programs that will address some of the challenges facing an evolving tech-centered world in the future. In all, it was an incredible experience, but it also felt like one that SHPE deserved and needed to be a part of.”

SHPE is beyond grateful for the partners that made this trip possible. Thank you to We Are All Human Foundation, HACE, Latinas in TECH, Martin Cabrera with Cabrera Capital, Dr. Robert Rodriguez, and HACR. SHPE looks forward to working together in the coming years  to elevate the influence and recognition of Hispanics.