This content is sponsored by Uber. All the opinions expressed are our own.
As a part of our partnership with Uber, we were recently invited for a one-on-one session with Luis Madrigal, an Uber engineer. During the session and an interview with Luis, we got to experience and learn about the efforts that Uber’s Employee Research Groups (ERGs) are putting in to create a positive culture within the company to appreciate, motivate and grow their employees who belong to different races, religions, genders and sexual orientations.
As a child, Luis was able to connect with the Spanish culture during periodic visits to his extended family in Mexico. Growing up, Luis went to school in South San Francisco and later joined community college for further studies. He had to drop out, however, to earn and support his new-born girl. After working at a few companies, he was eventually offered a job at Uber.
Los Ubers was established in the first quarter of 2015. It started with 6 core members, and now there are 16. There is a global board of ERGs. This board has coaches, like Luis himself. The ERGs have members in America and Europe, which are around 400 in number. The best thing? You don’t have to be Latino to join the ERG. Jason Droege is the lead of Uber Eats, who also leads the Los Ubers initiative globally.
Luis is among the longest-serving members of Los Ubers initiative. He also serves as the global coach for the ERG, and was also present when it was formed. Creating a community within the organization, in which people can communicate openly and feel like they belong, is a prime motive for these ERGs. The Los Ubers ERG takes steps to take care of Latinos at the workplace, helping and supporting them in their growth, making sure they are getting promoted at the same rate as other groups, and having an overall great time and experience. Periodic indoor and outdoor events are held to connect and bring the Latinx community together.
Luis described the culture at Uber to be flexible, accommodating, equal for all and inclusive. Coming from strict cultures at other jobs, where people were fired for coming in late, this was a major relief and added to job security. He mentioned that Uber is providing the perfect platform for people who have the drive and want to bring a positive change in the world. The culture is driven by the wonderful people who work at Uber. Everyone gets a lot of great opportunities to work with the best and most accomplished people in the world.
Luis mentioned that Uber strongly believes in empowering people. He said, “We champion people who are amazing at their job.” This helps in developing a sense of belonging.
One thing that we were very pleased to hear was that there are initiatives for other ethnic and religious groups too, and the LGBTQ community. Uber Hue is an ERG for the African-American community and Uber Pride is an ERG for the LGBTQ community, just to name a couple.
UBER is highly motivated to bring the change from within the company. The percentage of Latino engineers at is 2.4%, which is on par with other big tech companies. Los Ubers also makes efforts to bring more engineers from the Latinx community on-board. Attracting #AllTheGreatMinds to join the Uber familia, is a main objective for Los Ubers.
Surveys on employee satisfaction, held within the company, have shown that people who are a part of ERGs tend to have higher satisfaction levels, as compared to those who are uninvolved.
We walked out of the room and we could see happiness in the eyes of each other, as we experienced first-hand a great culture that believes in connecting and supporting our familia through social outreach, events, and efforts to serve Latinx communities globally.