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  • 2021-03-15 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2020 in hindsight:

    The Governance Committee has made important advances during 2020, several documents are ready for board review and for final release and implementation. The team has made a tremendous job, our heartfelt thanks go to each of its members: Rosa Maria Bonifaz, Lina Florez, and Juan David Gomez.

    Comprehensive documents covering areas such as Policies and Procedures, Roles and Responsibilities, Document Management Process, Organigrams, etc. are the framework and foundation that will guide the future operations of Hispanotech. These documents are being drafted for each of the committees and we are planning to have them completed before 2021 ends. Based on these documents, we will also be updating the Volunteer Manual and the Director’s Guide.  

    The goal is to have well documented our processes and procedures that are written in an easy to learn manner, so that any volunteer coming into a role can quickly be brought up to speed and have a clear picture of their commitment, their responsibilities and accountabilities, and, equally important, be able to understand what is expected of them. This is specially important for the volunteers aspiring to have a Director’s role.

    There is still a ton of work to complete, so, if you have experience writing this type of documentation and would like to get involved, please reach out to any of us. 

    When we leave our country, we lose, in an instant, three very important networking circles: Our family, our barrio / friends, and our professional colleagues. It is through organizations like Hispanotech where new Canadians have the opportunity to quickly rebuild these crucial networks.

    By getting involved and volunteering, no matter how small a role, one can quickly get past the infamous “Canadian Experience” (all volunteers get a Letter of Reference after their involvement), and advance in their journey of settling in Canada and, at the same time, have an excellent chance to advance professionally through Hispanotech’s networking events and mentorship programs.

    I only wish Hispanotech was around when I landed, 33 years ago!

    Director, Governance

  • 2021-03-15 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When people are asked to think about the ideas that fuel technology advancement and innovation, few people would probably think of nature. Nature and technology? Technology and nature? Those two topics seem to be opposing forces! But are they really?

    Some creative minds have realized that nature is the oldest and most experienced engineer, one that for over 3 billion years has tested, adjusted, and perfected many of the patterns, elements, and designs that exist in our ecosystems today. Humans on the other hand have populated this Earth for about 1 or 2 million years which is just the blink of an eye when comparing both our evolutionary periods.

    Biomimicry, also called Biomimetics, is the art of drawing inspiration from nature to recreate the solutions found in our environment to solve the challenges we face as human beings. 

    Technology as nature, is all about iterations. Things need to be designed, built, deployed, tested, and then enter the reconfiguration cycle again and again and again until they are ready for roll-out. But nature has been running these tests in its own elements for billions of years and it has already perfected things that we have barely begun to scratch the surface of, as a younger species.

    It sounds new and revolutionary, but biomimicry is not a new practice; it has existed for years. Here are a few examples of some products inspired by nature:

    Velcro: After returning from hiking in the woods, an engineer called George de Mestral noticed there were Burdock burrs attached to his clothing and realized there was a potential to replicate this weed’s attachment ability into a commercial solution.

    Gardens by the Bay: This garden in Singapore has 18 “super trees” that follow the same principles of environmental sustainability as a natural tree. These super trees are used to provide shade, purify the air, harvest water, and seize the sun’s energy through its solar powered branches.

    Japan’s bullet train: Engineer Eiji Nakatsu worked in the development department of the bullet train in Japan. As an avid birdwatcher, after attending a lecture on birds he realized that mimicking some elements and movements of these creatures could improve the train’s design and efficiency. One of his biggest inspirations was the kingfisher bird, which allowed the train to reduce its sonic boom effect, increase its travelling speed and reduce costs.

    Self-filling water bottle: The Namibian Desert beetle is an insect that harvests moisture from the air, condenses these molecules in its cooler body and then directs these droplets to its mouth to survive. A US start-up is using biomimicry to create a self-filling water bottle that can provide this element to communities in arid areas by emulating this beetle’s water-gathering process.

    Additional things nature has learned to do during these billions of years of research are: create strong adhesives like the ones found in spiderwebs, keep structures at a stable temperature with natural cooling systems such as the ones found in termites’ mounds, produce self-cleaning elements such as the surface of the lotus plant, create sticky elements without any adhesive such as the ones found in geckos foot pads, and produce bacteria-repellent surfaces such as the skin of the Galapagos shark. All these natural creations have been thoroughly studied and they have inspired amazing technological designs that have positively impacted sectors such as health, electronics, communications, architecture, and more.

    There are so many examples of improvements, efficiencies and innovations that have resulted from the study of natural forms that it would be impossible to cover them all in this article. However, it is important to recognize that nature is a magnificent teacher, and that years of evolution are providing engineers, scientists, chemists, and industries with a myriad of lessons to support their journeys towards solving complex design challenges in a highly technological era.


    – Nayely Figueroa

  • 2021-03-15 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Consider the choices you have made in your life and ask yourself which of your decisions were predominantly influenced by society and which were made only because you wanted it. Everything is about decisions, should I change career? should I get married? should I travel? Since we wake up early in the morning, we need to make decisions about what clothes to wear, what to eat, etcetera. We take for granted all our decisions but what about if we started questioning the way we live, the way we make decisions, and challenging our perspective to see the strange situation within a normal or familiar situation to you.

    Analyzing the strange situation within a normal context or familiar situations forces us to change the lens through which we see things. For example, in Canada it is normal to see that all people are allowed to be free. Nevertheless, decades ago, slavery was a very normal and common situation that only ended when people started questioning why some people are not allowed to be free. We need to change the perspective of every familiar situation, and it is the only way to improve and transform things into better things. As the famous musician Bob Dylan stated in his song blowing in the wind “how many years can some people exist, before they allow to be free? and, how many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just does not see?”. Putting the lyrics in context, we can see that Bob Dylan is questioning people’s freedom by using critical thinking. 

    Using critical thinking helps you to acknowledge the strange in the familiar of all situations in your life. Critical thinking requires practice and takes time to build. Moreover, involves a process of objectively analyzing and conceptualizing through observation, experiences, reflection, and communication. We need to develop and use critical thinking to analyze complex aspects that are happening in society right now. For example, the advances in technology innovation have been giving us a lot of benefits to our lives but at the same time technology evolution can trigger our lives in the upcoming future. 

    In the book Brave New World, the author Aldous Huxley described a utopian society where technology is used to genetically alter human features such as physical characteristics and intelligence. Babies are born in test tubes and are controlled in labs, some of them are alphas and leaders, and some of them are workers. Everyone has a specific role in society and the education in schools encourages those roles, there are no crimes and no social class conflicts. Seems to be a perfect world. The complexity starts when despite the perfect world created, some people started questioning the rules, the abusive use of technology, and its negative impacts on the social structure. How far are we from this utopian society story? Developing critical thinking will help you in any aspect of your life such as the workplace and communicating with others. To sum up, put into practice your critical thinking and do not leave anything for granted. 

    To do a critical thinking exercise watch the video posted!


    Brenda Avila

  • 2021-03-15 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In our previous post, we covered 7 tips to get ready for your next Virtual Meeting. Now that you are ready, do you know how to show your best image during the meeting?

    Here are 8 tips to make an impact on camera:

    1. Clarity: Present your ideas clearly. Be assertive according to the goals of the meeting.
    2.  Visual Help: Use images, slides, Screen-Sharing or Whiteboards, when needed
    3.  Voice: Show your confidence through your voice’s volume, tone and pauses
    4.   Audio/Video: Be conscious when your camera or microphone is on/off
    5.   Eye Contact: Look at the camera for a more personal communication
    6.   Smile: Show your energy and positivism with your facial expressions
    7.   Attention: Use active listening to show people your attention
    8.   Notes: Take notes, and wrap up the meeting with key takeaways and next steps.
    If you liked this post, take a look at this short clip that summarizes the tips!

    Want more tips? Here are 7 tips to get prepared before your next virtual meeting and show your best side on camera:

    Gabriel Seminario
    Director of Marketing

  • 2020-11-30 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As Technology professionals, we are usually making decisions, solving problems  and working in Teams to accomplish business goals. However, sometimes our Team is not optimized for high performance, innovation and achievements. This is where Diversity and Inclusion play a fundamental role. But, what is the meaning of those two terms?

    Diversity refers to human differences. They could be related to gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, education, experience, personality, or others. A working environment is diverse when the teams have diversity in its members. However, inclusion goes a step further, and it is not only counting with a diverse team, but also creating an organizational climate that foster collaboration, support and respect for these differences.

    In diverse and inclusive organizations, everyone wins, as employees learn to collaborate, whereas the organization accomplish its goals in a more efficient manner:

    1. Creativity and Product Development – Software development is a highly collaborative process. Developers should work in Teams. A diverse Team is more likely to solve problems because they have different point of views, but rather than argue, they work for a common objective. They are able to see problems from different angles and build a solution that addresses them all. That way, better products and better services are designed and implemented. Diverse teams use creativity to achieve more, more efficiently
    2. Happier environment and employee engagement – People with different backgrounds and lifestyles challenge each other more. A great leader will take benefit of diversity to promote creativity and innovation, where ideas are considered and everyone participates in decision-making. This workplace environment makes employees feel happier and acomplished. They feel as a valued member of a Team which will lead to employee engagement and loyalty to the Brand.
    3. Learning and Personal Growth – In diverse and inclusive organizations, the leadership mission includes programs that help teams to work collaborately, respect people’s opinion, brainstorm new ideas, and look for a common benefit for the organization. Programs like Women in Technology encourage the development and participation of women in the technology field through mentorship, role modeling, training and networking.
  • 2020-11-09 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    COVID- 19 impacted everybody and Hispanotech was not the exception. Our in-person events were canceled, and as the Director of Events, my role was to move and switch our strategy to the online world. We knew that this was coming, therefore last year we were testing some online functionalities to live broadcast some events, but the progress was slow; the need wasn’t there. However, the pandemic hit the world, and we, as everybody, had to adapt to this new normal and the online platform was not anymore an option, but the ONLY option.

    As a result, since April, Hispanotech joined forces with TRIEC PINs and other Hispanic groups to create a series of FREE webinars to address the challenges of living in a Pandemic, as well as the opportunities for professional development during quarantine.

    To achieve our mission during these times, we have organized 16 online events in the last 7 months featuring speakers from global corporations and covering leading-edge technology topics and essential soft skills to grow professionally. This includes webinars, workshops, discussion panels, and speed Mentoring events. From technical skills like 5G and excel to soft skills such as communication and creativity. From talking about Project Management certifications, Cybersecurity and Engineering licenses to Entrepreneurship. We have also addressed topics related to the new normal, what are our rights and duties in the workplace or how to keep current during this time, taking advantage of free E-learning opportunities.

    With these online events, we hope to play an important role in assisting Newcomers in the challenging journey of integration into the Canadian labour markets during these times, and also help Hispanic professionals, already working in their field to advance their careers during the pandemic.

    Take advantage of this time and join us in our free online events tailored for you! All our upcoming events are always updated in the following Link:

    Also, to know about our latest events, make sure that you follow us on LinkedIn. We post them there.

    Laura Bejarano

    Director of Events

  • 2020-11-09 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have finally taken the spotlight they deserve! Companies are more aware than ever that equity employment brings multiple benefits to their organizations and they are seeking ways to promote an inclusive workforce.

    However, even though DEI are now front and center, an additional hurdle companies need to overcome while recruiting is something called unconscious bias. Unconscious bias can be understood as the collective subjective attitudes, stereotypes and prejudices we have in favour or against something or someone, and this is particularly critical when trying to hire for diversity. If companies succumb to judging candidates based on their interests, looks, accents, or other non-important elements of performance, they are likely to stick with a culture that lacks the depth they so desire.

    But being “unaware that you are unaware” of your biases is very challenging. Fortunately, technology is here to help! There is some tech available now and there are some projects in the roaster, so here are three tech things to either apply now or watch out for in the future when hiring for diversity:

    1. Leverage your own technology
    2. Use artificial intelligence
    3. Look out for robots!

    To learn more, watch our video on Tech and Unconscious Bias:

    #HTechTrends #UnconsciousBias

  • 2020-11-09 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “Discovering who you are is going to be the best journey of your life”

    Have you ever asked yourself what I am good at? It is a simple question but not easy to answer. The reality is that since we have been aware of ourselves, one of the hardest things to do is to know our own strengths and abilities. Recent psychology studies suggest that there are 7 types of intelligence. 

    Howard Gardner is an American psychologist that created the theory of multiple intelligences. His theory broke stereotypes about human intelligence and how it is measured. Gardner explains that each person has at least 1 of the following 7 types of intelligence: Logical/Mathematical, Linguistic, Musical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, and Interpersonal.

    Unlike Gardner’s theory, there is a belief that people that are good at physics, science, and math are more intelligent or capable in contrast with people that are not good at those subjects. Gardner suggested that just one of the 7 intelligence is based on Math’s abilities. Some countries put a lot of attention on students with the best Math grades, they considered those students as talented and brilliant but what about the rest of the class? 

    Schools are used to focusing on developing math and language strengths but what happens when some students cannot keep the goal rising and fail all attempts in math and languages. Gardner’s theory has been challenging the system education in Latin-American and American countries where the tendency is measuring the student’s intelligence with old fashioned metrics. 

    Come with me and discover in the video the 7 types of intelligence and try to answer to yourself, what type of intelligence do you have? 

    Try this easy quiz to find out your intelligence:

    Take the quiz!

  • 2020-11-09 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Using video for virtual meetings and webinars is very common these days, and seating in front of the camera seems to be easy and simple, right?

    However, did you know that when you are on video, you are more exposed to make mistakes that may show a wrong, and sometimes embarrassing image of your personal brand?

    Here are 6 tips to get prepared before your next virtual meeting and show your best side on camera:

    1. Preparation: Ensure you have everything that you need for the meeting: A notebook and pen to take notes; Water; and even all the documents or software that you will need, especially if you will present or share ideas. Remember that you will remain seated for a long time, so go to the washroom, if needed. You don’t want to stand up in the middle of the meeting!
    2. Environment: If you are at home, alert your family that you will be in a meeting so you minimize interruptions and unwanted noise. Find a location that is quiet from external noise, and comfortable.
    3. Background: Maintain a genuine but organized background. Avoid clutter, dirt or embarrassing items!
    4. Frame: Position your head at the center, horizontally; and at eye level with the camera.
    5. Audio: Loud and clear. Use a quality microphone, and test it in advance. If you want privacy, use headphones. Audio is crucial for an effective communication
    6. Lighting: Use soft lights in front of you to show the expressions in your face and eyes. Avoid dark or noisy lighting or lights that come from behind or above. In the absence of artificial lights, use natural light from a window in front of you.
    7. Physical appearance: Keep casual and clean. Avoid stripes, colours or accessories that will be distracting. Present yourself as if you were in person.

    With these tips you will be totally ready to show a great image on camera. But, this is just the beginning: Stay tuned for the second part in the series, where we will cover how to behave during a virtual meeting

    If you liked this post, take a look at this short clip that summarizes the tips!

    Gabriel Seminario

    Director of Marketing

  • 2020-04-13 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Creating Value Through Alliances

    A month ago, in preparation for the annual AGM, I had the opportunity to reflect on what alliances and partnerships mean for our organization.  I would like to take this opportunity to expand on those reflections and share the direction the alliance committee will take this year. I define alliances as the relationship we establish with other organizations (educational, private, non-profits, etc.) with the intend to create value, generate new ideas, expand & enhance our services,  and generate opportunities for our members to stay current.

    My goal is to ensure we bring alliances that will appeal to the diverse membership of our organization. This led me to analyze the background of our members and the data indicates our members belong to the following industries – 24% Financial Services, 20% IT Services/products, 12% Engineering, 10% Telecom and 4% Government.  With this background in mind, I would like to highlight three programs we plan for 2020:

    • Focus on alliances with organizations from the Fintech sector almost 43% of our members are from finance and technology
    • Collaborate with organizations that would provide services (language programs, bridging programs, career advise programs…etc.) at no cost to our members.
    • Friends of Hispanotech – this program seeks to showcase Hispanic business owners. The idea is to inspire our members to see themselves not only as supporting business but also think about generating jobs opportunities by becoming business owners.

    When I took over the role of Director of Alliances, it was a one person show. In 2020, I am happy to work with a group of volunteers, who will bring new ideas & energy and help execute the plan.

    The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 is proving to be challenge for our usual practice of meetings in person. We will explore collaborations (e.g. with providers of virtual meeting platform) that will help us continue to function and keep our members engaged.

    I am excited about the opportunities and challenges this year brings to our members and I am committed to bringing alliances that will mutually benefit our members and partners. Looking forward to a productive 2020.

    Gabriela Roca Vasquez

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