Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
From the smartphones we carry in our pockets to the algorithms that influence our online experiences, technology’s reach is pervasive and undeniable. But is the tech space reflective of its diverse user-base and does this tech serve everyone equitably? That’s one question on the mind of Hector Mujica, Head of Economic Opportunity at Google.org.
The Power of Community
Mujica and his family immigrated from Venezuela to Miami when he was just seven. He proudly acknowledges, “Being in South Florida and immersed in the Latino community was incredibly formative for my personal identity.” It’s his Venezuelan-American heritage that defines Mujica’s unique perspective.
Mujica’s experience as a young immigrant was transformative. “When my family arrived in Miami, it was pivotal for us to be embedded in a community that was supporting us in navigating a system that was completely foreign,” he explains. Miami’s Latino community rallied around his family, offering guidance and help as they adapted to their new reality.
These acts of solidarity left an indelible mark on Mujica, instilling in him a deep sense of the importance of giving back and supporting others.
Representation in Tech
During his undergraduate years at Florida International University, an internship at Google, known as the Bold Internship, opened Mujica’s eyes to the impact of technology. He recalls this moment, saying, “It was quite an eye-opening experience.” It was during this internship that he realized the crucial role of diversity in tech – that technology should be built by individuals who reflect the diversity of its users.
Latinos make up almost 20% of the US population. When diverse voices contribute to the creation of digital solutions, it leads to a broader understanding of users’ needs and experiences.
“I think it’s incredibly important that we continue to strive to get to equitable representation in spaces like tech,” says Mujica. “It’s not just the right thing to do from a social and human perspective, but it’s also the right thing to do for business.”
Google and Beyond
Within Google, Mujica is an integral part of the Latino Advisory Council and HOLA, the Hispanic and Latinx Employee Resource Group. Through these platforms, he advocates for increased representation and inclusion of Latinos in the tech industry.
Beyond this, his role as a board member of both the Hispanic Federation and Hispanics in Philanthropy, among others, reflects his dedication to improving the economic prospects of the Latino community.
As Hector Mujica continues to champion diversity and inclusion in technology, he reminds us that the future of tech should be as diverse as the world it serves, fostering innovation that truly leaves no one behind.