Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Sergio Salgado, Senior Process Leader at our brewery in Golden, Colo.
Q: What does being Latino mean to you?
A: To me, being Latino means a lot of things, so narrowing it down to one thing is tough. The biggest thing is that I should be confident in my culture and upbringing. Growing up in a Mexican household — always with friends or family living with us for years at a time — I never realized how differently I was raised until we moved to a predominantly white neighborhood in Colorado. That move opened my eyes to see a different culture which I adopted as well.
But as an adult, it made me very proud of being Mexican, and unapologetically allowing myself to be me as a result. Even dealing with discrimination and racism growing up, it only strengthened my pride in being Latino.
Q: Are you involved with Latino initiatives at Molson Coors or within your community? If so, how?
A: I am involved with CHEN (Coors Hispanic Employee Network), an employee resource group in Golden, and I'm looking to be more active with their awesome initiatives and activities. Outside of work, my wife and I are very heavily involved with the Cope Boys and Girls Club branch in Denver. Although the pandemic hasn’t allowed us to be at the branch much in the last 18 months, we would volunteer every week, plan parties with them and even DJ dances for the kids. The kids at the club are of all ethnicities and backgrounds (including Latino), so it’s awesome to see kids just being kids regardless of skin color.
Q: How do you celebrate your identity at Molson Coors?
A: I celebrate my identity at Molson Coors by just being myself. I use Spanish whenever I can in meetings, including always suggesting driving our meetings in Spanish. I also speak the language with Spanish-speaking co-workers, especially those who are still learning English to make them feel more comfortable working here. And, I even did a Spanish word of the day while hosting meetings in packaging.
Q: Do you have any tips for fostering an inclusive environment where everyone is valued and can bring their whole selves to work?
A: The biggest thing that can make everyone feel valued and comfortable being ourselves is to get to truly get to know the people around you and be as vulnerable as possible. Don’t do it just to advance your career, or for personal gain, but genuinely get to know people and hear their story. Everyone has a unique story, and it takes time and a lot of mental capacity to truly get to know someone. But it's incredible how freeing it is to be yourself in the workplace, and these conversations allow that to happen.
Q: Who is someone who inspires you within the Latino community?
A: My dad is by far my biggest inspiration. He grew up in Mexico in extreme poverty, with no running water, eating nothing but a single tortilla for dinner on some days since that’s all they had. He was raised by his mom, who herself dropped out of school in 2nd grade due to family issues. He never knew who his father was until he was almost 40. He came to the United States in search of a better life with only the clothes he had on. He knew no English, but worked three jobs at a time to get himself situated in California. He worked extremely hard to get better positions and promotions his whole life, including going to school to be a certified HVAC tech recently.
Despite all of that, he still managed to make it to my soccer and basketball games growing up and gave me all the things he wished he had as a kid. He lived an extremely hard life so I can live a much better and easier one. That is something that I want to pass onto my son and future family.