As Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) begins, we reflect on all that our Latino community is-and all that we are yet to become. For over 53 years, this cultural moment has elicited great pride within our community, and confidence in our immense contributions to American culture and society. Today, this celebratory feeling remains as strong as ever and we are thrilled to come together as one ELC familia at The Estee Lauder Companies.
Nevertheless, we're also pausing to acknowledge how the world's recent challenges have affected our resilient community. The last 18 months have marked a pivotal moment in world history, particularly American history, with COVID-19 and the racial justice movement amplifying the stark racial, social and economic disparities throughout diverse communities in the United States. As one of The Estee Lauder Companies' Employee Resource Groups (ERG), we've stood alongside our ELC familia, especially those with Afro-Latino and Indigenous roots, as they've faced multiple injustices, often invisibly or with little to no awareness.
The Hispanic communities were greatly impacted by the pandemic in the U.S. and Latin America. Medically, Latinos were at increased risk for serious illness due to generally higher rates of underlying conditions and health care inequities. Socially and economically, we became incredibly vulnerable due to language barriers. Prolonged separations from our families both locally and abroad was another stressor for our family-oriented community. The macro political challenges from many of our countries of origin added another layer of complexity for many of our employees. Additionally, service industries were incredibly impacted by unemployment. Working mothers, the foundation of many Latino families, were tasked in working full-time, caring for, educating their children and providing for their families.
All of above was coupled with the all too real complexities for many who are first generation Americans, and the first in their families to navigate education, finances, family, career and community. Headline after headline captured these challenges, while simultaneously shedding light on the influence of our Latino community and our intersections into many diverse cultures.
Despite these challenges, we came together to check in on each other, listen and lend support. This year, The Estee Lauder Companies is acknowledging Hispanic Heritage Month as an opportunity to advance meaningful, crucial dialogue that recognizes the Latino community. As an organization, we understand that cultural celebrations are not only about honoring the past, but about being present and continuing to impact the future, including advancing our organization's racial equity commitments. We want to ensure that the depth and diversity of Latinos is authentically represented in every aspect of our business, that we have a seat at the table and invest in our Latino employees as we do our Latino consumers.
To honor the depth and diversity of the Latino community, The Estee Lauder Companies and Hispanic Connections are taking an active role to drive an even stronger culture of inclusion by amplifying Latino voices and leveraging our diverse perspectives and backgrounds. This month, we will offer ELC employees masterclasses to help the Latino community lead from every chair, personally and professionally.
Our Latino culture is a huge asset. Whatever chair we sit in, we show up authentically as ourselves and express pride for our heritage. We are proud of where we came from.
Employee Resource Group for Latino employees at The Estee Lauder Companies