With over 35 offices worldwide and thousands of clients in healthcare and beyond, ZS builds a welcoming and inclusive culture, with plenty of opportunities for our people to connect and collaborate. By bringing together diverse minds and backgrounds, we spark innovative ideas and solutions to improve health outcomes for all.
For Lu Aguilera, this looks like turning to the Black and Hispanic Alliance (BHA) for community and support as she builds out user experiences (UX) that ensure easier access to health information.
Lu joined ZS in our Evanston headquarters after working as a UX designer for a robotics company in Calgary, Alberta. “In the heart of the pandemic, I drove the design of an app to remotely connect older adults with the warmth of their families, no matter the distance or circumstances,” she says. “As I made the choice to explore companies within my local market, it was important to me that my work helped people. I was searching for companies with a good social presence when I found ZS. The core values aligned with my personal values, so I thought it would be a good fit.”
After connecting with ZSers on LinkedIn, Lu was assured of her gut feeling and joined ZS’s UX expertise center in 2021. “The team is very inclusive and always plans a lot of social activities,” she says with a smile. To stay connected with colleagues across various countries in the UX expertise center, Lu co-started a “culture club.” This group organizes monthly coffee chats via Zoom that encourage ZSers to connect with each other.
In an effort to connect with ZSers outside of her team, Lu discovered the BHA, one of ZS’s many employee-led inclusion and diversity groups. There, she was able to connect with other Hispanic and Latino ZSers, bond over shared experiences and receive mentoring relevant to her cultural experience.
This year, Lu helped the BHA plan and execute their inaugural Summer Series, a purposefully curated series of networking events designed to forge connections, foster unity and provide tools for professional development among Black, Hispanic and Latino ZSers. This series is part of ZS’s firmwide commitment to better retain this specific demographic and help build community.
“With the goal of community in mind, we emphasized networking and relationship-building throughout the series,” Lu says. “We made sure people were talking and had opportunities to connect by working in breakout sessions.” Those sessions focused on recognizing the community’s unique contributions, empowering ZSers to be their authentic selves in and outside of work, cultivating relationships and elevating career growth through tangible tools and resources. As a result, hundreds of ZSers around the world strengthened their network across the firm.
Since joining the BHA, Lu has felt the support of her community in big and small ways. “There were a lot of things I didn’t know how to put into words,” she says. “Microaggressions and othering, for example, are something I’ve felt throughout my life but didn’t know how to talk about or address. Connecting with BHA members and the DEI Council has brought me so much sympathy and compassion. I understand the importance of talking about these issues and how one individual can make a difference for the people around them.”
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