Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Darwin Marrero
With great pride and reverence, Trimont embraces the vibrant spirit of National Hispanic Heritage month. As part of our celebration, we are honored to feature some of our employees whose backgrounds and experiences offer a unique insight into the many contributions, cultures, and histories of Hispanic and Latino Americans.
Darwin Marrero, a Puerto Rico native, joined Trimont in 2021 as an Analyst on our Global Information Services team. Since then, he has consistently demonstrated his expertise in the field and has proven to be an invaluable asset to his team, making noteworthy contributions along the way.
Darwin generously shared his personal insights and elements of his story in the interview below. We encourage you to read it and to learn through his experiences and enrich your perspective.
How has your Latino identity influenced your professional journey and career choices?
My Latino identity has played a significant role in my professional journey and career choices. It has instilled in me a strong sense of cultural pride and resilience, which has helped me navigate challenges and discrimination I may encounter as a gay Latino man in various work environments.
Additionally, being part of the Latino community has enriched my perspective and cultural competence, making me more adaptable and open-minded in diverse settings. This has been an asset in my career, as it has allowed me to connect with a wide range of people and understand their unique backgrounds and experiences.
Ultimately, my Latino identity has shaped not only my career choices but also my commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, ensuring that others from underrepresented backgrounds have opportunities to thrive professionally.
Can you describe any challenges or opportunities you’ve encountered as a Latino employee and how you’ve navigated them?
As a gay Latino man, I’ve faced both challenges and opportunities in the workplace due to my identity. Some challenges have included encountering stereotypes and biases from colleagues or superiors, which at times can lead to a sense of isolation. However, these challenges have also presented opportunities for growth and advocacy.
I’ve navigated these situations by first acknowledging the importance of self-confidence and self-acceptance. Embracing my identity has allowed me to confidently address misconceptions or biases when they arise and educate my peers about the rich diversity within the Latino community.
Moreover, I’ve sought out supportive allies and networks within my workplace and industry who understand the value of diversity. Building these connections has not only provided me with a sense of belonging but also opened doors to career advancement and leadership opportunities.
In summary, while my identity has presented its share of challenges, it has also empowered me to advocate for inclusivity, foster connections, and ultimately thrive in my career while staying true to my authentic self.
Are there any specific accomplishments or milestones in your career that you feel particularly proud of as a Latino professional?
There have been several accomplishments and milestones in my career that I take immense pride in as a Latino professional.
I take pride in knowing that I’m a gay Latino professional, a young millennial, and an Army Brat. I had very few friends when I first moved here, and my parents never went to college, yet I still graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology. It was safe to say that I had no idea what I was doing in college. Yet, that didn’t stop me from pursuing growth and achieving my goals. Buying my first car, paying off my student loans, securing my first data analyst position, becoming a subject matter expert in Power BI and data, buying my first home, and becoming fully independent in less than a decade after graduating college are all accomplishments that I take pride in.
Some may think I’m bragging, others would call me a statistical improbability, and some might think I’m a wizard. None of these are true.
It is true, however, that I had no financial assistance and no guidance on what to do in and after college. This presented a great challenge for me, but I was fortunate to be able to rely on my family and friends for emotional support and confidence in my abilities. It is this support that has helped me achieve and be proud of my milestones in my career.
While beginning my career as a gay Latino professional, I had no one to truly look up to or model myself after. That lack drove me to work even harder to achieve my goals so that I might one day be a role model for other aspiring Latino professionals. Even when the odds may seem stacked against you, it’s possible to excel and make a positive impact in your personal and corporate world by embracing your cultural identity.
Starting off, I was a bartender. After that, I became an operations specialist and later a manager. To go from my role in operations to a career in data, I had to put myself out there and meet hundreds and possibly thousands of people before I felt sure that I wanted to become a data analyst. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside numerous data professionals and have learned so much from them. I owe a great deal of my career success in data to my mentors.
Now, in recent years, I’ve worked alongside numerous corporate departments to save hundreds of millions of dollars, streamline processes and workflows, develop new metrics and KPIs, generate new leads for sales, and increase overall company performance. I’m proud to say that my success can have a direct impact on a company’s success.
These experiences have been deeply rewarding, as they align with my commitment to paying it forward and fostering the next generation of Latino leaders. In essence, my accomplishments and experiences in my career as a Latino professional are sources of great pride, as they reflect not only personal growth but also contributions to the broader Latino community and the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
What advice would you give to other Latino professionals who are navigating their careers or facing obstacles in the workplace?
My primary advice to other Latino professionals would be to embrace your identity and hold your head high with confidence and pride! It’s not always easy, but seeking allies and surrounding yourself with supportive colleagues can make all the difference.
Obstacles will inevitably cross your path, but don’t let them knock you off course. I’ve worked on my personal resilience by staying laser-focused on my goals and taking the time to celebrate every achievement, no matter how small.
Above all, I believe that empathy is the key to fostering a positive and inclusive environment. Taking the time to understand others and be understood can truly make a world of difference. Show empathy towards your colleagues and create a space where everyone feels valued.
Always remember, as a Latino professional, you bring a unique perspective and contribution to the table. Stay true to yourself, stand up for positive change, and trust me, you have the strength to overcome any obstacles that come your way.
How do you think companies can better support and uplift the voices of Latino employees throughout the year, beyond Hispanic Heritage Month?
I think there are several ways for companies to better support Latino employees, so they feel valued and empowered to succeed year-round.
- Representation Matters: Ensure Latino employees are represented at all levels of the organization, from entry-level positions to leadership roles. This includes diverse hiring and promotions.
- Mentorship and Sponsorship: Establish mentorship and sponsorship programs that connect Latino employees with experienced colleagues who can help them navigate their careers and advocate for their advancement.
- Cultural Awareness Training: Offer cultural sensitivity and awareness training to all employees to foster understanding and respect for different backgrounds and experiences.
- Open Dialogue: Encourage open dialogue through regular feedback channels, town hall meetings, and employee resource groups where Latino employees can share their perspectives and concerns.
- Flexible Policies: Implement flexible policies that accommodate cultural and religious practices, family needs, and individual circumstances.
- Community Engagement: Support Latino employees in their involvement with external Latino organizations and community outreach efforts to strengthen connections with the broader community.
- Career Development: Invest in professional development opportunities, training, and resources that help Latino employees advance in their careers.
- Visibility and Recognition: Acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Latino employees throughout the year, not just during designated months.
- Promote Allyship: Encourage allyship among all employees to create a culture where everyone actively supports one another.
- Track Progress: Continuously collect and analyze data related to diversity and inclusion metrics to identify areas for improvement and track progress.
Trimont is a specialized global commercial real estate loan services provider and partner for lenders seeking the infrastructure and capabilities needed to help them scale their business and make informed, effective decisions related to the deployment, management and administration of commercial real estate secured credit.
Data-driven, collaborative, and focused on commercial real estate, Trimont brings a distinctive mix of intelligent loan analysis, responsive communications, and unmatched administrative capabilities to clients seeking cost-effective solutions at scale.
Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Atlanta, Trimont’s team of 400+ employees serves a global client base from offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, London, New York and Sydney. The firm currently has USD 236B in loans under management and serves clients with assets in 72 countries.