The 47th National Convention for The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).
The Hyatt, Downtown Salt Lake City. Thousands of Hispanic students and professionals eagerly lined up to receive their access passes to a four-day gathering celebrating Hispanics in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Over 350 companies also attended this conference.
Miguel Alemany is the interim CEO of SHPE. As the SHPE Board Chair, Alemany was an advocate for Hispanic issues. He has returned as the interim CEO while the Board of Directors conducts a thorough search for the next individual to fill this important leadership role.
We talked to Almeny about the conference and the issues the Hispanic community encounters in professional life. His passion for helping young Hispanic professionals is evident.
“We’re here today in Salt Lake with almost 13,000 people in the convention center. Of those 7,000 are looking for a job, about 5,000 will walk out of here with a job, either a summer internship or a permanent job. So we’ve been for many years placing one to five thousand students into academia, government agencies, and the industry. So the work is monumental, it is very rewarding, but it’s a lot of work,” Alemany said.
SHPE is a nonprofit organization serving and advancing Hispanics in STEM. SHPE’s mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. As of now, the organization over 14,000 students and professional members.
“An issue that the Hispanic community has, and other subgroups (women tend to have the same issues as Hispanics) is we’re not very good at talking about ourselves. We’re at work and we believe that we’re going to work hard, our work is going to speak for us and we’re going to get promoted and get rewarded,” Alemany said. He added that SHPE provides services to help Hispanics feel confident and comfortable in corporate settings.
Alemany shared that 45 years ago when he entered the workforce, he was the only Hispanic in his company. He doesn’t want that to be the case anymore. “Hispanics are almost 15% of the country, but Hispanics in STEM are only about 8-9%, and while we had doubled the percentage of Hispanics in STEM we’re so far from being represented at the levels we’re being represented in college in general and the population. We have a target to close that gap,” Alemany said.
For more information please visit https://www.shpe.org/.