#AlumniSpotlight We caught up with Nathália Dunlap (CLAS ’19) to hear about her initiative in creating Somos, the first early-in-career Hispanic and Latinx network at Microsoft. A computer science major and former DoD employee, when Nathália arrived at Microsoft she joined HOLA, the company’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for Hispanic and Latinx employees. However, she quickly realized that the group’s events weren’t geared towards her age or stage of life. Spurred by her memories and involvement with the Latinx Student Alliance (LSA) at UVA, Nathália saw a need for a network that took into account both stage in life and background, something not covered by any ERG at Microsoft. As the pandemic hit, the difficulties of remote work and lack of community motivated her to take action.
What first started as a set of email chains with interest forms soon turned into the establishment of Somos, the first Hispanic and Latinx early-in-career ERG at Microsoft. SOMOS has three focuses: (1) professional growth, (2) social events (both in and outside of work), and (3) community service. Housed under the umbrella of HOLA and with over 400 members already, Nathália hopes to use Somos as a model for other early-in-career communities, taking into account the various intersecting identities that employees may experience. Noting how important the first couple of months at a company can have on employee satisfaction, Nathália wants to create spaces where employees feel comfortable and develop a sense of community.
Want to find out more? Read about Nathália’s experience here: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2021/03/10/former-dod-employee-found-empowerment-and-opportunity-at-microsoft/?fbclid=IwAR3P3qvwFA0En4GmX1GRWVIu3EsGzVAJTaphIOXoQ8u7jSHzg0rLqqBJagM