Travel

Sitting down with Los Ubers’ ERG Leader, Erlinda Garcia

October 26, 2018

I had the chance to sit down with Erlinda after we enjoyed lunch at a delicious Mexican restaurant while in Chicago with the rest of the team. We headed back to the Uber offices afterwards to dive deeper and learn more about her experience at Uber and as a lead for Los Ubers, an employee resource group.

Erlinda has been at Uber for some time now. She was initially interested in Uber when she discovered how much easier it made getting around Chicago than taxi. So she downloaded the app and began using it. After awhile, she realized her bank account was taking a plunge due to the amount of rides but in the same instance it was like a light bulb turned on. She always wanted to work for a company she actually used on the regular. So that’s what she did. She began her research and her interest grew when she learned it was a new tech company, a start up which if you got in then she knew she’d be a part of the growing and building process.

When you finally began with Uber, was there ever a moment that made you realize that you’d want to be a part of this for the long run?

E: There were several moments early on that confirmed for me that I made the right choice to work at Uber. Two things that stood out most to me were the people and the feeling of true ownership in my work. Everyday I work alongside talented and intelligent people who have pushed me and helped me to grow. I’ve been empowered to make important business decisions and have been able to work on so many exciting projects from launching Uber in new cities, organizing a surprise concert and recently project managing our Super Bowl efforts. I have yet to find another company that would grant me with such a wide range in opportunities! 

I really enjoyed reading that Uber allows their employees to have a voice in an article in the past. In many corporate companies, you don’t see that. It’s typically very strict and they are set in their ways, so hearing also from you about your journey just confirms it, which is refreshing.

E: I appreciated that it didn’t matter what level I was or what my tenure was, my ideas were heard and sometimes even helped shape what happened next. I felt empowered and more invested knowing that my ideas contributed to achieving real business goals.   

How did you begin working with Los Ubers?

E: Los Ubers first launched in San Francisco with a handful of employees. As the company grew, Los Ubers grew into a community connecting Latinx employees across the world. Within the last few years, several offices have started their own local chapters. I met Joceline (another Los Ubers Co-Chair) at an office event, and we discussed our desire to launch a local chapter in Chicago. Weeks later we started recruiting members and started planning our first event. The rest is history! 

What is your goal behind Los Ubers in Chicago? In yesterday’s Hispanic Heritage event one of the things I noticed was that all different ethnicities were there in attendance. Even with you being Filipino, I feel like you guys are very welcoming to anyone and everyone interested.

E: Los Ubers has always been very welcoming! Even though I am Asian, there was never a moment where I didn’t feel like I belonged. I’ve found that Los Ubers members are excited to share their culture with others. We make it a point to invite all Chicago employees so people can experience different food, music, traditions, etc. To me, it has been great to learn more about different cultures and to find overlap with my own Filipino background. The Filipino culture is rich in Spanish influence so in many ways I feel at home. 

Has there been an event that you’ve been proud of thus far or one that you’re working on?

E: We had a ton of really great events this year! I would say it would be a toss up between the Spicy Food Challenge and the Game Night last night. The Spicy Food Challenge was great because so many people who never participated in ERG events came out to compete! It was also great because we collaborated with the Asian Heritage ERG so we were able to showcase a wide range of cuisines – Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Indian, etc. Game Night was also really special because every member contributed to help make the event a success! Every planning meeting the ideas kept getting bigger and better and each member made sure that we could bring every idea to life. From the food to the decorations to the music and the games themselves, it was really cool to see it all come together and to see how much everyone enjoyed themselves.

Is Los Ubers focused more on just the inside community or do you guys also work with the outside community all around Chicago?

E: We are focused on both! Many of our members are active with various community organizations and have recruited members to volunteer their time as well. From mentorship to park cleanups to translation support and everything in between, we try to work with different community groups across Chicago.  

Has being a part of Los Ubers empowered you in your career and/or personal life?

E: Through Los Ubers I have  been able to build relationships with people outside of my team. From a work standpoint, it is great because you can develop connections with people on other teams who may be able to support and champion your projects. You meet people across different parts of the business and learn more about the different work being done by teams. Personally it opens the door to build authentic connections and relationships with people you may not have met otherwise. Los Ubers has created a community with people who support you, rally for you and celebrate you.  

So it’s like your own little family…

E: That’s exactly what it is.

What do you hope to continue to bring to the table at Los Ubers?

E:  I hope to strengthen the bond and community that Los Ubers has already created for itself. I also hope to inspire other people to join ERGs as an ally.   

This post was sponsored by Uber but the interview and my opinions are all my own.

 

 

 

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