BDO professionals celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month


Each September 15 – October 15, BDO’s Multicultural Alliance leads a firmwide celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, BDO will host a Hispanic and Latinx panel discussion where professionals will share their experiences in the accounting industry. To celebrate the cultural tradition of storytelling, we’ve also held a virtual children’s story hour where BDO families heard stories featuring Hispanic and Latinx characters.
 
Below, three BDO professionals reflect on what this month means to them and share their perspectives on what it is like to be a Hispanic or Latinx professional in the accounting industry.
 
Professional headshot of Rene Blanco Rene Blanco
​Assurance Partner
 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

It means even more to me now as a new dad. My daughter was born last July and when I saw her birth certificate for the first time with “Blanco” as her last name, it was a reminder that there is a lot about my family and my heritage I want her to learn about and be proud of. Hispanic Heritage Month doesn’t just provide non-Hispanics education about the culture, it also reminds those who are Hispanic about the great things that have come from our culture.  
 

How has being Hispanic or Latinx in the accounting profession changed over the course of your career or since you were little?

I started my career in public accounting at a national firm in a large metropolitan city where there were close to 70 new hires in my starting class. To the best of my memory, I was the only person in that starting group that was Hispanic and I did not see many Hispanic experienced professionals on my engagements. Now I see so many students on campus at my alma mater who are Hispanic and are looking for a career in accounting which is great to see. I also see the presence in my own office of Hispanic professionals at a level that I didn’t see when I started my career, which gives me a good amount of pride in how we are playing a larger part in the profession.
 
 
Professional headshot of Karina Espinola Karina Espinola
​Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Senior Manager
 

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

For me, it’s all about further educating and celebrating. It’s an opportunity to soak in our history, sacrifices and contributions while celebrating the richness of our culture — much of which is due to the diversity of our people.
 

What does it mean to you to be a Hispanic or Latinx professional in the accounting industry?

It’s a bittersweet feeling. Within public accounting especially, we’re still so far and few. On one end, it’s special when you are able to cross paths with or work alongside another Hispanic/Latinx professional, but it’s also a reminder that more work needs to be done.
 
 
Professional headshot of Ignacio Griego Ignacio Griego
Assurance Partner
 

What does it mean to you to be a Hispanic or Latinx professional in the accounting industry?

Given the low number within the industry currently, it is a great opportunity for me and other leaders to give back to young Latinx and Hispanic students trying to get their foot in the door, or young professionals making their way up the ranks. When I started out in the accounting industry, ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America) was a great outlet for me that provided a great support and a board opportunity at a young age, which gave me some fantastic experience. It is a pleasure to attempt to give back as was once given to me.
 

How has being Hispanic or Latinx in the accounting profession changed over the course of your career or since you were little?

Frankly, while there have been some positive changes, the speed of change has been slow. I would still like to see more young Hispanic and Latinx individuals show an interest in our profession, which is what is needed for us to build up more Latinx/Hispanic leaders. I would encourage others to get involved with our local communities, even before college, to open students’ eyes to some of the opportunities out there that they may not realize exist. Growing up, I had no clue about the opportunities within the accounting and finance industry, and it would’ve been helpful to have a professional explain those opportunities in high school.