Celebrated in May, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) is a time to recognize and honor the legacy of one of the most culturally diverse groups in the United States. Spanning hundreds of years of rich history in America, the AAPI community is comprised of 50 ethnic groups speaking more than 100 languages.

May holds significance as the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to America in 1843, and the month when Chinese laborers finished the transcontinental railroad in 1869. By 1990, the celebration of pride, legacy and remembrance spanned the entire month.

Why we celebrate

At Robert Half, we think engaging and amplifying different voices encourages us all to connect, thrive and grow. One way we do this is through our employee network groups (ENGs), often in collaboration with the ENGs in our global consulting subsidiary, Protiviti. Created and led by employees globally, these networks unite professionals with common interests and backgrounds.

“Being involved in ENGs at Robert Half allows members to experience a collection of various cultures that share many commonalities,” says Asian Professionals for Excellence (APEX) ENG Champion Wendy Kano. “Each identity represents a deep sense of tradition and history, which forms a rooted sense of pride and culture stitched together by different ethnicities and backgrounds.”

Led by Robert Half’s APEX and Protiviti’s Asian Social Professional Innovative Resourceful Employees (ASPIRE), our company will celebrate through a curated series of events that include:

  • Participating in community service events supporting the Center for Pacific Asian Family (CPAF)
  • Hosting two keynote speakers who will discuss intersectionality and mental health
  • Teaching a hybrid origami session and convening a virtual cooking class
  • Deepening our alliance with Ascend, the largest Pan-Asian business professional membership organization in North America

We asked APEX members to comment on what celebrating AAPI cultures and traditions through the heritage month means to them. These were their responses:

APEX leader Ryan Chan: “There is a highly collaborative and coordinated effort behind celebrating our AAPI community and its allies during the heritage month. Robert Half dedicates resources to honor differences and traditions across all ethnic groups and cultures. And it’s not just during individual heritage months but throughout the entire year. We are building a better tomorrow because of it.”

APEX leader Lattie Phongsa: “What I love about AAPI culture at Robert Half is that we have a community of distinct ethnic groups, speaking many languages, and sharing cuisines, stories, artists and culture, all of which are integral in strengthening us as a multicultural organization.”

Advancing DEI in the workplace

A key component of Robert Half’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts is engaging people across all levels of the organization. As APEX and ASPIRE members develop content and programming to recognize the month, the process is strengthened by support and buy-in from senior leadership.

APEX member Christine Tom says: “Our leaders continue to give our ENGs a platform in today’s ever-changing hybrid environment to build rich connections, share and listen to each other’s stories, and celebrate our achievements at work.”

Robert Half upholds a powerful commitment to:

  • Advance DEI in the workplace
  • Cultivate strategic alliances that drive engagement with diverse professionals
  • Support universal human rights
  • Participate actively in the communities where we live and do business
  • Foster the promotion, growth and development of diverse suppliers
  • Be a socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizen

“Our commitment to DEI seeks to empower our people and foster a corporate culture where everyone feels included and like they belong,” says Alfredo Mendez, vice president of diversity and community at Robert Half. “Putting our people first means that talent attraction, retention, development, engagement and well-being are inextricably intertwined, and initiatives through our heritage month celebrations are just one example of how we do this.”

If you’re interested in working for a company that values DEI, view our current job openings here. Robert Half is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/Disability/Veterans.