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Latinx Workforce Representation: Continued Growth and Opportunity

Seattle Children’s aims to have a workforce that reflects the diversity of patients and families served. Research shows this improves health outcomes, patient and family experience, and innovation. Diverse representation across all levels of the organization is important as every role — not just clinical providers — contributes to the whole Seattle Children’s culture and atmosphere and to the patient and family experience.

Seattle Children’s Latinx workforce diversity has consistently increased over the last 5+ years, as part of the overall workforce racial and ethnic diversity trend. Latinx representation has notably increased in Seattle Children’s employees – a 52.8% increase, from 5.3% in 2017 to 8.1% as of March 2023. However, the Latinx population remains the area with the biggest opportunity to increase representation in the employee population. As of March 31, 2023, 3% of medical staff and 8.6% of residents and fellows identified as Latinx.

The underrepresentation compared to the Latinx patient population is partly because the Latinx patient population has consistently increased during the same timeframe (from 17.2% in 2017 to 19.6% in March 2023).

Latinx underrepresentation between Seattle Children’s workforce and patient population requires ongoing efforts to close the gap, and retention is a critical part of the story. Seattle Children’s wants people to not only choose to work at Seattle Children’s, but also choose to stay. Feelings of inclusion and belonging and career development opportunities influence this choice.  

Creating an environment where all workforce members feel seen, included and valued is at the center of Seattle Children’s retention focus. Retention focus areas include:  

  • Improving access to supportive programs and resources
  • Connecting to well-being
  • Sharing avenues for ideas, support and feedback
  • Evolving recognition tools, awards and processes to reflect workforce experiences and values  

I could not be more proud to work at Seattle Children's. I choose Seattle Children's because the HEAR Action Plan is comprehensive and actionable. I see tangible and honest progress on the commitments made, which sets the HEAR Action Plan apart from other plans I have seen. It's more than a talking point and I feel that difference walking through Seattle Children's doors, talking with my coworkers and collaborating with leaders of color. I wanted my next role to address systemic issues, promote equity and diversity and further my career — I have found those things at Seattle Children's.

Chris Ramirez, senior policy advisor, External Affairs

Here are two examples of Latinx workforce members committed to helping their Latinx colleagues thrive and grow their careers 


Manuel Arambul

Learning Consultant, Learning: Workforce Development/CONNECT Program

Arambul_Manuel 001.jpgManuel strives to uplift his colleagues and support them in building skills and growing their careers. He was inspired to coordinate two workshops that offered concrete tools to assist in personal and professional growth.

A three-part series offered in summer 2022, the Career Development workshops focused on resume building skills, interviewing tips and personal “branding”, with Marita Arevalo and Jessica Buckner presenting.

In March 2023, Exploring Coaching offered an introduction to professional coaching, along with tools and techniques to help in personal goal prioritization. Manuel facilitated and 43 people attended.

Hola loves supporting and amplifying the work of our members, like Hola chairs Manuel and Marita and Hola member Chris, and marketing opportunities that are tailored for the Latinx community by the Latinx community. With 250+ members, Hola is a relationship hub. Retention has been a longstanding conversation topic, not only within Hola, but also among partners in other Hispanic/Latinx employee resource groups in the Seattle area, showing that Hola and our community partners value retaining good people. It shows that we care — it is meaningful for families to see people who look like them, with whom they can relate.

Joe Arredondo, Hola Chair

The workshops were tailored for Latinx workforce members, to strengthen skills and foster a sense of community to help retain Latinx workforce members and increase engagement and satisfaction.

The content was curated to culturally resonate with Latinx workforce members and collectively build a positive and supportive work environment. Manuel’s role as development chair for the Hola Inclusion Network was part of his motivation to offer the workshops and Hola helped market the events.

Seattle Children’s is going in the right direction and there is still work to be done to have the workforce fully represent the patients served for the Latinx community. My kids have been patients at Seattle Children’s — we have had great experiences, and some where interactions fell short. I want to use my role to help support the work to create an equitable environment.

Manuel Arambul

Marita Arevalo

Workforce planning consultant, Workforce Development and Planning

Arevalo_Marita 002.jpgMarita is passionate about investing in her community, with an emphasis on growth, development and coaching. A natural encourager, she loves helping to boost others’ confidence in their abilities.

When Manuel brought the idea of a Career Development series to Marita, she helped bring the events to life. Acknowledging cultural differences and biases that often surface when job seeking, Marita emphasized networking and interviewing skills for internal positions.

From providing tools and tips on showcasing strengths and accomplishments, navigating resume and cover letter writing, and building LinkedIn profiles, Marita sought to help her Latinx colleagues advance within their current team or succeed in finding the perfect role elsewhere within Seattle Children’s.

Following the series, Marita provided additional support for numerous colleagues who requested further assistance. She conducted 1:1 mock interviews, helped edit resumes to match job descriptions, aided in arranging informational interviews and more.

With a background in financial services, Marita also has years of experience providing financial education to historically underrepresented communities, especially Latinx families. This led her to offer a five-part Financial Health and Awareness series, co-hosted by Amy Ezzo and Beatriz Cruz. The workshops cover topics including debt management and savings plans. Culture influences money perceptions and Marita and her co-hosts integrate cultural beliefs into financial education.

Marita aims to have all workshop participants come away with more knowledge and feeling empowered — believing in themselves and excited to build a long-lasting career at Seattle Children’s where they feel acknowledged, heard and validated.

When someone lands their dream job or moves up within the organization they love, I get emotional because I am so proud of their hard work and determination. It’s a great feeling to know I played a little part in helping to make that happen.

Marita Arevalo

Seattle Children’s is committed to closing the representation gap between Latinx workforce members and its patient population and embraces the work ahead. With gratitude to workforce members like Marita and Manuel who bring Seattle Children’s values to life and help create a workplace culture that is compassionate and inclusive, Children’s leadership looks forward to partnering with Latinx workforce members to build on the good work that fosters community and encourages workforce members to continue to choose — and to remain at — Seattle Children’s.

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