Inside Audible

Para la cultura: UNIDOS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

A kaleidoscope of colors appears in red, teal, mustard yellow, and lime green in changing geometric patterns of swoops, half circles, bars and triangles.

For anyone wondering why Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15, it’s a nod to the fact that several Latin American countries celebrate independence days in mid-September: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile. But as Christian Martillo, a Creative Director at Audible says, “We should reflect on and celebrate our culture every day.”

Martillo is one of the founders of Audible’s employee-led impact group UNIDOS, which focuses on amplifying and celebrating Hispanic and Latino culture year-round. Together with other employee-led impact groups at Audible, UNIDOS creates opportunities for connection and career growth in our workplace, raises awareness of issues that affect the community and influences the content Audible produces and promotes to customers. The group also organizes and hosts a slew of events and panels in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The month’s celebrations amplify stories and storytellers. Audible Editor Edwin de la Cruz, a founding member of UNIDOS, has curated collections of listens for customers, in Spanish and in English, that explore the various identities, cultures and experiences in the US and across Latin America. Employees also share their cultural pride and favorite listens in this Voices of Audible post.

UNIDOS is also hosting a book club discussion on The Undocumented Americans, by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, and the group is closing out the month on October 15 with “UNIDOS: Pa’lante—Looking Forward,” an in-person celebration at our Innovation Cathedral in Newark to highlight upcoming content, events and goals.

Martillo explains the goal of UNIDOS is “to be an advocate for all the Hispanic and Latino community within Audible, [as well as] externally—the talent out there, the content creators.” UNIDOS members work with Audible’s Director of Spanish-Language Content Manny Miravete to help identify performers with the most appropriate accents given the particular Spanish-speaking country the character is from. The group also amplifies Audible Latino titles to customers as part of our Hear My Story initiative, which ensures our offering, and the talent behind it, represents a spectrum of cultures.

UNIDOS, as well as our other impact groups, helps drive Audible’s commitment to supporting a broad spectrum of employee backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, and creating an inclusive workplace. Audible’s Community Service Manager and UNIDOS co-lead Analee Campbell says that before coming to Audible, “I hadn’t experienced that in any other company I’d been with; seeing people like me in these business functions.” Prior to stepping up to lead UNIDOS, Campbell was on the board of the Women@Audible impact group, of which she’s still a member. “I’m a woman but also a Latina,” she explains, “and I’m passionate about that, about bringing to light the quirks of our workplace experience and expanding mindsets, providing a diverse outlook on how we see things.”

“Our impact groups are essential to creating a culture of belonging,” says Anne Erni, Audible’s Chief People Officer. “We want each employee to feel seen, valued, heard and connected.” Erni is the executive sponsor for UNIDOS, helping the group align its goals with those of the business and representing its interests at the highest levels of leadership. “Part of my job is to recognize and remove any obstacles to their goals.”

To help create community among Audible’s Hispanic and Latino employees, UNIDOS organizes informal virtual coffee chats called “Cafecito Con,” where attendees are paired with someone who may work in another part of the business. Martillo stresses the importance of meeting coworkers with similar cultural backgrounds and shared experiences. “I want people to know they can be themselves and have partners and connections within the walls of Audible who can help them move forward in their career.”