Reaching for the Stars: An Evening with José Hernández and Los Ubers

Last week, Uber’s employee resource group, Los Ubers, hosted one of NASA’s acclaimed astronauts, José Hernández, for a fireside talk. Los Ubers is a group of Uber employees from around the world committed to spreading the vibrancy of Latino culture across Uber while driving an impact to the business, organizational culture and diversity of the company. Uber operates in seven Spanish-speaking countries and Los Ubers members work in all areas of the company, from engineering to operations to communications.

“The speaker series sponsored by our Employee Resource Groups is one of my favorite things we do at Uber. Hosting inspiring individuals like José Hernández, one of the first Latino astronauts offers us the opportunity to learn first-hand from a diverse set of leaders. José’s presentation highlighted the importance of hustle and creativity—attributes we value highly here at Uber. Los Ubers’ leadership is a strong example of the innovation that stems from creating more diverse and inclusive environments.”
– Ryan Graves, Uber’s Global Head of Operations and Executive Sponsor of Los Ubers

José Hernández was a natural choice to speak at the Los Ubers event. Not only was he was the first person to ever use the Spanish language in outer space, he is also a dedicated mentor to Latino students pursuing careers in STEM. On his path to the international space station he faced many obstacles, working as a migrant laborer from an early age and moving from school to school in southern California. As a teenager, he was inspired to pursue a career in science and engineering after hearing that NASA accepted one of the first Hispanic astronaut candidates. Remembering that “early spark of inspiration” drives José to share his story today.

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José Hernández (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

“I appreciate being able to speak with groups like Los Ubers. Bringing employees together to celebrate diversity and inclusion is incredibly valuable for companies, especially growing startups, and I applaud Uber’s commitment to doing so. I believe that Uber is at the forefront of promoting inclusion and that this approach ensures long-term viability. ”
– José Hernández, retired NASA Astronaut

“When I heard José talking about his life as an immigrant in the U.S. I got goosebumps! His life and career path resonated with many aspects of my life as well as with many members of Los Ubers. He is an exceptional example to show us that everything is possible.”
– Meisy Ortega, Los Ubers Employee Resource Group Member & Growth Data Analyst

Read the Spanish version here.

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