Meet Isaac Fisboin
What has prepared you to advocate for inclusion—particularly of Latinx/Hispanics?
I was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. When I moved to the United States and began my professional career, I found many obstacles, including being overlooked for advancement opportunities, due to my Hispanic heritage. I found that inclusion was not a given.
Being looked upon as a second-class citizen quickly turned me into an advocate of the Hispanic/Latinx community, and it became one of my professional objectives and passions to remove the stereotypical view of Hispanics/Latinx and showcase all the amazing contributions we are able to make in the corporate environment. When promoting the needs of Hispanics/Latinx and other under-represented groups, I find that the best way to change a situation is to build bridges between people.
With that as part of my personal mantra, it was an obvious choice to co-found and lead the global Hispanics or Latinxs at AlixPartners (HOLA) employee resource group. I pride myself in being a people person, and that means leading by example and developing others. As an HOLA leader, I build awareness of issues and root out bias, but I have also helped members of our group seek opportunities to enhance their networks and develop leadership skills.
It gives me great pride to see our members growing professionally and being able to advance their careers, partly due to the opportunities that HOLA affords them. I also get extreme joy from highlighting the firm's diversity and inclusion initiatives both internally and externally, especially with clients and partners.
Living our diversity commitment
They want a management consulting firm that doesn't give just lip-service, but really lives and breathes inclusion. Finding out about our active HOLA employee resource group is a great example of what candidates seek.
Frankly, candidates can always tell from the people they meet and the way the conversations go if a firm is truly inclusive. For example, during a recent recruiting event, I was able to talk to potential candidates about our firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and all the wonderful things that are happening. Many of those candidates opted to enter our recruiting process, and several received (and accepted) offers. That has been very fulfilling for me.
A diverse and inclusive corporate worldview also reveals itself when entering new markets and in serving global clients (who themselves often want to live and breathe inclusion). Any client project will have improved outcomes when there is a greater variety of backgrounds, skills and experiences around the table. Diverse teams—which are created across experience levels, generations, cultural background, personal identity, and ancestry—always give greater flexibility and increased adaptability to meet our clients’ challenges. We see this every day at AlixPartners—within HOLA membership and beyond.
Being a diverse and inclusive firm also helps us attract the best talent. Hispanics/Latinxs make up nearly 20% of the US population. There is a lot of opportunity in those people—to say nothing of Hispanics/Latinxs in every other country of the world.
As a long-time advocate for Hispanic/Latinx people, are you finding that awareness and support has grown in the past decade?
Yes, indeed. Being at an “aware” and committed firm like AlixPartners helps, but I also see it among our partners and clients. For example, HOLA held an internal cultural event where we invited a premier law firm to come and experience “the AlixPartners way.” We were able to showcase our diversity and inclusion initiatives, network in a no-pressure environment, and make long lasting business connections. It was a win-win for both firms.
I can say with confidence that diversity and inclusion—aside from being the right thing to do, a wonderful way to treat employees, and a key pillar of a world-class corporate strategy—is also a business driver for consultants and lawyers that often yields significant return on investment.