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AAPI Heritage Month at Paycom: Honoring Diverse Experiences

Abraham Mendieta | May 3, 2023

May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to recognize the historic contributions of, and rich diversity among, AAPI people.

The term AAPI encompasses cultures within 75 countries in Asia and Pacific islands and includes 25.7 million Americans. Paycom’s AAPI employee resource group (ERG) provides an opportunity for employees to discover intersectionality among the diverse group.

Advancing AAPI leaders

The theme for 2023 AAPI Heritage Month is “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity.” The Federal Asian Pacific American Council selected the theme to emphasize how professional development and access to opportunities help people build skills and strengthen their leadership abilities.

That’s something we strongly believe at Paycom, where we provide training and development to help employees along their career path.

Meet the Asian American Pacific Islander ERG

As part of our celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, we asked Fatimah, a Paycom employee and member of the AAPI ERG, to share her story. Fatimah is a commissions analyst in accounting and is proud of the Indonesian heritage that’s shaped her life, both personally and professionally.

Born in the U.S. to immigrant parents, Fatimah was six when her family moved back to Indonesia. They lived in Yogyakarta, a city in Java, one of the more than 17,000 islands that form Indonesia. Through this experience, she learned Indonesian and got in touch with her roots.

Fatimah returned to the United States to attend Oklahoma State University, where she earned a degree from the Spears School of Business. She worked three jobs at once to support herself through college. Since her schedule kept her busy, she found it important to be involved in international and cultural groups that allowed her to express her heritage and share with and learn from other people.

Why is celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander heritage important to you?

It’s important to reflect on how much of an influence and impact we (and our ancestors) have made on American culture. We are a diverse nation, and it’s important to recognize those individuals and groups and the history that contributed to today’s success, especially to eliminate the hate and discrimination that may be prevalent in communities with less exposure.

How do you celebrate and embrace your heritage in and out of the workplace?

I attempt to educate my peers in any way I can. Often, I bring Indonesian cooking that starts a conversation or share my perspective about important issues like racial injustice from a perspective they might not have thought about. Outside work, I am newly involved in the Asian District Cultural Association. It’s quite interesting sharing my experience as a first-generation American living in Oklahoma.

What makes you proud to work at Paycom?

I really admire Paycom’s aspiration with the creation of the ERGs. I think providing a safe space for people with similar backgrounds and interests is very important to cultivate the culture Paycom strives to promote.

How can we continue to learn about AAPI heritage all year?

The knowledge we have is so small compared to what the world holds. I believe one of the best ways to constantly learn is to actively step outside your comfort zone, away from your circle, to learn about and recognize other heritages. By doing so, you encourage others to take that step as well.

Fatimah hopes to continue building strong relationships within and outside the ERG to learn about individuals and their backgrounds. She recognizes that working toward diversity, equity and inclusion is a collaborative effort and looks forward to continue fostering it throughout her career journey.

In keeping with this year’s AAPI Heritage Month theme, Fatimah works to build skills and strengthen her leadership abilities so she can help others grow in their careers.

Learn more about Paycom’s diversity efforts here.

About the author
Author picture, Abraham Mendieta
Abraham Mendieta
As an employer brand marketer, Abraham Mendieta helps the recruiting teams engage top talent and increase brand awareness. Mendieta is a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned degrees in both sociology and advertising. His efforts on Paycom’s employer brand team include company culture; careers; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Outside work, Abraham enjoys reading, going to the gym, spending time outdoors and hanging out with his family and friends.