See the value in each other's differences and work together
Fanita Borges is Vice President, Community Bank Loan Processing Manager. She is an original member of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (DEI) and has worked on initiatives surrounding Hispanic Heritage Month. She is a board member for the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Latino Professionals for America, and she has been active in Webster’s support of the Latinas and Power Symposium in Hartford.
Q. Tell us about your background.
A. My parents came to the United States from Puerto Rico in 1967 and worked hard to establish themselves in Hartford, Connecticut. Family unity was my mother’s priority and food was how she introduced neighbors to our culture. My father immersed himself in his new community, volunteering to help other Latinos learn English and find opportunities. He was an entrepreneur and owned his own businesses which we worked in as a family. One of the great gifts of those experiences was being exposed to people of different backgrounds and situations at a young age. Not every experience was a positive but there was always a lesson to be learned. So, I learned to measure a person based on their character and how they treated others, not how they looked or where they came from. My parents taught me that we each have the power to control how we let people, experiences, and choices impact our actions. They taught me to embrace my culture and individuality by holding on to what made me different, and to never be ashamed. The principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have played a significant role in shaping the person I am today.
Q. Why do you think DEI is important?
A. DEI is the epitome of everyone working together regardless of their backgrounds and personal choices. To be successful, to improve quality and to effect change, we all have to see the value in each other’s differences. It shouldn't matter what your primary language is, where you were born, whom you choose to love, your age or what color your skin is. None of those things prevent us from working together and sharing our views. I am proud that our leaders at Webster recognize that and have the courage to value experts with different backgrounds and strategic perspectives in order to grow our business, stay relevant and change the future of banking.
Q. How have you implemented the principles of DEI in your role?
A. Customer service is a key component and a primary driver for our mortgage team’s day-to-day activities. Our group’s mission statement is “we are a group of subject matter experts, working together to fulfill our customer's dreams, wow our business partners and excite our employees.” Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have to be at the forefront of our interaction with our customers in order to successfully achieve that goal. Many of them are purchasing their first home, or relocating for better family opportunities or refinancing to move parents in to care for them. Our LOB partners and team members have to actively collaborate to provide our customers with the best experience possible. I believe by applying DEI principles and our strong culture of Webster core values of personal responsibility, respect, trustworthiness, citizenship and teamwork we cannot miss!