The successful management of multiculturalism in the workplace

What does it mean to successfully manage multiculturalism?

For Carmen Cerdan, Ria’s Director of Human Resources for EMEA & South Asia, managing multiculturalism it is not just something she does, it’s a necessity. “It’s part of the nature of our business,” she explains. ”Just like  the customers we serve, our employees are diverse and multicultural.”

The team working at Ria’s EMEA & South Asia headquarters based in Madrid, Spain, is made up of 43 nationalities with the ability to serve customers in 25 different languages. At Ria’s Global headquarters in California which looks after the Americas and Oceania, the number rises.

According to Tesfa Gebreselassie, Ria’s VP of Human Resources and one of Ria’s longest serving employees, “Our employees in Ria Americas have heritage from more than 50 countries. I would say we are one of the most diverse, transnational companies in the market. We have customers in almost every country, so it makes sense that we are attracting talent from all over the globe.”


Foro Recursos Humanos 2

HR Director for EMEA & South Asia, Carmen Cerdan, was invited to speak on Gestiona Radio in Spain about the management of multiculturalism in Ria.

Carmen agrees and believes that this diversity is one of the keys to the success of a company, which began as a single storefront in New York City in 1987 and in 28 years, has grown to employ more than 3,000 people globally.

The international spirit that exists in Ria gives it a unique atmosphere. “What could be seen as a difficulty elsewhere, in Ria is instead a richness and one of the reasons it is such a special place to work and develop professionally,” explains Carmen. But she also admits this is not without its challenges.

“The greatest challenge of our work lies in the implementation of policies to promote the integration of multiculturalism for our employees. Therefore, celebrations, visits to our offices and agents, to ensure that our employees know and remain close to our customers and their needs, are a key element of the HR strategy in Ria. All of this has the objective that each of our employees feels respected, valued, and most importantly, part of the company,” she adds.

Multicultural Company - Ria Money Transfer

Staff from Ria’s EMEA & South Asia Headquarters in Madrid include around 43 nationalities… and counting!

To better connect with customers, Ria’s Human Resources and Marketing department work together to facilitate the sharing of the culture and traditions of colleagues and clientele to promote better understanding. Aligned with the timing of celebrations for each community and country, the company periodically organises internal presentations to inform employees about the service it provides to that country or community, any unique aspects of the market, the characteristics of its people and culture, as well as any future actions.

An example of this comes from Hristina Dimitrova Frolikova, from the Compliance Department based in Spain, who recently organised a presentation for her home country of Bulgaria. She says of the culture that exists inside Ria: “The team from my department include people from Spain, Romania, the Philippines, Sweden, Bulgaria, France, Russia, Senegal, Morocco and Switzerland. It’s very interesting to work in such a multicultural environment and I’ve learned a lot about different cultures and traditions from working here. The employees truly are a reflection of our customers, which makes Ria a very unique place to work.”

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