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Sergio Rodriguez

Navigating the World, Navigating Inclusion: Sergio Rodriguez

Empowering Diverse and Authentic Journeys around the Globe!

Passion has a unique ability to ignite inspiration, motivation, and perseverance. It lights up our inner fire, urging us to dream big and work towards meaningful achievements. This very passion also holds the potential to bring about positive change—change that can make a difference in people’s lives, communities, and the world as a whole.

Sergio Rodriguez, a pioneering advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, embodies a journey that extends beyond professional achievements to become a powerful catalyst for positive change.

Sergio’s journey commenced at Deloitte, a prominent player in the business and finance world. Armed with a degree from the University of Notre Dame, he joined Deloitte’s tax practice in 2012, eager to make his mark. However, he also felt equally anxious as he was acutely aware of the challenges associated with navigating workplace culture as a young Latino gay man.

Amid this fear and uncertainty challenges, Sergio, as an entry-level tax consultant, found solace and empowerment within Deloitte’s LGBTQIA+ and Allies employee resource group (ERG). This moment ignited his passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. This transformation from uncertainty to empowerment set him on a trajectory to empower others and cultivate a sense of belonging in the workplace.

Motivated by a desire to transform the corporate landscape, Sergio assumed leadership roles within the LGBTQIA+ and Allies ERG. Here, he embarked on a mission to raise awareness and foster an inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ professionals. His efforts resonated far beyond the ERG, illustrating the profound impact that even small actions can have on cultivating a sense of belonging and empowerment.

As Sergio’s journey unfolded, he recognized the transformative power of creating spaces that celebrate and nurture authenticity. His experiences within Deloitte’s LGBTQIA+ and Allies ERG showcased the far-reaching effects that emerge from empowering individuals to thrive as their authentic selves. These realizations fueled his ambition to drive systemic fairness programs and amplify the voices of marginalized communities.

Join us as we delve into Sergio’s story, uncover the influence of his initiatives, and gain insight into his vision for a future where authenticity is celebrated, diversity is embraced, and workplaces become havens of inclusivity!

Championing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Sergio, a Senior Manager at Deloitte Tax LLP, seamlessly merges his extensive tax knowledge with a resolute dedication to promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). He spearheads the Global Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Solutions team, collaborating closely with clients to offer guidance on aligning their global mobility programs with their broader inclusion objectives.

With over a decade of experience assisting clients in managing their mobile workforces and providing insights on global assignee tax compliance, Sergio offers a unique perspective. He comprehends the pivotal role that strategic talent mobility can play in either advancing or impeding progress towards achieving fairness and inclusivity.

Simplifying Global Work for Mobile Workers

Sergio is resolute in simplifying the complexities of global work for his clients’ mobile employees. His teams offer invaluable assistance in navigating the intricate terrain of tax reporting, compliance, and withholding obligations across numerous jurisdictions. Additionally, they engage in strategic consultations with a client’s HR and mobility teams, aiming to optimize vendor management, policies, and programs with an added lens of equity.

His ultimate aim is to help organizations eliminate systemic barriers, enabling globally mobile talent to flourish. Whether it involves streamlining cumbersome procedures or coaching managers on cultivating inclusive leadership in foreign settings, every interaction is viewed as an opportunity to enhance the employee experience. Sergio’s passion lies in delivering excellence infused with care and empathy, allowing his clients to focus on making a meaningful impact.

Mission to Foster Inclusivity in Global Workforce Mobility

Sergio is unwavering in his resolve to address common challenges in the global workforce, such as the lack of diversity in global positions, unfair assignment packages, and inadequate cultural training. He empowers clients to recognize that their mobility programs can effect tangible change. By conducting thorough assessments, gathering insights from a diverse range of talent, and providing personalized recommendations, Sergio aims to promote inclusivity at every step of the assignment process. He firmly believes that by maximizing the potential of strategic talent mobility, organizations can dismantle obstacles and unlock new possibilities.

He comprehends the significance of fair and equitable mobility, and he is fervent about educating leaders on this subject. He emphasizes how equitable mobility can positively impact representation, innovation, and overall business success. Sergio collaborates closely with clients to initiate these crucial conversations and encourages them to continually enhance their practices. He is firm in his belief that every organization has the potential to excel in promoting inclusivity on a global scale, and he is steadfast in his commitment to driving this transformation.

Bridging Gaps in Global Workforce Mobility

Sergio’s upbringing in a family that frequently relocated ingrained in him a profound sense of cultural agility from an early age. Leveraging his fluency in Spanish and his rich global experiences, Sergio empathizes with the mobile workforce, forming a solid foundation for facilitating cross-border understanding and building trust. Sergio is convinced that by bridging cultural gaps, he can unlock the innovative potential that diverse perspectives bring to organizations.

He is dedicated to promoting inclusive mobility and creating an environment where professionals from diverse backgrounds can succeed and thrive wherever they may be. With his distinctive background and language skills, he can connect with talent on a deeper level, providing support and empowerment throughout their international assignments. Sergio’s goal is to cultivate global workforces that value diversity and leverage it as a strength.

Mobilizing Global Mobility for Diversity and Inclusion

In his leadership capacity, Sergio aims to demonstrate how global mobility strategies can contribute to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations. His primary objective is to reshape how companies perceive talent mobility by emphasizing its potential to enhance diversity in leadership roles and dismantle barriers.

The solutions offered by Sergio and his team are designed to bring about transformative change by motivating organizations to reevaluate their programs, practices, and policies with inclusivity in mind. He feels privileged to collaborate with a dedicated team that shares his passion for creating a more equitable system in partnership with clients. Through candid conversations and a commitment to gradual progress, they aspire to inspire enduring changes within organizations.

Observing their solutions resonate and empower organizations to reflect on the diverse world around them is what propels Sergio in his journey toward a more inclusive future.

Cultivating Empathy and Inclusion Through Global Experiences

Sergio’s upbringing in Costa Rica and subsequent global travels have profoundly shaped his character. These experiences have instilled in him invaluable qualities like empathy, adaptability, and cultural agility from a young age – qualities needed to make connections and friendships in new cities and schools. His journey through diverse environments taught him the importance of small gestures in nurturing connections and averting alienation. Sergio’s early life experiences kindled his passion for bridging gaps and ensuring that individuals, regardless of their differences, feel a sense of belonging.

However, his upbringing in a culture with certain “machista” aspects also left an imprint. Constant criticism and scrutiny over his actions, even as simple as the way he walked or talked, made Sergio anxious and hypervigilant. Nevertheless, these painful encounters endowed him with a profound sense of empathy. Having undergone the pain of being marginalized for being different, Sergio developed an extraordinary ability to comprehend perspectives beyond his own. His ultimate aspiration is to create safe and inclusive spaces, sparing others the pain he endured.

Pivotal Moments

Sergio’s life journey has been shaped by a sequence of pivotal moments, each imprinting a profound mark on his outlook and values. From a tender age, navigating diverse cultures and viewpoints cultivated in him a deep sense of empathy and adaptability but they also made him anxious and hypervigilant. These early experiences imparted the significance of understanding and embracing differences.

A transformative juncture in Sergio’s life was discovering a supportive community within Deloitte’s LGBTQIA+ and Allies group. This empowerment enabled him to bring his authentic self to the workplace, allowing him to flourish both personally and professionally. Through this group, he also built an incredible network of people including sponsors, mentors, and most importantly, some of his closest friends.

One of the most poignant moments arrived in the aftermath of the devastating Pulse nightclub attack in 2016. This tragedy fundamentally transformed Sergio’s perspectives on leadership, advocacy, and purpose. The devastating event hit close to home, as it targeted the LGBTQIA+ community – a community that Sergio mentions is strongly tied to his personal identity. It was a stark reminder of the challenges and dangers that the community still faces despite progress in many areas. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Sergio felt a renewed sense of urgency and responsibility. This conviction propelled him to be even more open, vocal, and unapologetic about his own identities, both within his professional circles and the wider world. Sergio saw his visibility as a form of resistance against the prejudices and biases that contribute to such acts of violence. He understood that his visibility wasn’t just about his own comfort but about creating a safer environment for all those who have been marginalized and targeted.

Sergio credits these pivotal moments, among many others, as having played an instrumental role in shaping him into the inclusive leader he is today, committed to making a positive impact on the world.

Proud Legacy of LGBTQIA+ Advocacy

Sergio takes immense pride in the wide-ranging impact of his initiatives aimed at amplifying LGBTQIA+ visibility. While these contributions may seem individually modest, the ripple effects they generate are formidable. His proudest instances involve hearing stories of individuals who felt recognized and empowered to live authentically due to his transparency and vulnerability. This feedback continues to motivate and inspire him.

Sergio ardently believes that progress stems from collective courage. It requires consistently speaking out and showing up authentically, even when confronted with challenges. Sergio is consistently inspired and motivated by the increasing number of leaders embracing the notion that their uniqueness is their source of strength and impact.

Fostering Inclusion and Empowering Authentic Journeys

Several years ago, Sergio received an unexpected email from a coworker he had never met, working in a different office. In that email, the coworker shared a deeply personal story about grappling with gender identity and the initial isolation they felt when they first started working. However, they went on to explain how Deloitte’s LGBTQIA+ inclusion efforts, in which Sergio played a pivotal role, had made them feel less alone. Sergio’s visibility and support were crucial components of their journey towards summoning the courage to transition at work.

This heartfelt message profoundly moved him and remained a constant wellspring of motivation. It reminded him of the profound influence that his endeavors to expand inclusivity can exert on individuals’ lives. It reinforces his commitment to consistently push boundaries and establish a workplace where everyone can flourish as their authentic selves.

He eloquently encapsulated it by saying, “Moments like that ground me in what truly matters. Inclusion is not about awards; it’s about people feeling empowered to carve their own path. My proudest legacy is knowing that my visibility aided colleagues and strangers alike in feeling recognized, secure, and celebrated for who they are. Their authentic journeys also fuel my own.”

Commitment to Giving Back

Sergio’s dedication to giving back to the LGBTQIA+ community beyond his professional sphere has been profoundly gratifying. For more than 8 years, he has actively fundraised for and engaged with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) in various capacities. Presently, he serves on their Associate Board and plays a pivotal role in coordinating the annual volunteer day with Deloitte employees.

AFC holds a special place in his heart due to its enduring support for communities profoundly affected by HIV/AIDS, particularly the LGBTQIA+ community in Chicago. The organization’s invaluable resources and advocacy endeavors have a widespread impact on numerous lives. Sergio is honored to champion an organization unwavering in its dedication to ensuring equitable access to prevention, care, and advocacy for all.

He states, “While my professional and personal advocacy efforts go hand in hand, nothing is more humbling than joining hands with fellow community members to volunteer or raise urgently needed funds and awareness. The opportunity to effect change and generate meaningful impact on the ground level fuels me.”

Insights from Sergio

Sergio’s counsel is to boldly but compassionately challenge the status quo by sharing your viewpoints.

He articulates, “Progress emerges when we embrace empathy to grasp diverse lived experiences, courage to voice our opinions, and dedication to growth. Your voice matters, so use it to elevate others.

Being authentic can be one of your most powerful assets. Be receptive to leading by listening first, recognizing each individual’s humanity, and inspiring others through small yet consistent acts of inclusive courage. Leaders frequently possess more influence to drive change than they realize.”

Raving Rewards

Sergio is honored to have received several recognitions, including:

  • ICPAS Lester H. McKeever Jr. Emerging Leader in Advancing Diversity Award – This award recognizes emerging young professionals and outstanding leaders who are committed to advancing diversity in the accounting profession.
  • OUTstanding LGBT+ Future Leader Role Model by Involve – These global lists by Involve People champion trailblazers for businesses who are driving positive change for LGBTQ employees globally.
  • Deloitte Purpose MVP Award – This award recognizes individuals who are leading around purpose, both at Deloitte and within the communities in which we live and work.


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