Emma Lozano-Ortiz is an executive vice president at the company.
Ms. Lozano-Ortiz, who serves as the executive vice president and U.S. president of the third-largest company in the United States by revenue, gathered a group of nearly 150 executives from the fast-moving industry to discuss concerns about labor and election laws at the Business Roundtable’s annual conference. She was joined by the company’s executive vice president for human resources, Dr. Marie Kanter.
Ms. Lozano-Ortiz spoke with Adriana Gomez Licon about the need for modern employment models as “one size doesn’t fit all.”
What’s happening with technology in the workplace?
Everything that we thought was important 10 years ago, today we see is still relevant. There is a shift, not just in the U.S., but globally. We all have to figure out how to adapt to the new rules that technology is making us follow, and what does that mean.
Do you see the current climate around immigration changes by region, like in Latin America?
Clearly, immigration has always been an issue that has made an enormous impact on our lives, whether it was jobs, at what we need, where you go to get them. … There’s going to be a big time at a country of origin for social causes and struggles to figure out if you’re going to stand for this, stand for that. It will be interesting to see how the U.S. plays out in this political climate because we tend to take the current U.S. immigration agenda as our own.
Losing immigrants — who have the potential to be productive, contribute to the economy and innovate— will have tremendous impact. But, what you’re seeing is in the political environment, it’s beginning to crystallize a real fight between two perspectives: it’s either pro-immigration or anti-immigration. While it’s one issue, it’s also a significant factor within that. We’re going to have a significant conversation about our economy and who’s going to be part of that economy moving forward.
Will the 9/11 terrorist attacks bring back the fear that immigration and job loss are linked?
For me, the 9/11 attacks were an event that forced us to examine the flaws in America and what we needed to do to build a stronger infrastructure and a stronger economy.
I would hope that we can look at things differently and learn from that incident. You did not lose the future of America, you lost a future of America. Now, we have the freedom to create a stronger, brighter America in every individual. We have that opportunity to reinvent our way of life for the next generation.
It’s been over 20 years, do you still get that shock of hearing something like what happened on 9/11?
Well, I don’t, and it took me time to get that. I’m really proud of who we are as a country. While there are things that have changed along the way, and those things obviously don’t correlate with what we are in our history, you learn from situations to make it better.
Has technology impacted how you deliver services to communities?
We’re the first company to do a grant to [the National] Institutes of Health on the back of a scientific paper. That is very different from the traditional approach, where you would publish a paper and go to a conference and submit to a grant competition to treat cancer or study HIV. I think we’re the first to say that, with the public health and employment agencies, we’re going to do things differently. We’re going to play the role of an agnostic source, not a money figure. We want to make sure that we’re going to invest in people, rather than try to stay in the 20th century because it’s easy. The way that we’re acting right now, it is antiquated. We’re in the 21st century and we have to be evolving in that field.
What’s your take on the Affordable Care Act?
At the end of the day, I’m a CEO. I want to keep the smartest people around the world here in this country. I’m curious about what’s going to be happening, but we’re still processing the news. As the president said at the White House, the goal is to find a legislative solution. What that solution is, I don’t know.