Did the Pandemic Reverse or Accelerate Latina Leadership in Corporate America?
This is a fundamental question that many Executive Leadership circles are asking. Especially as Latina purchasing power in the United States is topping $1.7 trillion, many Latinas still struggle to have a seat at boardroom tables.
According to the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, from 2020-2021, Latinas exited the workforce at the highest rate among any other demographic. So, the focus must become – what can corporations do to attract Latina talent and keep them in leadership positions?
As a Latina who worked in Executive-level positions, I know firsthand the challenges that women in leadership face, especially in predominantly white male environments.
That’s why I believe for Latinas to truly be fully embraced within their leadership roles, corporations need to begin to embrace these three approaches.
- Champion for collectivism – We all bring our unique cultural backgrounds with us to the office. The Latin culture is rooted in a sense of doing what’s best for the family or your community. This collectivist approach isn’t the norm in many highly competitive Corporate environments – especially at the Senior Leadership level.
Action Step: Corporations should look to create workplace cultures that emphasize teamwork, collaboration, and selflessness.
- Expand the definition of professional – In corporate circles, the perception of what a leader “looks” like and what is deemed professional is often confined to a very rigid definition. How various cultures show respect or professionalism can look different and often be misconstrued by the American norm. For example, in Latin cultures touching or being in close proximity are common ways that people connect when conducting business.
Action Step: Corporations should begin to seek ways to broaden their view of professionalism and embrace unique components of this that other cultures may bring to the table.
- Encourage self expression – Despite representing a company, we all want to have autonomy to be our true authentic selves. This couldn’t be more true for Latinas who may have an accent. We want to feel comfortable to speak up about our ideas, share our perspectives, and have our voices be heard (and respected). All too often, we shy away from taking the high visibility position for free that we will be judged by our accent or cultural differences.
Action Step: Corporations should create opportunities for all leaders to express themselves without fear or shame of being judged or asked to “mask” their cultural identity.
We have come very far in terms of elevating and advancing women and Latinx leaders in the workplace. But, as we see, there is still more work to do.
If you’d like to share your perspective on the topic, please do reach out and connect. I welcome the opportunity to hear different sides, ideas, and thoughts for how we can all champion for change that propels everyone to reach their full potential!
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your feedback and future topics you’d like me to feature.
To find out more about the work I do, visit www.arboledacoaching.com or message me here on LinkedIn. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you own your voice, take control over your career, be empowered and ready to accelerate your success on your terms, book a call at https://calendly.com/arboledacoaching/30-min-intro-call
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