State of Latinas in the workforce

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According to Catalyst, a global nonprofit think-tank working to expand opportunities for women and create a more inclusive workplace, Latinas are hitting the mark in labor participation and buying power but are still lagging behind in education attainments and corporate governance participation.

Labor Force

  • In 2012:
    • Number of Latinas in the labor force: 10,400,0001
    • Percentage of labor force: 6.7%2
    • Percentage of Latinas who participated in the labor force: 55.7%3
    • Number of Latinas employed in management, professional, and related occupations: 2,420,000 (4.4% of all people employed in management, professional, and related occupations)4

In 2000:

  • Number of Latinas in the labor force: 6,767,0005
  • Percentage of labor force: 4.7%6
  • Projections for 2022:
    • Projected number of Latinas in the labor force: 13,254,0007
    • Percentage of labor force 8.1%8
    • Increase of Latinas in the labor force between 1992 and 2022: 65.2%9
  • Women of color held 3.2% of board seats in the Fortune 500 in 2013, going down from 3.3% in 2012. Women of color held 3.0% of board seats in both 2010 and 2011 and 3.1% in 2009.10
  • Latinas were 4.4% of all women board directors in 2013. In both 2011 and 2012 Latinas were only 4.9% of all women board directors.11

Educational Achievement

Latinas Latinos
Bachelor’s degrees in 2010-201112 93,321 (5.4% of those receiving BA’s) 60,742 (3.5% of those receiving BA’s)
Master’s degrees in 2010-201113 29,574 (4.0% of those receiving MA’s) 17,213 (2.4% of those receiving MA’s)
Doctor’s degrees in 2010-201114 4,665 (2.8% of those receiving PhD’s) 3,985 (2.4 % of those receiving PhD’s)



  • Among full-time wage and salary workers in 2012, Latinas’ median weekly earnings were $541, the lowest of all race/ethnic/gender groups. Latino men earned an average of $594 per week.15

Buying Power

  • Latinas/Latinos’ buying power has increased from $210.0 billion in 1990 to $1.0 trillion in 2010 and is projected to climb to $1.7 trillion in 2017.16
    • The percentage change in Latinas/Latinos’ buying power between 1990 and 2017 is 698.3%.17
    • Latinas/Latinos’ share of the consumer market was 9.1% in 2010, and is expected to rise to 11.1% by 2017.18

Note: Latinas and/or Hispanics may be of any race.

SOURCE: Catalyst. Quick Take: Latinas. New York: Catalyst, 2013.


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