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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About Susana G Baumann

Award-winning journalist, author, multicultural expert, public speaker, small business advocate and the Editor-in-Chief of Susana is an Argentinean immigrant who started her own small business over 20 years ago. Now, through her new digital platform and social media channels, she advocates for the economic empowerment of Latinas in the United States.
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