Workplace offers resources, information and a spotlight for Latinas working in the corporate environment or for independent professionals.

6 Ways men can be better allies to Latinas in the workplace

In most industries, men still hold more leadership positions, privileges, and power. Men can help close these disparities by being advocates and allies to Latinas in the workplace. The first step is to acknowledge there is a problem.

Latinas have faced a steeper decline in employment (‑21 percent) throughout COVID-19 than other demographics of women and men. Additionally, Latinas still have the lowest earnings of any major race or ethnicity and gender group, earning on average, 43% less than white men and 28% less than white women. As of today, Latinas earn on average only 55 cents to the dollar paid to white, non-hispanic men. This wage gap has hardly moved in over 30 years. 

Additionally, many Latinas feel they cannot be authentic in the workplace with 77 percent of Latinos reporting they feel the need to repress parts of their identity to be taken seriously and respected. 

Male allies can help to dismantle these barriers and create an equal and inclusive environment by advocating for Latinas and using their privileges and power to make room for others at the table. A good ally is marked by action, not just words.

Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.

6 Tips for men to become better allies to Latinas at work 

Ask Latinas specifically how you can help them within the workplace. Simply reaching out to know what Latinas need can go a long way. Are they seeking sponsorship or mentorship? More learning opportunities or resources? Knowing what the Latinas in your workplace need to succeed is the first step to helping and becoming a better ally and advocate. 

Speak up and “call out” other people if you see them abusing their power. As an ally you can help Latinas by speaking up and challenging those who discriminate and abuse their power. Many Latinas struggle to speak up against microaggressions and abuse of power because of fear of consequences, such as losing their position or facing greater injustices. Additionally, cultural stereotypes like marianismo place expectations on Latinas to be meek and submissive. By standing with your Latina colleagues you can help strengthen their voices and empower them through solidarity. 

Step back to make space for other voices. Men can be better allies to Latinas in the workplace by making space for their voices and perspectives, especially in male-dominated industries. By taking a step back and taking up less space in meetings and gatherings, men can give others a chance to speak and present their ideas, perspectives, and unique knowledge. In culturally diverse workplaces and global companies, diverse perspectives are crucial to reaching diverse audiences. 

Advocate for benefits and take parental leave. During the pandemic Latinas faced greater unemployment than other demographics and many were forced out of the workplace to assume caretaking responsibilities. This issue is widespread among women in general too, where many must make difficult decisions between being a caretaker or having a career. Men can support women and Latinas in the workplace by advocating for better benefits for parental leave and paid time off. Additionally, men can choose to take parental leave and work to break the assumption that only women can stay home and assume caretaking responsibilities. 

Celebrate the dads in your life this Father’s Day!

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Be transparent and mindful in your communication. Keeping lines of communication open with the women in your workplace, especially if you are in a leadership role, will help ensure the women in your workplace are included and informed about important decisions, tasks, and updates. Additionally, being mindful of how one communicates, biases that may accidentally work their way into communications, and combating those assumptions and stereotypes. Be mindful of how words can impact others and encourage others to speak up when you make mistakes. Open dialogues based on mutual respect will help foster a positive workplace environment for everyone. 

Give credit where credit is due. Many Latinas have a natural respect for authority, due to their cultural upbringing. This can make it challenging for Latinas to ask for credit where credit is due. Creating a space where all work and contributions are valued and proper credit is given will help to support Latinas in the workplace. Fostering an environment where Latinas feel comfortable to speak up, set boundaries, and communicate their needs is crucial to being a better ally to Latinas in the workplace. 

You might be interested: 4 Tips for Latina and minority women on setting boundaries in the workplace

Being good allies to Latinas in the workplace starts with action. Take some time to reflect on ways you can use your position to uplift the voices of others and dismantle unfair biases and stereotypes to foster an equal and inclusive environment for everyone. 


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7 Reasons why male business owners should hire women

Did you know, companies that decide to employ women are able to increase their productivity, adapt better to changes and have a more stable workforce?

According to UN Women, companies where three or more women hold senior executive roles benefit from higher performance in organizational effectiveness.

The participation of women in the workforce decreased from 51% in 2000 to 48% in 2019, globally; and in all countries, they face wage gaps, according to World Bank data. In addition, although women represent 40% of the global workforce, and many of them manage to have their own businesses, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 48% of their productive potential is not used, compared to the 22% of men.

Against this background, James Hernández, president and co-founder of Trust Corporate, and a consultant on financial, legal, and organizational issues, states: “It is time to advance in favor of gender equality, where both men and women are guaranteed equal access to work, with emphasis on recognizing women as agents of growth and sustainability in organizations.” 

The consultant mentions below some of the top benefits of having women in companies. 

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7 benefits of having women in companies

Benefits women in companies

According to an ILO report, incorporating women into management positions can result in an improvement of up to 20% in business profitability. (Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels)

  1. Increase in creativity and productivity: Having diverse work groups in which men and women coexist encourages creativity. Women are able to bring together people, group opinions, and proposals, which favors the creation of teams, encourages participation and enhances decision-making.
  2. Cooperativity and responsibility: Women are more skillful when it comes to delegating and organizing tasks. They are more responsible, they are more open to change and they work with a greater orientation to success.
  3. Building trust: Female leaders are perceived in work environments as more honest, understanding and ethical. This aspect is fundamental since leading with honesty affects the success of the entire company, based on the satisfaction of the work team.
  4. Multitasking: Most women can perform more than one task at a time and focus on the goal. This is why companies can train them to perform new functions or entrust them with a new position.
  5. Work environment: Women contribute to conflict resolution thanks to the fact that they are often more empathetic and are more willing to communicate and receive feedback. This helps generate a better work environment in companies.
  6. Higher education than men: Young women of the Millennial generation have a higher level of studies at the time of starting their professional career, which guarantees growth and contribution of knowledge to companies.
  7. Better performance: According to an ILO report, incorporating women into management positions can result in an improvement of up to 20% in business profitability, in addition to accelerating innovation and attracting talented professionals. The study found that of 13,000 businesses, 60% benefited from the work of women in managerial positions in terms of earnings, as well as creativity and reputation.

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According to UN Women, studies carried out in OECD countries and in some non-member countries show that increased participation of women in the labor force triggers faster economic growth. However, globally, the gender pay gap is 16%, which means that women earn on average 84% of what men earn.

“Although the role of women has been increasing in recent times, much remains to be done to achieve greater participation of women in the workplace. Incorporating women into a company, and promoting leadership positions for them, is a wise decision for organizations since there are many benefits obtained from having female talent in their workforce, for example, greater organizational performance and effectiveness,” concluded James Hernández, president and co-founder of Trust Corporate.

You might be interested: How your employer can better support Latina and minority women in the workplace


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“With support, people create the most amazing things” says Latina Executive Coach Elena Armijo on the importance of mentors

When companies are looking to hire a leadership position, emotional intelligence often the most sought after qualification.  A recent survey found 71% of employers said they value EQ over IQ, noting that leaders with high emotional intelligence are more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and respond to co-workers with empathy.

Executive Leadership Coach

Elena Armijo, Latina entrepreneur and Executive Leadership Coach. (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

After years as an acclaimed Executive Leadership Coach, Latina entrepreneur Elena Armijo founded The C-Suite Collective, a boutique holistic coaching and training agency with the mission to equip and empower successful C-suite executives, founders, and entrepreneurs with holistic executive coaching programs and customized support for teams that foster culture change, organizational growth, and generational impact for years to come that helps them attain their goals in a healthy, efficient way.

“Emotional intelligence starts with managers being emotionally aware,” Elena says.

Elena offers in-depth and customized executive programs for high performers who are at the top of their respective fields – from CEOs of leading businesses, to professional athletes, policy-focused individuals, entertainers and artists, and more. In addition to her work as a professional coach, Elena also hosts the podcast “In A Manner of Speaking…with Elena Armijo” where she amplifies women’s voices and encourages you to go after your dreams.  

She was inspired to become an Executive and Leadership Coach through her work as a professional opera singer, experiencing first hand the benefits coaching had on transforming her own mindset. Drawn to work with ambitious top performers like herself, she realized she could bring unique insight to the coaching business after spending a decade “on the other side of the table.”

“I was a professional opera singer before I pivoted to coaching.  I had spent over 20 years preparing for a career in opera and came to NY in 2007 to start singing professionally.  My path quickly took off, and at one point, I was traveling 10 months out of the year and only came back to NY to change out clothes in my suitcase.  In 2014, I realized something had to change,” Elena shares. 

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She was burned out at the time, struggling in her relationships and missing family gatherings back home. Working to make a change in her life, Elena decided to hire a coach herself and she soon began benefiting from experience. 

“I was able to see that I had built my entire career from a place of proving my worth to the world and over working.  I had to slow down and learn more about who I was as a person to even begin to find out what I wanted to do,” she says. 

Most of Elena’s own struggles have stemmed from a “core wound” of feeling not good enough in the world. Many with similar limiting beliefs may question their success or doubt their abilities to do a good job and succeed. 

“This has been something I have struggled with my entire life and have done a lot of healing work around,” Elena says. “It showed up for me like questioning whether I could follow through on a contract I just landed, getting a new rockstar client and being in disbelief that I could support them, or worrying that when my team and company grows, that it could all come falling down.” 

After working with a coach, therapist, and healers in the world, as well as sharing what she learned with her family, she has been able to release these limiting beliefs around her self worth and continues to do so today.

“I now have the tools and support system to know that when those feelings come up it simply needs some loving care and compassion. This is something I wouldn’t have known in the beginning of my career.” 

Executive Leadership Coach

“My focus is always on how this benefits ALL of us; no one needs to go without, and better yet, we can all walk away from the table satisfied and happy.” (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

“My mission is to support high achievers in creating more impact”

Experiencing the benefits of coaching in her own life, Elena fell in love with coaching just as much as she loves music, and eventually decided to open her own business in 2015 and become and Executive Leadership Coach to help others who struggled like her. 

“My mission is to support high achievers in creating more impact in the world through authentic expression and experience.  And we all have fun while we do it!  With more support, people create the most amazing things.”

Executive Leadership Coach

“No one does this alone and support changes everything.” (Photo courtesy of Elena Armijo)

Growing up, Elena’s family table was always full. Her parents made sure there was more than enough food for everyone who needed it, and it’s this sentiment that Elena carries with her, both literally and figuratively in her life and profession. 

“I make sure everyone eats. As a business owner, I make sure everyone wins with me. I believe this is one way we can create true equity and inclusion as well as legacy.  So anytime I am speaking to prospective companies, clients, or my own team, my focus is always on how this benefits ALL of us; no one needs to go without, and better yet, we can all walk away from the table satisfied and happy.”

Partnering with Elena, clients have created and achieved the professional and personal impact in the world they once perceived unattainable.

Elena shares the story of one client who was able to completely shift her limiting beliefs and find success. 

“My client, a woman of color and an executive, hired me to work on owning her power and voice in the world.  When she came to me she was afraid, burnt out, and resigned around playing “the game” of getting ahead in a system that was not built for her.  By the end of our work together she said something really simple.  ‘I learned through our work that I may not be able to change the system, but I sure can find ways to be fully me within it, own what I want, and choose my path moving forward if it’s not working.  I finally see the freedom I have in choosing how I respond in any situation.’” 

You might be interested: “We don’t need to do it alone” says SBA’s Bibi Hidalgo, to aspiring Latina entrepreneurs 

These words from her client filled her with joy. Being able to help others find the pathways to their own success is Elena’s personal success, she says. 

For leaders and executives in high pressure jobs, taking the time to cultivate emotional intelligence and a positive success mindset is crucial. To those looking to start shifting their limiting beliefs and opening those doorways to success, Elena advises that you start by surrounding yourself with support.  

“There are so many women that want to mentor, coach, and be by your side to help you rise.  No one does this alone and support changes everything.  Hire a coach, therapist, healer, or mentor that will help you see more possibilities than you might currently know exists. This is how we achieve success and growth together!” 


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latinas in the workplace

How your employer can better support Latina and minority women in the workplace

Latinas are a powerhouse population both as entrepreneurs and in the workplace, yet continue to be underrepresented in higher leadership roles in Corporate America. 

According to the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), Latinas are the fastest growing sector of the entrepreneurial market, yet remain underpaid and underrepresented at all stages of the career pipeline. Currently, Latinas account for less than 2% of executives and hold less than 3% of all corporate board seats.

Additionally, Latinas still have the lowest earnings of any major race or ethnicity and gender group, earning on average, 43% less than white men and 28% less than white women. As of today, Latinas earn on average only 55 cents to the dollar paid to white, non-hispanic men. This wage gap has hardly moved in over 30 years, and the longstanding pay disparities Latinas face have only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. 

Women of color across the board were disproportionately affected during the pandemic, with Black and Latina women suffering the greatest job losses, with many working in some of the hardest-hit industries such as hospitality, healthcare, and service. Women of color were also more likely to leave their jobs to take on caregiving responsibilities for their children and family members. 

With these unique challenges facing Latina women across all levels of industry, it’s important that employers implement methods and resources to better support their Latina employees and be better allies to this diverse group of women. 

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How to be a better support Latinas and minority women in the workplace

In an MSNBC article highlighting the Latina experience in the workplace, one of the key issues they face in the workplace is the pressure to mask their identity as Latinas and conform to traditionally white, male standards to fit in and be taken seriously in executive positions. 

Many Latinas feel they cannot be themselves in the workplace and must “check their identity at the door.” 

NextUP found four key aspects of the Latina experience that hinder success at work and that employers can address in the workplace to create a more inclusive environment: 

Bias: Latina women say they are held back by assumptions and stereotypes that their cultural identifiers indicate a lack of intelligence, or they aren’t interested in advancing their career. 

Combating these biases in the workplace will help to advance and promote Latinas to higher level roles in the workplace. Employers should create a space that is open to diversity and different points of views. Global teams need diverse employees

Social collateral: Many Latinas have a natural respect for authority, due to their upbringing. This can make it challenging for Latinas to ask for credit when credit is due.

Creating a space where all work and contributions are valued and proper credit is given will help to support Latinas in the workplace. Fostering an environment where Latinas feel comfortable to speak up, set boundaries, and communicate their needs is crucial to being a better ally to Latinas in the workplace. 

You might be interested: 4 Tips for Latina and minority women on setting boundaries in the workplace

The corporate script: Latinas often feel as though they have to hide their accent and alter their natural persona (code switch) to fit in and be respected at work. 

Employers can combat this challenge by creating a diverse and inclusive environment that celebrates all identities and cultures. Creating diverse teams with people of different backgrounds and ethnicities will help combat the traditional, ingrained script of what Corporate America “should” look like and remind Latinas that there is no mold to fit into when it comes to being a leader. 

Emotional intelligence: Many Latinas believe they have emotional intelligence, but that it is questioned at work.

Employers can better support their Latina employees by dismantling preconceived notions about Latina women and creating an environment with open communication and equal respect. 

Supporting Latinas and minority women in the workplace is crucial for advancing their success and keeping women in the workforce post-COVID. With so many women forced out of jobs in recent years, supporting minority women in the workplace is more important that ever. Employers, companies, and organizations need to continue to create inclusive and diverse spaces where Latinas and other women can thrive. 


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boundaries

4 Tips for Latina and minority women on setting boundaries in the workplace

Many women, especially Latina and minority women, struggle to set workplace boundaries. There are multiple factors that contribute to this issue, from cultural norms, gender biases, personal insecurities, and external pressures. 

Why many minority women struggle to set workplace boundaries 

In a Forbes article on “The Importance of Setting Healthy Boundaries”, award-winning coach, author, speaker, Sahar Andrade, shares some of the contributing factors that lead minority women to setting poor workplace boundaries. In the article, Andrade cites issues such as  low self-esteem, needing approval from others, learned helplessness or the fear of being rejected or criticized as well as cultural expectations. 

“I come from a culture where women especially are not supposed to say no or resist anything imposed on them,” Andrade says. “At work, I would accept all projects pushed on me even if they were not mine. In my personal life, I would not speak up in my relationships until resentment and anger defined me and my actions.” 

Many non-American cultures, especially cultures of color, are also more likely to be collectivist cultures as opposed to individualistic cultures, as cited by therapist and researcher, Sadaf Vidha, in an article about minority women setting emotional boundaries. 

 

“In individualistic cultures, the person or individual is the primary unit,” she explains, while in collectivist cultures, “family is the primary unit and the individual exists within it.” 

money managing

In many non-American cultures women are taught to not resist anything imposed on them and take on tasks that benefit the collective. (Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels)

Growing up in a culture like this can make it difficult for minority women to recognize their own needs and set necessary boundaries. Many are taught from a young age to value the needs and desires of their families first and foremost, and this mentality often translates to the workplace later in life. 

Like the family, the team in the workplace becomes the collective, causing minority women to prioritize the needs of other team members over their own needs. 

Ayanna Abrams, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and cofounder of Not So Strong, expands on these cultural pressures and further defines boundaries and why they are necessary in an article by ESSENCE

“I view boundaries as our rules of engagement. [They are] the rules in our relationships that allow us to feel healthy, safe, and have access to different parts of the relationships. Having our boundaries honored can deepen our connections with other people,” Abrams explains. 

For minority women who struggle to know when to set boundaries, Abrams encourages people to listen to their bodies and check in with their mental health. 

“Black women have been taught that what other people need from us is more important than how we’re feeling,” she says. “I always encourage people to come back to your bodies. If you use your body as your source, it will determine where your [boundaries] need to be drawn. If you don’t give yourself sleep, your body will crash.”

You might be interested: Top 6 job perks and benefits Black and Latina women are looking for in 2022

interview tips

Having boundaries is not selfish or rude, they are a crucial foundation on which to build your relationships. (Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash)

4 Tips for setting workplace boundaries

Setting healthy workplace boundaries is an important part of one’s self-care and mental health. Setting these boundaries can also help prevent workplace stress and burnout in the future. Having boundaries is not selfish or rude, they are a crucial foundation on which to build your relationships both in the workplace and beyond.

Here are a few tips to help minority women set boundaries in the workplace. 

  1. Practice self-awareness. Make a habit of checking in with yourself from time to time. When you’re feeling down or stressed out at work, examine where those feelings are coming from and assess if they can be fixed by setting a boundary. 
  2. “No” is a full sentence. Sahar Andrade says this in her Forbes article on setting boundaries. It can be hard to say “No” when you have always said “Yes.” However, getting comfortable with this word is crucial to setting effective boundaries. Often, women feel the need to over explain or make excuses for why they are setting a boundary, but just saying “No” is enough. 
  3. Enforce your boundaries. The best way to get people to understand your boundaries is to repeat and enforce them. Some may think setting a boundary is a one-time thing, but more often than not people need to be reminded. Don’t be afraid to assert your boundary and set consequences for when your boundaries are violated. 
  4. Listen to and respect others. Another great way to show people how to respect your boundaries is to be an active participant in listening to and respecting the boundaries of others. When you show others that you respect them, they in turn are more likely to respect you and your own boundaries. 

Ultimately, setting boundaries is healthy and necessary to foster a happy and thriving workplace. Boundaries help ensure all individuals are being valued and are not being taken advantage of or overworked. Setting boundaries in the workplace will help to avoid future conflicts, resentment, and burnout while also strengthening relationships and promoting self-care and mutual respect.

latina executives

3 Latina Executives breaking biases in the boardroom 

Historically, Latinos are the least represented in corporations compared to any other group. Only 3% of the Fortune 1000 company board seats are held by Latinos, despite the large size of the U.S. Latino population.

“We are being left behind,” said Esther Aguilera, CEO of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA). “In fact, over the last 10 years, between 2010 and 2020, Latinos only gained 1%. We went from 2% of corporate board seats to 3%. Latinos and Latinas are invisible in the C-suite and the boardroom. For Latinas, it’s even smaller. Only about 1% of the public company board seats are held by Latinas. Yet, we are such a large and contributing sector, we have a long tradition of entrepreneurship and growing corporate business businesses nationwide.”

We want to shine a spotlight on some of the Latina executives who are breaking biases and diversifying corporate leadership positions. These three Latina executives show that Latina leaders are strong, capable, and necessary in the boardroom. They bring their own unique experiences, culture, and knowledge to their positions, adding much needed diversity to leadership positions. 

Spotlight on Latina Executives

latina executives

Independent Board Director, Potlatch Deltic and Senior Advisor, Pollination Group and Trail Head Capital. Former SVP and Chief Sustainability Officer, Corteva. (Photo source)

Anne Alonzo

Anne L. Alonzo is the former Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for Corteva Agriscience and currently serves as an Independent Board Director at Potlatch Deltic, a leading timber and wood products public company focused on sustainable forest practices. Anne also serves as a Senior Advisor to Pollination, a global climate change and investment advisory firm and as an Advisor to Trail Head Capital, a social impact capital
investment firm.

She is a recognized global food and agriculture leader and has forged a highly successful and diverse career in the public, non-profit and corporate sectors. Throughout her career, she has served in various senior leadership roles including as President & CEO of the American Egg Board, the marketing arm of the $9B egg industry, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service as Administrator of the $5B, 4300 person federal agency and as Vice President of Global Public Policy at Kraft Foods leading all global corporate affairs work in the areas of sustainability, health and wellness and its issue/risk management team.

She has also served as Senior Vice President at the National Foreign Trade Council, a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy, Mexico as well as senior regional counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, IL.

As a Latina leader, Anne has been recognized for her leadership supporting and mentoring Latinos across the U.S. and was honored with awards such as “Top 100 Most Influential Latinas” by Latino Leaders, “Top 100 Latinos” by Board IQ, Chicago United People of Color Award, “Maestro Award for Entrepreneurship” by Latino Leaders, “Brava” (courage) Award by LATINO Magazine and Corporate Elite Ranking, Hispanic Magazine.

latina executives

LULAC Chief Executive Officer. (Photo Source)

Sindy M. Benavides

Sindy Marisol Benavides is a Honduran-American immigrant who has experienced the American dream, and now devotes her career to public service, ensuring that countless young people, women, and immigrants have the same opportunity. She is currently Chief Executive Officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country.

She previously served as the Chief Operating Officer and National Director for Civic Engagement and Community Mobilization for LULAC, Vice President of Field & Political Operations for Voto Latino and as Northern Virginia Political Director for the 2012 Kaine for Virginia senatorial campaign. She has also been National Director of Community Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, and Latino Liaison and Director of Gubernatorial Appointments for Governor Timothy M. Kaine.

Sindy is the founder, co-founder, and founding board member of LULAC Council 4611, VA Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN), VA Coalition of Immigrant Rights (VACIR), and the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action (HOLA). She uses her various platforms to continue to serve and support Latinos. 

Vice President of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at LinkedIn. (Photo source)

Rosanna Durruthy 

Rosanna Durruthy is a queer, Afro-Latina working to empower and diversify the corporate world. Currently, she is LinkedIn’s Vice President of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. At LinkedIn, Rosanna’s focus is on empowering all employees, members and customers to realize their full potential. With Rosanna’s leadership, LinkedIn continues to build a strong culture that values diversity, inclusion and creating a sense of belonging, for all of their employees.

In addition to her role at LinkedIn, Rosanna is an angel investor and advisor to startups that include Viridis Learning, Encantos Media, and Strive. She is also a former member of the Human Rights Campaign Business Advisory Council and served on the Board of Lambda Legal, where she provided expertise and counsel on LGBTQ workplace issues.. She has been recognized as one of the country’s leading professional Hispanic women and an influential mind in the diversity and inclusion space.


These Latinas represent a small but growing group of Latina executives. In a time where representation and diversity is crucial and Latino populations are on the rise, we need to see more Latina executives, leaders, and founders on the corporate level. Latinas can no longer be left behind in the boardroom.

We need to talk about the Latina wage gap 

Latinas are not paid fairly. In fact, Latinas have the lowest earnings of any major race or ethnicity and gender group, earning on average, 43% less than white men and 28% less than white women. The Latina wage gap has persisted for far too long and, if we continue to do nothing, it will take up to two centuries to close this gap.

Latinas are a powerhouse population accounting for close to $1 trillion in US buying power, but earn on average only 55 cents to the dollar paid to white, non-hispanic men. This gap has hardly moved in over 30 years, and the longstanding pay disparities Latinas face have only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. 

Latinas make up just 7% of the overall workforce, but they account for 22% of child-care workers and there are nearly three in 10 Latinas working a front-line job today, but still being underpaid for their work. 

The wage gap for Latinas starts young, too. From age 16, Latinas are paid less than white boys the same age—and the gap continues to grow from there. 

Latina wage gap

The Latina pay gap by age. (Source: leanin.org)

Additionally, the wage gap widens for educated Latinas. Latinas are pursuing higher education more than ever before but education does not eliminate the wage gap. Data found that the gap is in fact largest for Latinas with a bachelor’s degree. 

Despite their higher education these Latinas earn 35% less than white men on average, and even in the same position, Latinas still earn less than white men. Latinas also ask for promotions and raises at similar rates to white men, yet for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 71 Latinas are promoted

Latina wage gap

The pay gap by education level. (Source: leanin.org)

Latinas face both sexism and racism in the workplace, with stereotypes fuling assumptions about Latinas’ work ethic and ambition. Stereotypes painting Latinas as overly domestic create the belief that Latinas are less ambitious in their careers making employers assume they don’t want to or expect to be paid well. 

These stereotypes and unfair biases are harmful and have real lasting consequences on Latinas and their families.  Latina mothers earn 54% less than white fathers, which means less money for basic family necessities like rent, food, school supplies, and impacts the family’s ability to save and invest long term.

Over time, the lost income adds up. According to the data, the average Latina’s career, she will lose over a million dollars compared to white men. 

Average income lost over a lifetime due to the pay gap. (Source: leanin.org)

Steps toward closing the Latina wage gap 

The gender wage gap has narrowed slightly over time but only by a few pennies over several decades. Currently the average pay for women in general is 82 cents per dollar earned by a man. A decade ago in 2011, that number was 77 cents, and in 1996 when the first Equal Pay Day was established, the number was around 74 cents. If this trend continues, the wage gap will not close for another 38 years or until around 2059.

For Black women the date is over a century away. And for Hispanic women it will be over two centuries before the wage gap closes if we do nothing to change the trend.

Some steps toward closing the Latina wage gap include supporting legislation and organizations aimed toward eliminating gender wage gaps such as PowHerNY, an inclusive statewide network of individuals and organizations committed to accelerating and securing economic equality for all New York women. 

Another step Latinas can take to combat the wage gap, especially for those in low-wage jobs, is to join a union. According to data, the overall wage gap for union members is 53% smaller than the wage gap for non-members. 

We cannot wait two centuries for the Latina wage gap to close. We need to take action now. 


For more information and further learning on the gender wage gap: 

https://www.latinaequalpay.org/  

https://www.pay-equity.org/index.html

http://www.equalpaytoday.org/

Benefits of paid parental leave in the workplace for families and businesses

Paid parental leave for both men and women has been shown to benefit both families and employers. Studies have found that there are many benefits of paid parental leave, from increase in mood and health, employee productivity, and boost in overall morale in the workplace. 

However, while many countries around the world offer extensive paid parental leave for expecting families—including adoption, fostering, and birth—the U.S. is the only developed country that does not offer any paid parental leave and only requires 12 weeks unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Even still, not everyone is eligible for this mandated parental leave as FMLA applies only to workers in companies with 50 or more workers. 

While many may be accustomed to these low numbers, it is far from the norm when compared to other countries. The International Labour Organization (ILO) calls for a minimum 12-week leave although a 14-week leave is recommended and, on average, maternity leave in Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries lasts 18 weeks, though many extend beyond this. 

While extended parental leave beyond 12 weeks is not mandated by law in the U.S., companies have the option to extend the number of weeks offered and provide paid leave. Companies that do so can reap the benefits of paid parental leave offers both families and businesses, helping to foster a more inclusive workplace culture. 

So what are some of the benefits of paid parental leave and how can businesses implement better maternity and paternity policies into their workplace? 

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How paid parental leave benefits families and businesses

Research shows that paid maternity leave is good for individuals, businesses, and the economy. One study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that it keeps women in the workforce and lowers their need for public assistance. Other studies also show paid parental leave increases women’s participation in the workforce and reduces gender pay gaps.

Additionally, paid parental leave has been shown to significantly improve maternal physical and mental health by allowing mothers time to recover from childbirth and adjust to new caregiving responsibilities. One report found that about half of women expressed experiencing pain within the first two months following childbirth, along with a substantial majority of new mothers experiencing “baby blues” after childbirth. For 1 in 5 women, those feelings develop into postpartum depression. 

However, mothers who took paid parental leave were less likely to experience symptoms of postpartum depression and less likely to report parenting stress. 

Paid parental leave also improves economic security and a study on California’s paid leave program found that it lowered the risk of poverty among mothers by 10.2 percent, increased income for those mothers by 4.1 percent, and reduced food insecurity among households. These effects were strongest among low-income mothers, many of whom are often women of color. 

On average, women of color are paid less than white non-Hispanic women and men and are dramatically overrepresented in low-income jobs that are less likely to offer paid leave or family-friendly policies. 

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Workplaces that choose to offer paid leave and inclusive policies will not only be helping families live healthier, fuller lives and enjoy parenthood, but may also reap benefits for their company too. 

Ongoing research shows that happy employees are more productive, perform better overall, and are more likely to remain with a company. These benefits also come at little cost to the company. Studies in California’s paid parental leave program found that workplace improvements cost businesses very little, with 87 percent of businesses surveyed in California reporting no increased costs and 9 percent reporting cost savings due to lower rates of employee turnover or lower spending on employee benefits. 

Additionally, this same study reported 90 percent of businesses in California noticed either a positive or neutral effect on productivity and almost all businesses (99 percent) identified positive or neutral effects on employee morale.

By offering paid parental leave, companies can look forward to employees who feel engaged and driven, boost in productivity, and happy, healthy workers. These benefits to both families and businesses can be easily implemented at little to no additional cost to companies, as studies have shown. 

In a time when health—both mental and physical—is a top priority, businesses will do well to implement better paid parental leave policies. Cultivating an inclusive workplace culture that values families and health benefits all.

You might be interested: Why Pregnant Latinas are twice as likely to get COVID

Ana Villegas, Latinas in STEM, Latinitas

NI CMO Ana Villegas empowers young Latinas pursuing careers in STEM  

Ana Villegas is the Chief Marketing Officer at NI, a tech company that has developed automated test and automated measurement systems that help engineers solve the world’s toughest challenges for more than 40 years. 

In her role as CMO, Ana leads NI’s global marketing organization and ensures the organization supports their customers and the incredible businesses they lead. NI’s technology helps engineers test and measure the performance of their products, ensuring quality and speeding the pace of innovation in our world. 

With many years of marketing experience across both consumer and B2B organizations, Ana is a frequent speaker at international conferences on B2B digital and modern marketing, diversity and corporate social responsibility topics.

Ana Villegas, Latinas in STEM, Latinitas

Ana Villegas, Chief Marketing Officer at NI. (Photo courtesy of Ana Villegas)

Additionally she proudly serves on the board of Latinitas, a non-profit focused on empowering girls to innovate through media and technology.

As a Latina in STEM, Ana knows first hand the biases and challenges that many women face in this field. Through her work as a leader and mentor she is helping to break those biases and create opportunities for young Latinas in STEM. 

“My childhood set me down a path that didn’t include a career in technology,” she says of her childhood in Peru where she attended an all-girls school where traditional expectations for women were placed on her. 

“The expectation for women was to get married, have children, and take care of the home. And my schooling very much reflected those priorities – I learned to cook, sew, and do other household chores. However, I knew I wanted more,” Ana continues. 

“I worked hard and actively sought out challenging opportunities. I spent time studying engineering despite growing up in an environment that reinforced a limited view of what women can – or should – accomplish. I knew many of those around me had doubts about my plans, but I didn’t allow their doubts to influence me and each accomplishment pushed me further.” 

It was not easy, but Ana kept moving forward on the path she created for herself. She built her own future, seeking opportunities and finding success where others had doubted her. 

Eventually, she would immigrate to the United States from Peru to attend the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where she received her Masters of Business with a focus in Marketing. Since then, she has worked in marketing roles at Dole Food Company, Dell, and NI. 

“My advice to others: do not let others’ doubts influence your opinion of yourself. Celebrate every victory and know you can achieve anything if you stay focused and work hard.” 

Latinas in STEM need mentors

Another important piece of advice Ana has learned throughout her career is the power of mentors, especially for young Latinas. 

“I have a 10-year-old daughter so it’s important to her future that she has role models and individuals who are there for her. I want her to understand that she’s capable of anything if she puts forth the effort, focuses, and sets ambitious goals for herself.” 

Ana Villegas, Latinas in STEM, Latinitas

Ana Villegas at Startup Chica with Latinitas. (Photo courtesy of Ana Villegas)

In her work as a board member of Latinitas, Ana strives to empower young Latinas and help them cultivate confidence in their abilities and ambitions. 

Through after-school clubs, camps, events and publications, and channels, Latinitas provides a space, both in the physical and online, for girls to express themselves, develop their skills, learn about their culture and discover their unique voice.

Latinitas aims to bridge the gap in access to education and careers in technology and achievement of women in media and STEAM fields. The organization builds future leaders in STEAM who advocate for themselves and their communities and creates a culturally conscious environment that instills pride in identity and a sense of inclusion.

“I’m so proud of the community we’ve created at Latinitas and excited to see these young women flourish as they chart their professional paths.”

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Ana Villegas, Latinas in STEM, Latinitas

“I’m so proud of the community we’ve created at Latinitas.” (Photo courtesy of Ana Villegas)

Ana’s own experiences with mentors and mentorship has opened doors for her and helped her grow into the leader she is today. 

“While working at Dell, I was fortunate to find a mentor in Carla Piñeyro Sublett,” she recounts. “She was serving in a Latin America leadership role and asked me to join her newly formed team. But I wanted to continue on in a more globally-focused trajectory, so I declined. That was a nerve-wracking moment and answer to give someone who had counseled and helped me in my professional growth journey, but it turned out fine. Years later, when she became the CMO at NI, she called and we finally got the opportunity to work together.”

Today, Ana is able to give back as a leader and mentor herself. As an executive in her field, her priority is to help develop future leaders. Knowing first hand the challenges minority individuals can face in the industry, Ana focuses on understanding and embracing the unique perspectives and voices each person brings to a discussion. 

“We must set aside our own biases to understand others’ experiences and viewpoints,” she says. “This builds trust, appreciation for one another, and ultimately helps people grow. My ‘superpowers’ are my abilities to listen and to help others overcome adversity in a way that’s authentic to them.” 

Ana’s parting words of advice to women interested in pursuing a career in STEM is to surround yourself with others who will uplift and support you when you face challenges and to be your own strongest advocate. 

“Speak and live your truth and don’t be afraid to voice your perspective or challenge traditional ways of thinking. Own your authenticity and the personal power it affords you.”