Latino Success = America’s Success
Posted by: Maryanne Piña
The Latino story in the United States parallels the American story. Starting with the Santa Fe mission in what is now New Mexico, people from Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American regions have played an active role in shaping the cities, states and culture of the United States. And, with the Latino population accounting for over 50% of the country’s population growth over the last decade, the role and of Latinos in shaping our future will be even more pronounced. Simply put, America can’t succeed without Latinos succeeding.
This blog is dedicated to Latino success, specifically career success. And, we have a lot of work to do as Latinos are experiencing low career advancement and high career dissatisfaction. For example, in recent studies sponsored by IBM, McKinsey, and HACR, they found that:
- Latinos account for 19% of the US population, but less than 4% of executive roles in Fortune 500 companies are filled by Latinos.
- 71% of Latinos report being unhappy with their career progress.
- 67% of Latinos say they must work harder to succeed because of their Latino identity.
- Only 20% of Latinos believe they are empowered to overcome their professional challenges.
- Only 20% of Latino front-line managers say they have access to mentorship programs or training.
This minimal career progression and high attrition hurt both Latinos and organizations. Companies that are unsuccessful at sourcing, attracting, and engaging this talent pool will be challenged to fill their talent pipeline and will limit their capacity to adapt, grow and be successful in the future.
Beyond the numbers, the dilemma of the Latino professional is personal. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants raised in the border town of McAllen, Texas, I had a wonderful and typical home existence in which hard work, honesty and respect were reinforced. Later in elementary school, I learned English, but, like so many of those in my Community, I didn’t learn the culture of corporate America. As I went on to complete my college education and graduate school and start my career, I became frustrated – I was working hard and doing what I was told but had the mindset that I had to work twice as hard to be noticed. At times I wondered… is my lack of progression because I am a Latina? Looking back, I certainly aligned with the dissatisfaction and disempowerment highlighted in the IBM study and other research. And I didn’t know where to turn for mentoring, advocacy, and support.
Cycle it forward, I stepped out of the box and took some chances in my career. Along the way, I have been supported by tremendous people inside and outside the Community. And, as CMP’s CEO , a firm that provides assessment and development support for companies, leaders, and professionals, I have the resources to study the systemic Latino career issues, what we term the Latino Career Chasm, through a more empirical lens. Drawing upon over a decade of research conducted by companies like IBM, McKinsey, Pew Research Center, and institutions like the SMU Latino Leadership Initiative, we have greater insight into the chronic issues behind the Latino Career Chasm and real solutions for Latino professionals, individuals and companies that ally with us. This includes creating the first-ever validated career assessment focused on the advancement of Latino professionals.
In this LCA™ Blog, we share insights from the research (completed by CMP and others) and our direct work with leaders and professionals. If you are a motivated Latino professional or an ally of the Community, this LCA™ Blog will provide empirical insights and pragmatic tips to support career navigation and success.
Terms – as we all know, the Community is diverse. We come from countries from the Caribbean, Central and South America. . . and live in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We are called Hispanic, Chicano/Chicana, Latinx, Latine and Latino/Latina, among others. We recognize all these names as important for our culture and sub-culture identity. However, for ease of terminology, I use the word Latino in this Blog and career work with the community.
I look forward to engaging with you!
w/ Love & Gratitude