Culture

Do You Relate? Most Latinas Say They Had To Work ‘Twice As Hard’ As Non-Latino Co-Workers

The people at People en Español teamed up with Lieberman Research Worldwide to survey 500 Latinas* in the workforce to figure out how we really feel at work. Some of the “Latina@Work” findings are things we already know, like most of us often feel like we’re inhabiting at least two worlds at once. But here are some other interesting key findings we came away with after looking through the study’s results:


1. The study indicates that Latinas often feel caught between being perceived as “too Latina” at work and “not Latina enough” at home.

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Credit: HuffPost

The survey’s Latina respondents were also twice as likely to feel that they had to work “twice as hard” as their non-Latino co-workers “because of my cultural background.”

2. Eighty percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “At work, I want to be seen as who I really am, including being Latina.”

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Credit: dorawinifredread / Tumblr / Ain’t Your Mama / Def Jam Recordings

This sounds like common sense until you consider that 1) Latino, as a term describing a broad, diverse group of people of Latin American origin in the U.S., is still relatively new, and that 2) previous generations had different attitudes towards assimilation. It is, in a very real sense, a term that it is still being defined. And, increasingly, we’re defining it for ourselves.


3. Those surveyed believe they need to dress more conservative and style their hair a certain way to be taken seriously in the office.

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Credit: NBC

Thirty-one percent of the Latinas surveyed felt that they “dress more conservatively than my co-workers in order to be taken seriously” (vs. 21% of white, non-Latina women). Additionally, 35% said, “The way I style my hair impacts how successful I am at work” (vs. 25% of white non-Latinas). The survey doesn’t offer a breakdown according to race, which would have been interesting to see given the amount of scrutiny placed on black women, including black Latinas, when it comes to hairstyle. It would also have been interesting to delve deeper into what stereotypes about Latinas–such as that we’re curvier and more sexual than, say, white non-Latinas–plays when it comes to how we think about our image in the workplace.


4. However, we’re paving the way and breaking barriers.

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Credit: USA

Fifty-one percent of the Latinas surveyed are the first in their family to go to college. The big takeaway here is that we’re essentially a generation of women forming our own template for success. This is not to downplay the achievements made by those before us or to say that college is the only path to a meaningful future, but we should give ourselves credit, too!

Interestingly, when asked whether they “make it a priority to focus on my own needs,” only 47% of Latinas responded in the affirmative, compared to 69% of white non-Latinas.


…Also interesting that news of this study was the third result here:

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In short: Latinas are dealing with a diverse set of (sometimes conflicting) expectations from both within our community and outside of it, while continuing to define for ourselves what it means to be Latina.

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Credit: harleysqulnn / Tumblr

*Women who were surveyed were between ages 25–54, included white non-Latinas within the same age range, came from 5 major U.S. cities (Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Charlotte) and represented various backgrounds (specifically Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Chilean, and Honduran).

Source: People en Español “Latina@Work Hispanic Opinion Tracker (HOT) Study* Overview

You can find the complete survey here.


READ: B.S. Latinas Put Up With (As Told By Disney Princesses)

Do you relate to these concerns? If you could give one piece of advice to a Latina about to enter the workforce, what would it be?

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Comadre A Comadre: Biden Invites Latina ‘Comadres’ To Join The Political Movement And Vote

Things That Matter

Comadre A Comadre: Biden Invites Latina ‘Comadres’ To Join The Political Movement And Vote

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The Latino community is a core part of the American story and it’s about time that our community is represented at all levels of government. As Latinos, we have endured generations of hate, racism, and cruel immigration policies that have left our communities wounded and in fear.

Although both Joe Biden and Donald Trump are trying to court the Latino vote to help push them over the finish line come November’s election, only Joe Biden has demonstrated his willingness to work alongside leading Latino voices.

To demonstrate that commitment, the Biden campaign has launched several grassroots movements meant to help build momentum and trust among the Latino community.

The Biden campaign has helped launch Comadre A Comadre, a campaign to bring together the Latino community in support of Democratic candidates.

Comadre A ComadrePosted by We are mitú on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Women for Biden and Todos con Biden recently launched Comadre a Comadre. The nationwide initiative encourages Latinas to engage in politics and mobilize the vote for the 2020 election.

 “We know that the pathway to the White House is through the Latino community, and we know Latinas are the heart of our communities,” said Rep García. “It’s important that all of us–whether it’s our tía, our abuela, our comadre, our friend, our sister, our girlfriend–tell each other why this race is so important.”

Laura Jiménez, Latino Engagement Director for the Biden campaign explains: “Las comadres means a group of girlfriends, sisters, or close friends, and as we launch Comadre a Comadre, we want to bring the Latinas together and empower them to vote. There are so many of us who support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and we want to inspire a sense of unity, closeness, and strength as we work to get them elected.”

That unity, closeness, and strength is what they hope to achieve with this initiative, bringing Latinas together to mobilize for leadership that supports our community. Both Congresswomen are trailblazers in their own right: Mucarsel-Powell is the first Ecuadorian-American and South American immigrant member of Congress, while Garcia in one of the first Latinas to represent Texas.

The launch event was held online and featured leading Latina voices.

Launched last week, the debut event featured Congresswomen Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Sylvia Garcia, who guided a conversation on the importance of the Latinx vote in battleground states like Florida. They were joined by Floridian community leaders Sonia Succar Ferré and Daniela Ferrera–two Latinas who are ready to get Biden and Harris elected.

Comadres love the chisme, and this time, the chisme is political. Throughout the hour-long conversation, they touched on some of the issues that disproportionately affect Latinx communities.

When asked about her hopes for Florida’s future, Sonia mentioned her concern about the mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis and the disregard for climate change. “Climate is something that we recognize is at our doorstep…we are a coastal community surrounded by water at all sides, and I want a leader and an administration that takes science, health data, and information seriously.”

“I want to help mobilize my fellow Puerto Ricans to realize that our future, our children’s future, and our environment are dependent on what we can do and how we can help deliver a win for Vice president Biden and Senator Harris,” shared Sonia.

Latinos will make up the largest racial minority in the electorate this year and candidates are working hard to get the vote.

For the first time in history, Latinos will be the largest minority in the electorate, with more than 32 million Latinos eligible to vote nationwide in the 2020 election. Comadre a Comadre is meant to highlight Latinas’ political power and to show what’s at stake for our community in this election.

Women are more likely to vote than men and Latinas are even more key to engaging our community since we tend to encourage our friends and family to vote as well. But don’t worry if you missed this kick off event. Comadre a Comadre has a full calendar of events, encouraging participants to join bilingual phone banks organized by the Biden campaign. For more information, check out their website here.

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America Ferrera Recounts Her First Hollywood Audition Where She Was Asked to Sound “More Latina”

Entertainment

America Ferrera Recounts Her First Hollywood Audition Where She Was Asked to Sound “More Latina”

The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, and big-name stars gathered to celebrate and acknowledge groundbreaking television programs. One of the celebrities that made a special appearance was America Ferrera.

In a segment called “This Is What I Sound Like,” Ferrera spoke about her troubling experiences as a young Latina actress just starting off in Hollywood.

Before the segment, “Grown-ish” actress Yara Shahidi introduced the segment, emphasizing the importance of representation onscreen.

“The stories we tell on TV shape how we see ourselves and others,” she said. “And how we are seen can many times determine how we are treated. The dream of television is the freedom to live our full and nuanced lives outside of boxes and assumptions.”

In a pre-recorded segment, Ferrera then described her first audition in Hollywood–an experience that ended up being a formative one.

“I was 16-years-old when I got my very first audition and I was this little brown chubby Valley Girl who spoke, you know, like a Valley Girl,” Ferrera explained. “I walked in, did my audition. The casting director looked at me and was like, ‘That’s great. Can you do that again, but this time, sound ‘more Latina?””

According to Ferrera, she asked the casting director whether she wanted her to do the audition in Spanish. The casting director declined. Ferrera tried to explain the contradiction of the directions, telling the casting director: “I am a Latina and this is what I sound like.” Needless to say, she did not get the part.

When she went home to tell her family the story, they seemed unsurprised by the blatant stereotyping Ferrera was facing. They told her that the entertainment industry will want her to “speak in broken English” and “sound like a chola”.

“What did you think was gonna happen?” her family members asked her. “[Hollywood was] gonna have you starring in the next role made for Julia Roberts?”

According to Ferrera, the realization that Hollywood saw her in a different way than she saw herself made her want to “create more opportunity for little brown girls to fulfill their talent and their dream.”

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Since then, the Honduran-American actress has starred in numerous projects that illustrate the diversity of the Latinx experience in America, from “Real Women Have Curves” to “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” to “Ugly Betty“. Most recently, Ferrera dipped her toe into the producing waters with the bilingual Netflix series “Gentified“.

Although Ferrera is putting in the work for more Latinx representation onscreen, the Television Academy still has a long way to go when it comes to recognizing Latinx talent. Unfortunately, the only Latino person nominated for an Emmy this year was Argentine-Mexican actress Alexis Bledel for her work in “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

Here’s to hoping that Latinos like America Ferrera will continue to make their voices heard, giving inspiration to little brown girls everywhere who want nothing more than to see themselves onscreen.

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