The mission of Lean In Latinas is to provide a platform of encouragement and support for Latinas in the workplace to achieve higher levels of performance. Discussions provide confidence building, idea exchange, and inspiration. Recently, a colleague asked me if the Lean in Latinas circle was exclusive to Latinas and with some initial reservation but with final confirmation and celebration, I said yes! Not only do Latinas in the workplace face the same challenges as other women, we also contend with cultural differences that we need to overcome to be successful in the workplace. For many Latina/o families, the woman’s place is in the home and to raise a family. However, this is not the only path many Latinas want to follow, and therefore encounter these challenges in the family. In addition, many Latinas were not raised with the skill sets needed for the boardroom. Thus, for Latinas we encounter a number of challenges to be effective and competitive in the workplace.
Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, stated “I think as women, and especially Latinas, we are wired differently and it’s not enforced in our upbringing to be competitive or to be ambitious. As a daughter of Dominican immigrant parents, I was pushed to be successful, to pursue the American dream. But the bar was not that high. I was the first one in my family to graduate college. I was very driven from an early age, but it was always ingrained — Huffington Post, Julissa Bonfante.”
The Lean in Latinas circle recognizes and addresses the needs of the Latina in the workplace. Not only do we need to close the competitive gap among Latinas and non-Latinas but we also need to close the gap in our cultural beliefs expecting Latinas to only be effective in the home versus in the workplace.
To learn more about Lean In Latinas, please consider joining the Chapter! More information can be found on their website.