everyday FUERTE



Nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities
— Anon

Latinas lack confidence and experience to be promoted.  As young girls, Latinas are taught the importance of being complimentary to others and extending social courtesies. In fact, Latinas use indirect and implicit communication styles. One reason is because Spanish is a flowery language compared to English, and indirect in its structure. For example, in Spanish we say "Se logro la meta" which when translated to English means "The goal was achieved".  However, Americans prefer to say "I acheived the goal".  This type of communication undermines a Latina's career and I don't think we realize that most of the time.  We tend to speak English as if we were speaking Spanish.  Have you ever caught yourself doing that?  Be observant next time you communicate in the workplace. 

Americans tend to be more individualistic and put themselves first:

"I achieved the goal"
"I was successful in meeting the quota"
"I led the meeting"
"I accomplished the task"

We need to be aware of this linguistic tendency and start being more confident in our accomplishments.  If you are doing a good job, especially if it can be measured objectively, productivity measurements, sales reports, customemr satisfaction reports, and so on, Latinas should be proud of these achievements and not be embarassed to point them out. 

Furthermore, our culture teaches Latinas to suppress our voice.  How many of us have been told "calladita te ves mas bonita"?  This literally translates to "You look prettier when you're silent".  This has a very sexist and condescending meaning towards women.  Because of this cultural tendency, Latinas carry an engrained respect for authority and a Latina employee would dare not challenge a boss for fear of causing him to "lose face", even if the employee has the right to speak up and stand up for themselves in an unjust situation.  This type of attitude discourages and hurts the Latinas self confidence to be an innovative thinker and have initiative in the workplace.  As a result, supervisors often make incorrect assumptions, such as that Latina employees do not have good ideas or aren't able to show initiative.  



"Culture and Your Hispanic Workforce: Cross-cultural Communication Skills."HR.com. N.p., 20 July 2007. Web. http://www.hr.com/en/communities/labor_relations/culture-and-your-hispanic-workforce-cross-cultural_ead1qspn.html

Guilbault, Rose Castillo, and Louis E. V. Nevaer. The Latina's Guide to Success in the Workplace. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2012. Print.