Bilingualism & Biculturalism: How Latinos hold the key to success for American-based companies t
As you may have noticed, I have switched my focus to elevating, empowering and highlighting the Latino community to success in career and business. While I hope to inspire and assist ALL women, it would be completely against my code of ethics to disregard my own community of women who's particular journey to success encompasses so much more than many would assume. As I began doing more research into the statistics in academics, corporate positions, and business ownership in the U.S. by Latinos, it became clear to me that this is where my focus needs to be.
When we look at high-profile positions in corporate America, or some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners out there, we tend to tie this result back to things like "education/credentials, skill set and experience" meeting "opportunity". Of course, there are many other factors such as funding and partnerships, in some instances, but for the sake of simplifying the matter; let's review just how much Latinos are making strides in education and how academic credentials, paired with bilingualism, can be the one-two punch for success in the global economy.
What the Data Shows
According to Catalyst, a leading research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, the following stats were published in a 2003 report titled, Advancing Latinas in the Workplace: What Managers Need to Know:
The Talent Force:
-"Women of Hispanic origin are one of the fastest growing groups of women in the U.S. labor force." (Catalyst)
-"The number of Hispanic women earning Bachelor's degrees has increased over 150 percent in the last decade. Those earning a Master's degree increased by 164 percent within the same time period." (Catalyst)
The Impact on Global Business
-"Bilingualism is a critical business skill. Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world." (Catalyst)
-"Biculturalism is also an important business skill. Latinas who are foreign-born can act as 'connecting points' to other countries, which is crucial for global companies." (Catalyst)
-"Latin American-based companies, including those based in Mexico, generate billions in revenue, demonstrating the region's growing financial influence." (Catalyst)
You can read the entire report by going to https://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/advancing-latinas-workplace-what-managers-need-know, it's got tons of great info.
Latino Buying Power
So why is all of this important? Because the nation's Hispanic buying power continues to grow year over year. American-based global companies target the Latino consumer market with million dollar advertising budgets. Latinas in management roles, where they impact decision-making for an organization, can help businesses understand, target and reach the Latino consumer.
According to Statista, The Statistics Portal, "Hispanics spent 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars in the retail and CPG market in 2015. The buying power is expected to increase to 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars by 2017. Products targeting the Hispanic population are seen as a great opportunity for retailers and CPG companies as Hispanics will represent approximately 28.6 percent of the total U.S. population by 2060." (https://www.statista.com/statistics/251438/hispanics-buying-power-in-the-us/)
Raise Your Hand, Take Your Seat
Latinas have the potential of impacting the global scale of a firm, especially when in a position of power in decision-making. Whether you hold a Bachelor's or Master's degree, or NOT...everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. But in order to do that, you would have to start with a decision to STEP UP, and BE SEEN. If you're not already making an impact for your organization, start asking questions.
Is there a special project I can be a part of?
Do you need help translating documents?
Do you need assistance with translating in-person conversations?
Do you need a Spanish-speaking employee to attend this conference or go on this business trip?
Is there an opportunity to advance my career in this firm, and utilize my bilingualism to benefit the company's agenda?
These are all real questions you can start asking TODAY. Now that you understand the impact you can make in your career just by being a Latina, then take a leap and start asking for opportunities. Allowing yourself to be seen, and asking to participate in special projects, will open up opportunities to connect with other influential people within the organization that can help further your career.
No one is going to get a taste of your brilliance if you hide behind a cubicle. In order to influence change and open the door for more Latinas to step into leadership roles, it starts with YOU. Be the change you want to see in your atmosphere. Ask the questions. Promote yourself and your abilities. The global economy needs your talent.
Will you step into your greatness in 2019? Do you hate your job and want a better opportunity? Secure your spot in the upcoming Career Catalyst online course, going LIVE in February 2019. All of the info on this course, and the perks of securing a spot with a paid deposit, can be found here.
See you at the top!
Michelle Gomez, The Latina's Career Coach
Author, Keynote Speaker and Career Coach