If you’re a woman in the workforce, you’re probably no stranger to the disparities that continue to exist across genders. White women still make $0.85 for every dollar earned by men, and women as a whole occupy fewer leadership roles than their male counterparts.
For working women of color, though, the statistics are startlingly worse. Less than 7% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women — and only 1 in 30 of those C-suite executives is a woman of color. If we continue moving at the rate we are today, Black and Latinx women will have to wait until 2119 and 2224, respectively, for equal pay.
So, it’s time to change our pace — and Multicultural Marketing Expert Yai Vargas has some ideas for how we can help accelerate equality. In a recent webinar for Hispanic Heritage Month, she spoke to Fairygodboss about what we can do to ensure Latinx professionals are able to thrive in the workplace, sooner rather than later. Below are her top seven advocacy tips.
The scarcity of Latinx people in executive roles is just one workplace obstacle facing this community. But on a more personal level, beyond representation, issues like immigration and generational poverty can also negatively impact a Latinx employee’s ability to thrive at work. So, to help promote Latinx diversity inside the workplace, it’s important to ask ourselves how can we can be advocates outside of it, too.
Vargas suggests you start by asking yourself: “What causes resonate with me? Is it politics? Is it immigration? Is it generational wealth building? Is it building communities of color? Is it representation on corporate boards? Is it paid equality? Is it starting new businesses?”
Defining your commitment to any one of these causes can serve as a starting point for establishing your allyship with a similar community of people.
Look for groups within your company or community that you can affiliate yourself with — like ERGs or resource networks — to “get more insight, tools, and resources,” Vargas advises. You can start with the communities with which you identify (based on your gender, ethnicity, class, abilities, age, etc.). A deeper understanding of your place in the world and the issues facing those like you, she added, can serve as a reference point that’ll allow you to empathize with diverse people in your work and home environments.
Vargas says: “What’s really going to move the needle of us changing what’s happening in society is for you to be able to share the challenges you’re having or the challenges you hear about with allies…so that they know how to help us.” So, share your experience, resources, connections, and challenges with allies or others who can similarly relate.
Share the successes of people in Latinx communities with a simple post (or repost!) on social media. This is an easy way to showcase Latinx achievements and can positively impact the landscape of Latinx people in the public eye.
Vargas’ advice for effective allyship is simple: “Ask your employers about their ERGs” and find out how you can get involved. You can join groups that resonate with you or position yourself as an ally by attending groups of other underrepresented identities. Many companies have diversity and inclusion initiatives and offer employee resource groups for people of color, veterans, LGBTQ+ individuals, etc.
Help companies source diverse top talent by sharing career opportunities and company events on your professional accounts. A simple job posting or event flyer could get talented, capable Latinx professionals in front of hiring managers who may not have known how to access them otherwise.
Vargas, who founded The Latinista in 2012, is on a mission to help women “invest in their career development through dynamic workshops.” If you identify with the Latinx community or want to become a better ally, you can join the conversation, and together, we can lift as we climb.
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.