Breaking Barriers: The State of Latinas in Corporate America 2024

June 17, 2024

Breaking Barriers: The State of Latinas in Corporate America 2024

In a groundbreaking study by Lean In, the "State of Latinas in Corporate America 2024" reveals significant disparities and challenges faced by Latinas in the workforce. Despite their growing presence, Latinas remain underrepresented in leadership roles, facing a "broken rung" at the first step up to management. This critical issue results in fewer opportunities for advancement and contributes to a steep decline in representation from entry-level to the C-suite.

Lean In's research highlights that Latinas are often subjected to biases and stereotypes that hinder their career progression. They are less likely to receive the mentorship and sponsorship needed to advance compared to their peers. Additionally, Latinas are more likely to feel the pressure of balancing work and family responsibilities, a challenge exacerbated by limited access to supportive workplace policies.

The study calls for urgent action from corporate leaders to address these disparities. Key recommendations include implementing structured mentorship programs, fostering inclusive workplace cultures, and establishing clear metrics to track progress in Latina representation at all levels. Companies are encouraged to prioritize diversity and inclusion initiatives that specifically address the unique challenges faced by Latinas.

To gain deeper insights into the personal experiences and career journey that led to the founding of Lean In Latinas, we asked Anna, the organization’s Founder and President and one of our newest SVL Advisory Board Members.  She is also a contributor to Lean In's State of Latinas report.  Her story is a powerful testament to the resilience and determination needed to break through systemic barriers and advocate for change.

SVL: Can you share a pivotal moment in your career that shaped your perspective on leadership and advocacy for Latinas in corporate America?

Anna: “When I had reached the level of executive director at my place of employment, it was when I asked myself, where are the other Latina executive directors, and there were none. It was at this point when I realized I had to do more to help advance Latinas in the workplace. Today, Latinas face the steepest path to advancement and are the most underrepresented of all groups of employees in the c-suite. Unfortunately, Latinas' representation declines as they progress through the pipeline. You can find the data to support this in the State of Latinas report.”

SVL: What challenges did you face as a Latina in your professional journey, and how did you overcome them to reach your current position?

Anna: “The challenge for most Latinas is there is a "broken rung" at the initial step up to manager. For every 100 men promoted from entry level to manager, only 74 Latinas are promoted. As a result, there are far fewer Latinas to promote at every subsequent level and our representation dwindles from there. Knowing this now helps explain the challenges I had along the way. I was determined, however, to power through these challenges.”

SVL has been committed to supporting and sharing the stories (over the past 12 years) of our communities Latinas in not only corporate America but also across the various segments of non-profit and small business. We urge companies to take immediate steps to implement the recommendations outlined in the study. Together, we can create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for all.

For more information on the "State of Latinas in Corporate America 2024," please visit Lean In's official report HERE and download the full study HERE.

By sharing these insights and continuing the conversation, we aim to drive meaningful change and support the advancement of Latinas in the corporate world. Together, we can break barriers and pave the way for future generations.


#JuntosAdelante #CreoEnTi #CreoEnNosotros

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