The Latinx Professional Journey—The Rocky Road from Local to Global

90-minute Workshops

Day 3

Session Code: S5-F
When: April 18, 2019
Location/Room: M 100 E
Level: Intermediate
Track: D&I Strategy
Presenters: Tomás Leal, Fielding Graduate University  |  Nereida (Neddy) Perez, McCormick & Company, Inc.


According to research conducted by the Corporate Executive Development Program at Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business, “Although the U.S. Latinx market—47 million strong—represents the nation’s largest ethnic minority, gaps in representation continue to exist within U.S. companies. Latinx managers and directors are significantly underrepresented in executive and senior executive positions. Research shows that although Latinx managers and directors reach mid-level management positions faster than their peers, they are slower to climb to higher levels within their companies.”

Many members of the Latinx community who work in companies or organizations find themselves dealing with competing organizational and cultural norms and behaviors that cause frustration, confusion and discontent. This clash of cultures creates barriers and opportunities for change that impact both the Latinx community and the organization.

Session participants will learn about the different challenges experienced focusing on the following areas: development and promotion; invisibility, silenced voices and assumptions made; passion and emotional responses and the negative-ness assigned to these; organizational definitions of what is ‘professional’ and what is not—how Latinx shows up in this space; executive/leadership ‘presence’ and how it translates to Latinx culture; and cultural orientation versus corporate norms (connects and disconnects)—for example, group versus individual orientation, high versus low context communication, and relationships versus task.

An interactive process (Q&A and table discussions) will be used with participants to not only learn about these challenges, but to also work through strategies and actionable ways to deal with these cultural disconnects and create a more positive environment for the Latinx community in organizations. In the spirit of inviting different voices reflecting Latinx diversity, interviews and case studies will focus the learning on actual situations and personal stories to add insight and relevance to the dialogue. These stories will demonstrate the complexity, yet richness, of the Latinx community’s proven contributions as organizations struggle with creating locally relevant strategies that will survive amongst rapid change and serve their increasingly diverse employees, stakeholders and customers.

In addition, the session will demonstrate, through specific best practices, how embracing the diversity of the Latinx professional journey creates more cultural competence in organizations. Examples will be presented to show how this competence translates to behaviors and skills that facilitate a more inclusive work culture—a must-have regardless of whether your organization is local, national, regional or global.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Become educated on barriers and opportunities for change that impact Latinx employees
  2. Receive tools and actionable strategies to engage and embed Latinx employees, stakeholders and customers
  3. Learn ways to address issues and change behaviors to lead to a more inclusive culture

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