Posts Tagged ‘advancement’

The power of social media to move the needle on diversity and inclusion

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

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After two weeks of writing Op Eds and blogs on why there weren’t any Latinas listed on Crain’s New York list of Most Powerful Women of New York, after appearing on Café CNN, Notimujer, NY1 “Pura Política” and just when I began to think that it would take a very long time to change things, something magical happened.

I got an email from Danielle Kwateng, Editorial Assistant at Glamour magazine, who read my Seriously Crains? No Powerful Latinas in New York? Op Ed and asked me if I could nominate a few downright fabulous Latinas under 25 to be honored in a group of 21 women across the country. She thought that through Latinos in College I was sure to be connected with lots of women who would be a perfect fit.

I was ecstatic. It meant someone was listening and was ready to take action. Someone “got it” and understood that if you want more diversity in the lists you are creating you just have to reach out to circles of people who are different from the ones you usually draw your talent from and ask for help. That there is no lack of Latino leaders in this country. There’s a lack of awareness by non-Latinos of who the leaders are.

Danielle’s email also proves the power of social media to move the needle on diversity and inclusion. It is only through the large number of people who shared with their networks the columns and blogs I wrote on this topic that the right person read the piece and acted on it. It proves that when we raise our voices and work collaboratively to help each other we can achieve great feats in a relatively short time.

Here’s to all of you who have helped get this message out and who continue to do so day in and day out. This is only the beginning. Cheers!

Where will the jobs be?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

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Most experts believe the economy is showing signs of recovery. Officially, the Great Recession ended in June 2009. But if you were one of the 8 million people who lost their jobs or if you’re a recent college grad, the picture doesn’t look that bright, does it.

It’s not only that companies are hiring at a slower speed but also that whole industry sectors have been destroyed and certain jobs just won’t come back. In the global economy some manufacturing jobs, for example, have been lost to other markets with cheaper labor. So have jobs for people with less than a high school diploma or even for high school graduates without any college.

According to a Moody’s Analytics for TIME magazine, in the next couple of years, 37.6% of jobs will require a Bachelor’s degree or higher; 10.2% will require an Associate’s degree and another 17.5% will require some college. How are you positioned to get or keep your job?

One of the greatest problems we are facing as a nation is the mismatch of labor needs and workers’ skills. Even during the worst of the recession there were companies that couldn’t fulfill their open positions because there were few candidates with the right skill-set. People who work with technology: engineers of all kinds, artists, designers, programmers are at the top of the list for companies across the globe.

Opportunities in the professional services are also growing because as large companies have downsized they are now looking to outsource the capabilities that they don’t longer have in house. So, you may need to consider setting up your own consulting firm to serve several clients rather than seeking a full time job.

And looking beyond your own city and state may be more of a necessity than a choice as well. When you think that North Dakota has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate (a mere 3.8%) you realize that you may want to move from Detroit were the unemployment rate is anywhere between 30-50% depending on who you believe.

It’s a great time to leverage your Latino nimbleness: To become independent if you were used to full time employment, to get extra certifications and higher degrees if you notice that the available jobs require them, and to move wherever the jobs are. Keep in mind that you were raised with the ability to adjust to change, to try new roles, and to think out of the box. This is the time to make those traits work for you!

Gaining Visibility for Career Advancement

Friday, October 31st, 2008

One of the secrets to advance in your career is to gain visibility. How do you accomplish this? There are lots of strategies that will make the right people notice you for the right reasons. One of them is by attending conferences and networking with presenters and attendees alike, or even better, by participating as a speaker so everyone notices you. While you are at a conference, don’t forget to ask questions. Watch this short video for more on that.

How to Survive in this Market

Monday, October 13th, 2008

I’m sure you’ve been reading, listening and watching lots of experts share tips about what to do in this crisis. I don’t profess to have the magic wand, but I’ll add my two cents for my Latino audience.

Keep in mind that as a person with a Hispanic background who either grew up in Latin America or was raised by a family who did, you’re likely to have several traits that come very handy in times of crisis. They are the result of having experienced such unstable situations and having to adjust to changing conditions often. Some of these traits are your adaptability to change, your creativity, your ability to solve problems and your relationship-building skills. Here are a few things that you can do to showcase those traits at work:

• Come up with creative ways to cut expenses, such as sharing resources with companies or organizations in your industry.
• Conduct a brainstorming session with your teammates to discuss more effective ways to market your products or services.
• Build team spirit at a time when your company may have experienced job cuts and those of you who are left have a lot more work to do.
• Try to partner with non profit organizations or other companies to reach the same audience.
• Offer to assume a different role if you see that your job is not the most critical right now.

Remember, you have lots of built-in advantages. This is a great opportunity for you to show that you have what it takes to be a leader.

Watch your words

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

    I was at Kellari’s Parea, a wonderful Greek Bistro in Midtown Manhattan, earlier this week. I was sitting at the bar waiting for a friend to join me for dinner when I heard my name mentioned behind my back. No, seriously. The voice came from behind me.

After the second time that I heard my name I turned to see if my friend had arrived, had sat down at a table and was calling me. What would be my surprise when I saw another friend, the editor of Siempre Mujer www.siempremujer.com, with a group of her friends, talking about me!

I walked around so she didn’t see me coming and put my arm around her. I got close to her ear before she could even see who I was and I said: “I hope you’re not saying anything bad about me, because I heard you talking!” She almost died at the incredible coincidence! And yes she was talking about me in the nicest terms!

But you know what? These kinds of things happen to me (and I assume to lots of people) all the time. And I mean it: all the time. If you want proof, just read my post “Small world” and you’ll see what I mean. Once again, the episode was a great reminder that you should never talk poorly about your colleagues. If you have nothing nice to say, it’s better not to say anything! But also, a reminder that we should all be careful when we talk in public as you never really know who’s eavesdropping.

Getting inspired

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

ana-escobedo-cabral.jpgYesterday, I met Anna Escobedo Cabral at HPNG’s Latino Leadership Conference www.hpng.net.

    In case you didn’t know, she’s the Treasurer of the United States, meaning, her signature is in every one dollar bill.

      She gave a very inspiring presentation at a fabulous event that brought together around one hundred Latino professionals from all fields and industries to the Yale Club in NYC. Mrs. Escobedo Cabral spoke about her humble beginnings as the daughter of farmworkers and about the mentor who made sure she filled out her college applications when all she wanted was to get a job as soon as she finished high school.

      She spoke of the days in which she would pick up scrap metal on her way back from school so that her father could sell it, and there could be food on the table. She told us about changing elementary schools over twenty times.

      And still, she persevered. Not only did she graduate with a major in Political Science from the University of California, Davis, but she later earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Now don’t think for a moment that grad school was easy for her. She already had four children and, on occasion, she attended classes with the youngest one, who, at three, asked questions of the professors. As Mrs. Escobedo Cabral shared that her son has now graduated from MIT as a Nuclear Engineer, I can’t help thinking that some of that early exposure to education paid off.

    Her presentation was an inspiration to all of us at the conference. A reminder that Latinos can get as high as they want regardless of their beginnings.