Author Archives: coronino

Proactive Kudos

Kudos to the Financial Services Pipeline (FSP) Initiative supported by Chicago-based financial institutions. The goal is to address the lack of diversity in Chicago’s financial services industry, particularly Latinos and African Americans. The initiative includes 16 members representing more than 30,000 professionals in Chicago’s financial service industry. FSP released findings from a report which will be utilized to develop an action plan to address the lack of diversity in its industry. While focused on one city and industry, the report’s findings can provide insights about the experiences of Latinos in other industries and regions.

In regards to career outlook, the report suggests that “Latinos indicate that they are dedicated to their careers, and are more likely than their white counterparts to indicate that career is their first priority.” However, many Latinos feel that the pace of their progression has been too slow. The report cites a “choke point” where career progression is halted, particularly into senior positions.

Hence, many Latino Executives and Senior and Managers “recognize that relationships with senior members of the industry are important for their career growth. They are more likely than whites to cite sponsorship programs as being helpful to their career and are just as likely as their white counterparts to have a mentor or sponsor within the company

One comment from an interviewee in the study noted:

There is only one thing — hire more people of different races and ethnicities. Too much hiring in the financial services industry is based on internal networks, so excludes people that aren’t traditionally part of those financial industry networks.

This is a telling comment that is common among most industries. The “who you know not what you know” barrier. These are only a few highlights that caught my eye – there are a number of good takeaways in the details.

Latinos & the Boomer Tax Facts

I often highlight how Latino communities are impacting the U.S. workforce today. But what about 20 years from now? This article via Fast Company Magazine highlights how increased birth rates, particularly in communities of color, will ultimately impact workforce trends. This trend is particularly true in Hispanic communities where the 18 and under population will continue to grow. An important point to make here – this trend is based on US born Latinos – not immigrants.  According to William Frey, who was interviewed for the article, baby boomers will be dependent and Latinos and other younger communities of color to support government supported programs. It’s a fact that mostly white boomers will need to accept:

There may be a little backlash at first because of the vast cultural differences between mostly white boomers and those born after them, “but over the long term people will adjust to this,” Frey concludes. “They are going to understand that we have job openings and we need to fill them with skilled people. Savvy business owners and corporate leaders will understand that these are the demographics of the future, and we need to make the best of it.”

Graphic via Fast Company

A Sequel to the 2015 Oscar Awards

Yup, that’s Marlon Brando playing the Mexican revolutionary, Emiliano Zapata,  in the 1952 movie Viva Zapata! A more recent example of this type of casting here. The ironic part of both examples is the typecasting that  still occurs in Hollywood.

Evidently, not much has changed in 64 years. The 2016 Oscar nominations were announced today and the lack of diversity in the major nomination categories is blaring.

For the second year in a row, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nominated an all-white group of acting nominees, passing over popular, well-reviewed performances in “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” and failing to nominate prominent actors of color in 2015 films, including Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson and Will Smith.

And then there’s this:


Like Oil and Water

I can relate to this article in the Washington Post regarding the many cultural differences within the larger Latino community. As a Mexican-American who grew up in Los Angeles, our small neighborhood was represented by several Latino communities: Cubans, Ecuadorians, Guatemaltecos, Salvadorians, Columbians, Puerto Ricans, and other cultures – including Filipinos and Vietnamese!

Those who assume all Latinos eat tacos and dance salsa should realize that most Latinos will identify with their own cultural roots first. While there are many similarities, assuming that all Latinos “are the same” is a mistake, and I see an increasing trend in our cultural self-identification.

The Rigged Admissions Game

“Students from families in the bottom economic quartile comprise only three percent of enrollment in the most competitive schools, while those from the top economic quartile comprise 72 percent” – this reported by a new Jack Kent Cooke Foundation regarding college admissions. This finding more than 10 years after selective institutions made a public commitment to increase the representation of low-income students (aka – “blind admission” strategies). Video provides an overview of key findings – report can be found here.

When Smart People Do Stupid Things

Why does Halloween bring out the stupid in people – especially smart people.

The President of the University of Louisville is a smart guy.

According to President James R. Ramsey’s official biography, he has served as “Senior Policy Advisor and State Budget Director for Kentucky and Senior Professor of economics and public policy at UofL. He has served as Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Western Kentucky University.” Dr. Ramsey’s biographical venerations go on and on, including this objective:

Dr. Ramsey also has set the tone for encouraging diversity on campus. UofL has reached or made substantial progress on all eight of its goals set in the Kentucky Plan for Equal Opportunities.

So how does Dr. Ramsey – who remember is a very smart man and president of a major university – obtain such amazing progress in diversity?

Dr. Ramsey is in the colorful serape. Others in the picture are the President’s staff – who by the way thought this was a good idea too!

Kudos to all the University of Louisville students and the student newspaper who called Dr. Ramsey on his ignorant, thoughtless, and racist behavior.

Dr. Ramsey’s initial response was to give one of those “sorry but not sorry” apologies –

“I want to personally apologize for the recent incident and any pain that it may have caused our students, faculty, staff and the community.”

Not really an apology, right? Crisis Management 101. Ding! It seems the President hasn’t learned much since the college’s last embarrassing incident.

Dr. Ramsey’s second response (after no one bought his initial mea culpa): hire more Latinos!

Yup, that’ll fix it.

Okay, I’ve had my fun.

Lesson. For those who think bigoted barriers don’t exist for people of color and women, take a look at a prime example right here.

Oh, Those Annoying False Narratives

One of the more annoying arguments in the immigration debate is that undocumented immigrants coming to this country take jobs away and have a negative effect on the economy.  These recurring arguments make terrific sound bites and usually appeal to the emotional and uninformed voter, especially during hard economic times.  And yet these are the false viewpoints that still guide today’s immigration policy debate.

Over the years there have been numerous studies which debunk these false narratives. Here’s another by the Urban Institute.

In short, this study and others demonstrate that immigrants help to fill gaps in our labor market, immigrants complement rather than replace existing workers, and increase, not lower, wages and productivity.

The Urban Institute’s study again helps to quash the notion that immigrants are “stealing” American jobs.  In fact, as the study points out, many low skilled immigrants and native workers aren’t competing for the same jobs.  If this isn’t enough evidence, a recent study by PEW suggests that immigrants are “much more likely than U.S. foreign workers to be self-employed.” From a Latino perspective, immigrants were nearly twice as likely as U.S. born Latinos to be self-employed.  So in other words, the PEW study suggests that immigrants are in fact job creators (aka entrepreneurs) not job takers!

So don’t fall into believing this overused false narrative.

And while it seems that immigration reform won’t happen anytime soon, when it does, let’s hope it’s developed based on facts – not fiction.

No Equity in Sight

If you’ve not had a chance to read through Fast Company’s Strong Female Leader series, I’d encourage you to do so. Gender equity topics regarding leadership, pay, and entrepreneurship paint a picture of how much more work is still needed in the corporate world.

A recent addition examines the gender pay gap by industry. Consider the following statement and then review the graphic below.

There is no industry where women earn equal to or than men overall, even when controlling for all measured compensable factors.

Graphic via