Monthly Archives: July 2012

Latino PhDs: Growing but Still Underrepresented

Good article via Bloomberg regarding the increase of Latino PhDs over the last decade:

Hispanics with doctorates jumped 161 percent from 1990 to 2010, almost double the non-Hispanic rate of 90 percent, according to U.S. Census data.

There are programs around the country that are making this happen. Kudos to them.

While this is a great trend, let’s put this statistic in some context. Latinos still represented less than four percent of the total number of PhDs and Doctorates awarded in 2009. Additionally, higher education is still dominated by white faculty members with Latinos representing only four percent of faculty members nationwide.

Like I said, good news – but a lot of work remains.


How Much are Latinos Adding to the Student Loan Bubble?

With many warning of the impending student loan bubble, here’s a great piece via regarding Sallie Mae’s 2012 “How America Pays for College.” Once again, Latinos are less likely than other demographic groups to borrow money to pay for college. How do they offset the cost? According to the study, more Latino college students will live at home or work more hours.

As the article correctly cites, because Latinos are often less experienced than other groups in the essentials of applying and paying for college, loans are often worrisome and an unknown liability:

It’s a new experience for them [Latinos] altogether, transitioning from a high school senior to a college freshman. Adding on top of that experience having to borrow to go to school is frightening.”

“Elite” Colleges Becoming Less Diverse

A new report by Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis examined race, income and enrollment patterns at top-tier universities from 1982 to 2004. The study found that Latino and Black students remain significantly underrepresented at the most highly selective colleges and universities:

Black and Hispanic students are dramatically underrepresented in the most selective colleges, even after controlling for family income. The probability of enrolling in a highly selective college is five times greater for white students than black students. Even after controlling for income, white students are two to three times as likely as black students to gain admission to highly selective colleges.

The “Non-Essentials” of Success?

When it comes to jobs, we’re in a “buyer’s market.” Not earth shattering news. With so many people out of work, companies can hold out to find the best and most experienced talent. They can literally wait until they find the perfect fit.

When the economy takes a downturn, it’s probably not a surprise that human resource budgets are the first to get cut in corporate America. Training and development departments are usually the first to get hit. Even in good times, similar HR programs such as affinity groups (ERGs), leadership programs, and diversity initiatives must defend and justify any sort of budget allocation.

But according to a book by Peter Capelli, Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, this is lack of funding is a strategy more organizations are using to improve their long-term bottom lines – particularly in these times.

By hiring experienced and well-trained people from other organizations, companies are able to reduce their training costs. And while some investment has returned, budgets haven’t returned to “pre-great recession” levels. Why so skimpy? Capelli ties it to retention. Why invest time and money in training new employees if they’ll leave within 4 years anyway?

It’s an interesting perspective.

Update: Here’s a piece via NPR that discusses Professor Capelli’s thoughts.

Happy 3rd Birthday!

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years to the day that I started this blog (formerly Hispanic Talent Memo). Looking back at my first post, I had no idea where this journey would take me but suffice to say it’s been nothing short of extraordinary.

I appreciate so much your support and feedback over the last three years. Here’s to the beginning of year four!

Gracias a todos!


The Global War for Talent: It’s On

Despite current economic and employment woes, the long-term global forecast for an educated workforce is positive – the problem will be if organizations can find enough of them.  The latest McKinsey Global Institute report (The World at Work) provides an excellent overview of the labor force on a global scale. Latin America faces opportunities and challenges: a growing labor force, increased trade, and improved productivity but an aging population.

Number of the Year: 764! Woo Hoo!

…that’s the increase of  professional Latinos employed by the Federal government from 2010 to 2011.

 Hispanic employment in professional occupations increased by 764 to 24,907 in FY 2011 from 24,143 in FY 2010. Hispanics represented 5.1 percent of all Federal employees in this occupational category in 2011, the same as in 2010.

Bonus! Latinas represent 3.3 of the Federal workforce.

The latest (and dismal) numbers about Latinos in the Federal workforce can be found here.

It’s the Culture Stupid!

Lauren Formalarie at has two great posts (here and here) regarding cross-cultural corporate social networking. Given the multinational reach of many organizations, any external or internal corporate social networking strategy needs to address differences in culture.

Depending on the level of diversity a company is trying to reach, cross-cultural research could be a massive assignment. Also, testing the theories using small test groups throughout the research process can be a lot more beneficial than creating errors publicly.

Organizations attempting to use social media platforms to support human capital initiatives (e.g. recruitment, retainment, inclusion, affinity groups, etc.), should take the same advice. Even organizations with domestic operations will likely have various cultures represented in their workplaces.

Bottom line: do your research!