I’m often asked by Latino professionals what the ONE activity they can do to help increase the representation of Latino talent in leadership positions. Obviously, there are many things you and I could suggest. However, when it involves assisting Latino professionals, I always recommend mentoring. Thinking back to the start of my career, I found it challenging to find a mentor that understood my background and experiences. Given my non-traditional educational and career path, I probably wouldn’t have found anyone!
Aside from the counsel, support, and guidance, mentors can also lift as they climb.
Remember that mentoring doesn’t simply involve encouragement; it must also involve career (and leadership) development. Although some organizations have made diversity a priority, many have yet to strike a diverse balance at their senior-levels. There are many reasons for the lack of representation, one of which can be associated with mentoring. People that reach leadership positions are there in part because of a mentor: someone that’s “connected.” Research demonstrates that Hispanics and other minorities are not mentored as much as other groups. This is primarily due to the lack of diversity within senior-level positions. And so it goes – the continual loop.
So ask yourselves: have you created opportunities for Latinos? Have you made the effort to lift as you climb?