Limited social ties within an organization are seen as a significant barrier faced by professional Hispanics; formal and informal network channels are seen as critical to organizational success. Ibarra (1995) concluded although minorities had racially heterogeneous professional networks, they had less intimate network relationships. Hispanics and other minorities perceived as high performing were those who had forged networking relationships outside of their racial profile. Hispanics have the most to gain from this professional opportunity; once formed Hispanics are known to maintain these networks more than other minorities (Mehra, Kilduff, & Brass, 2001). Having these social ties increases the chances minorities will acquire a mentor to help support and manage their career related decisions. A broad network also enhances the opportunity for better professional opportunities and higher salaries.
Hispanics often feel that attaining similar qualifications, education, and experience still does not make them as successful as their White counterparts; this perceived discrepancy creates a sense of social and organization isolationism (Smith & Calasanti, 2005). Research shows that minorities consistently perceive unequal access to promotion and leadership opportunities in organizations; the absence of Hispanic representation at higher levels of organizations cast doubt on traditional promotional systems (Chow & Crawford, 2004). This perceived disparity is further exacerbated by the lack of Hispanic role models in leadership positions.
Most research fails to consider the unique challenges faced by minorities (Blancero & Del Campo, 2005). As noted many times on this blog, with a limited number of Hispanic professionals in key leadership roles, it is difficult for Hispanics and other minorities to find mentors with whom they can identify. Hispanics and other minorities that reach influential leadership roles provide more access to mentorship and network opportunities to succeeding generations. This access reduces the dependency on exceptional skills, outside networks – and luck.
Blancero, D.M. & Del Campo, R.G. (2005). Hispanics in the workplace: Experiences with mentoring and networking. Employment Relations Today, 32(2), 31-39.
Chow, I.H.S. & Crawford, R.B (2004). Gender, ethnic diversity, and career advancement in the workplace: The social identity perspective. S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal, 69(3), 22-39.
Ibarra, H. (1995). Race, opportunity, and diversity of social circles in managerial networks. Academy of Management Journal, 38(3), 673-703.
Mehra, A., Kilduff, M., & Brass, D.J. (2001). The social networks of high and low self-monitors: Implications for workplace performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(1), 121-146.