Tag Archives: Talent

Where’s Your Future Workforce? Easy as 1 + 1

Matty Iglesias reveals how the people in our work environments are getting older:

… the share of people over the age of 55 who are in the labor force has pretty steadily risen. Put that together with population aging, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the share of the workforce that’s composed of people over 55 should steadily rise over time.

I’ll add another two variables to this mix: the sluggish growth of the U.S. labor force overall, and continued growth of a young Latino workforce.

It’s remarkable how many companies still don’t understand this simple equation.

Graphic via Slate

Educating the Future

The Latino talent “pipeline” begins with education.

And as more Latinos enter colleges and universities, many in higher education still aren’t ready to manage the growth of Latinos on their campuses, including how to graduate them in higher numbers.

The Chronicle examines Latino demographic shifts and warns schools to pay attention:

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, The Chronicle examined by state and county the population from age 18, or zero years from traditional college age, down to age 4, or 14 years away. Younger age groups are strikingly smaller in New England, as in Rockingham County, N.H., where 18-year-olds number almost 4,500 and 4-year-olds just 2,600, a difference of more than 40 percent. With fewer young white children in almost every state, many counties’ younger age groups would be vastly smaller if not for much larger numbers of Hispanic children.

CollegeGrowth

Overcoming the Odds

It’s hard to imagine other Supreme Court justices being as open about their lives as Sonia Sotomayor.  In this interview via NPR, Justice Sotomayor discusses how her alcoholic father drank himself to death.  She mentions how a close cousin ended up committing suicide as a result of years of drugs.  Sotomayor discusses how she grew up poor, being raised by a single mother, and how through persistence and hard work, she ultimately became the first Latina to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Frankly, this upbringing is commonplace amongst our community.  It’s unfortunate.  While many might use this as an excuse, she used her experiences as a motivation to rise above the circumstances of her life.

Image via NPR

Living in a Bubble

I spent the K-12 years of my education surrounded by other Latinos. Diversity, as I understood it then, occurred when a non-Latino student attended our school. On occasions when a “White” student arrived, I clearly remember the challenges he or she faced in their new environment: different neighborhood, people, culture, language, and school. In many ways, it was like attending school in a different country. Being kids and/or teenagers at the time, I’m sure we didn’t make their transition any easier.

My college years in El Paso paralleled those that came before. The college and city was well over 70% Latino. Many students were Mexican Nationals who crossed the border from Cuidad Juarez daily. I was enclosed in a bi-national campus packed with other Latinos. Every cultural facet of being Latino could easily be found, but I was living in a bubble.

The bubble burst when I accepted my “first college job” and moved to Dallas. Everything changed. The fast-track management development program included only one or two other Latinos and a handful of African Americans. Gone was the familiar cultural safety net which provided support, acceptance, and confidence. The sureness that propelled me through college in less than 4 years evaporated. I suddenly felt like the new “white” students did so many years ago. I lasted only 18 months.

Karma is a bitch.

My story is not new. It’s experienced by Latino and non-Latino students every day. However, experiences like these are rarely captured and documented, especially not on film. I came across this article in The Atlantic today which focuses on the documentary, American Promise. The independent film captures the experiences of two African-American boys, Idris Brewster and his friend Seun Summers, who enter a prominent private school of mostly white students. Spanning over 13 years, the film captured the cultural and educational challenges of the two boys. More importantly, it examines how diversity has evolved to mean different things to different groups of people.

The author makes this point:

I’d argue, though, that parents of color aren’t compelled by “diversity” as much as they are by reality. Independent school administrators may be invested in preparing white students for an increasingly multicultural future (or multicultural present, since children of color now outnumber non-Hispanic white children). But parents of color like the families in American Promise are more concerned with ensuring their kids’ success in the still predominantly white spaces of the present. The job market is obviously strained for everyone, however, it continues to be remarkably stratified by race

Are Latino Leaders Different?

Many people would argue yes.

Several Latino thought leaders argue that Latino leaders have innate leadership characteristics which make them effective leaders.  In her new book on Latino leadership, Juana Bordas argues Latino leaders are inherently more collaborative, inclusive, and community oriented. Results from my dissertation and article on leadership and emotional intelligence parallel Ms. Bordas’ contention. Why? Many of these leadership traits are cultural. It’s in our DNA.

It’s the same reason you see Latinos over-represented on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Find Ms. Bordas new book, The Power of Latino Leadership, via Amazon (not affiliated).

The Educational & Earnings Divide

This is a great piece by The Atlantic regarding race, gender, and the workforce.  An interesting comparison of participation rate of Latinos, women, and other demographic groups. The disparities among Latinos and African Americans can still be attributed to one underlying issue, education:

Blacks and Hispanics, who make up about one-quarter of the workforce, represent 44 percent of the country’s high school dropouts and just 15 percent of its bachelor’s earners. Until we can close the difference between those numbers, it’s unlikely that the workforce’s unyielding racial stratification will improve.

Graphic via The Atlantic

The Road Less Traveled

A recent California study shows Latinos disproportionally attend community colleges after graduating from high school. Why? The study points to several challenges faced by Latinos:

Previous research has found the concentration of Latinos in the public two-year sector to be attributable to many factors, including the relatively low cost, geographic accessibility, and curricular and program flexibility of community colleges (e.g., Crisp & Nora, 2010; Nora & Crisp, 2009). Researchers have also pointed to systemic disparities in K-12 school quality experienced by Latinos and the consequences that attending disadvantaged and underresourced schools have on Latino student college readiness (Nora & Crisp, 2009).