A new survey by People en Español with Lieberman Research Worldwide uncovered what many of us Latinas already know: that when it comes to our lives in the office, we can’t be ourselves.
The study, titled Latina@Work, included nearly 1,000 women ages 25 to 54 and revealed the truth behind Latinas wanting to be themselves at work but balancing two opposing identities: who they are in the office and who they are at home.
Most of the women in the survey, or 80%, agreed with the statement, “At work, I want to be seen as who I really am, including being Latina.” But because they want to succeed albeit in an environment that’s relatively unfamiliar to them, 31% of Latinas dressed more conservatively than their coworkers. Thirty-five percent even believed that something as minor as their hairstyles could determine their success at work.
With Latinas fighting perceptions in the workplace and “breaking cultural barriers” on their families’ behalf, it’s no wonder they may not feel entirely comfortable in either place. “Our Latina@Work study highlights new insights depicting the struggle faced by today’s Latinas as they battle disparate perceptions, overwhelming stereotypes and pre-conceived notions in a corporate environment,” said People en Español Brand Sales Director Monique Manso. So while the study doesn’t prescribe any fixes, it does lay “the foundation for a critical conversation among corporations and brands around the success, equality and inclusion of Latinas in the workplace.” And that’s a real place to start.