Sep 28, 2022 - News

Latinos feel alienated at work

Illustration of a woman holding an eroding briefcase

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The city's largest minority group often remains shut out of the C-suite.

The big picture: Only about 25% of Latinos say they feel fully included at their workplaces, according to a new national report from Bain & Company, a management consulting firm.

Why it matters: Feelings of alienation, such as those caused by being passed up for promotions or not being invited to crucial planning meetings, may pose problems for private companies in a competitive labor market and amid pressures to diversify staff in a changing nation.

  • 70% of Latino workers say inclusion is a critical factor when evaluating prospective employers, the Bain study found.
  • Latino workers who do not feel fully included are roughly two times more likely to quit than those who feel fully included.

By the numbers: Austin ranks 40th among the 50 largest U.S. cities in Latino executive representation, per pre-pandemic research out of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

  • Latinos in Austin are 29% of the overall workforce and hold 7% of all executive positions.
  • By comparison: San Antonio ranks 12th out of the top 50 — Latinos are 53% of the overall workforce and 20% of the city's executives, the UMass researchers found.

Zoom out: Nationally, Latinos are the fastest growing demographic, accounting for around 80% of workforce growth from 2010 to 2017.

  • They are expected to represent nearly one in three working-age Americans by 2050.

Flashback: In March we wrote about how an Austin nonprofit is pushing fellow organizations to install underrepresented people in board positions.

What they're saying: "If you're not creating pathways for Latinos or future Black executives or those historically underrepresented, you are not going to be a successful organization, because you are not going to have full support of those who can bring full creativity to the table," said Estevan Delgado, director of the LBJ School at the University of Texas' Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and former manager of the Austin Community Foundation's Hispanic Impact Fund, an initiative aimed at advancing Latino futures across Central Texas.

  • Companies increasingly talk a good game about diversity and inclusion, but "action needs to be associated with it as well," Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO Monica Muñoz Andry tells Axios.

The bottom line: "Latinos are essential, not expendable," Paul Saldaña, a founder of Hispanic Advocates and Business Leaders of Austin, tells Axios.

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