Latinx Students

Professionals share their experiences in the workplace and efforts to meet the needs of the Latinx community.

Description of the video:

ERIKA: I think Latino employees contribute
a lot to the workplace, specifically
during open enrollment.
Just making sure we have that personal touch with the Latino
community, we're going out there speaking their language,
kind of knowing their traditions,
having that personal touch with them.
Not only that, being available to answer phone calls,
answer questions.
Having bilingual nurses that can really understand them,
not only at a health care level, but also at a personal level.
Unique Health Care Needs
ESTEBAN: Latinos have unique health care needs.
Overall, they're a healthier population
and they're a younger population.
But we know that when they get a chronic condition,
for instance, that they have higher morbidity and mortality,
which means that they have higher
complications, and unfortunately, higher death
So it's important for us to be able to develop
products and services that are culturally competent that
are meeting the needs to make them healthier.
MATY: We are fully committed to our work.
Commitment to Work
We have work ethic that comes from years and years of trying
to bridge the gap between where we come from
and how we're going to establish ourselves
as strong forces of work for the organizations that we serve.
So that loyalty and that commitment
brings the dedication to what we do.
ROSALIE: One of the things that really has helped us
Understanding Latino Needs
throughout the years is understanding what
the specific needs of Latinos are, down to, again,
going back to the very rarely going to the doctor,
maybe feeling like it's not needed
or we're going to try another way.
And employees that are here within the company
allow us to be able to tap into them as resources,
and really get an idea of what is that culture like,
what are some of the preventing factors.
Preventing Factors
ROBERT: I think growing up, you never went to the doctor
unless you were seriously ill, and that's a stigma
that we have to overcome.
And I think as a culture, we've done
a better job of doing that.
My dad's a great example.
When we were growing up, he would never go to the doctor
unless he couldn't physically get up and go to work.
Now we've tried to position it as, don't do it
for yourself as much as you're doing it for the family.
We want to make sure that he's around for all
these great special occasions that we
can celebrate as a family, and he's really
starting to come around.
America Ferrera talks about the importance of sticking to your roots and owning your identity because that is what makes you unique, different, and powerful.

Description of the video:

On the red tiles in my family's den
I would dance and sing to the made-for-TV movie "Gypsy,"
starring Bette Midler.
(Singing) "I had a dream.
A wonderful dream, papa."
I would sing it with the urgency and the burning desire of a nine-year-old
who did, in fact, have a dream.
My dream was to be an actress.
And it's true that I never saw anyone who looked like me
in television or in films,
and sure, my family and friends and teachers all constantly warned me
that people like me didn't make it in Hollywood.
But I was an American.
I had been taught to believe that anyone could achieve anything,
regardless of the color of their skin,
the fact that my parents immigrated from Honduras,
the fact that I had no money.
I didn't need my dream to be easy,
I just needed it to be possible.
And when I was 15,
I got my first professional audition.
It was a commercial for cable subscriptions
or bail bonds, I don't really remember.
What I do remember is that the casting director asked me,
"Could you do that again, but just this time, sound more Latina."
"Um, OK.
So you want me to do it in Spanish?" I asked.
"No, no, do it in English, just sound Latina."
"Well, I am a Latina, so isn't this what a Latina sounds like?"
There was a long and awkward silence,
and then finally,
"OK, sweetie, never mind, thank you for coming in, bye!"
It took me most of the car ride home to realize that by "sound more Latina"
she was asking me to speak in broken English.
And I couldn't figure out why the fact
that I was an actual, real-life, authentic Latina
didn't really seem to matter.
Anyway, I didn't get the job.
I didn't get a lot of the jobs people were willing to see me for:
the gang-banger's girlfriend,
the sassy shoplifter,
pregnant chola number two.
These were the kinds of roles that existed for someone like me.
Someone they looked at and saw as too brown, too fat,
too poor, too unsophisticated.
These roles were stereotypes
and couldn't have been further from my own reality
or from the roles I dreamt of playing.
I wanted to play people who were complex and multidimensional,
people who existed in the center of their own lives.
Not cardboard cutouts that stood in the background of someone else's.
But when I dared to say that to my manager --
that's the person I pay to help me find opportunity --
his response was,
"Someone has to tell that girl she has unrealistic expectations."
And he wasn't wrong.
I mean, I fired him, but he wasn't wrong.
Because whenever I did try to get a role that wasn't a poorly written stereotype,
I would hear,
"We're not looking to cast this role diversely."
Or, "We love her, but she's too specifically ethnic."
Or, "Unfortunately, we already have one Latino in this movie."
I kept receiving the same message again and again and again.
That my identity was an obstacle I had to overcome.
And so I thought,
"Come at me, obstacle.
I'm an American. My name is America.
I trained my whole life for this, I'll just follow the playbook,
I'll work harder."
And so I did, I worked my hardest
to overcome all the things that people said were wrong with me.
I stayed out of the sun so that my skin wouldn't get too brown,
I straightened my curls into submission.
I constantly tried to lose weight,
I bought fancier and more expensive clothes.
All so that when people looked at me,
they wouldn't see a too fat, too brown, too poor Latina.
They would see what I was capable of.
And maybe they would give me a chance.
And in an ironic twist of fate,
when I finally did get a role that would make all my dreams come true,
it was a role that required me to be exactly who I was.
Ana in "Real Women Have Curves"
was a brown, poor, fat Latina.
I had never seen anyone like her, anyone like me,
existing in the center of her own life story.
I traveled throughout the US
and to multiple countries with this film
where people, regardless of their age, ethnicity, body type,
saw themselves in Ana.
A 17-year-old chubby Mexican American girl
struggling against cultural norms to fulfill her unlikely dream.
In spite of what I had been told my whole life,
I saw firsthand that people actually did want to see stories about people like me.
And that my unrealistic expectations
to see myself authentically represented in the culture
were other people’s expectations, too.
"Real Women Have Curves"
was a critical, cultural and financial success.
"Great," I thought, "We did it!
We proved our stories have value.
Things are going to change now."
But I watched as very little happened.
There was no watershed.
No one in the industry was rushing to tell more stories
about the audience that was hungry and willing to pay to see them.
Four years later, when I got to play Ugly Betty,
I saw the same phenomenon play out.
"Ugly Betty" premiered in the US to 16 million viewers
and was nominated for 11 Emmys in its first year.
But in spite of "Ugly Betty's" success,
there would not be another television show
led by a Latina actress
on American television for eight years.
It's been 12 years
since I became the first and only Latina
to ever win an Emmy in a lead category.
That is not a point of pride.
That is a point of deep frustration.
Not because awards prove our worth,
but because who we see thriving in the world
teaches us how to see ourselves,
how to think about our own value,
how to dream about our futures.
And anytime I begin to doubt that,
I remember that there was a little girl, living in the Swat Valley of Pakistan.
And somehow, she got her hands on some DVDs
of an American television show
in which she saw her own dream of becoming a writer reflected.
In her autobiography, Malala wrote,
"I had become interested in journalism
after seeing how my own words could make a difference
and also from watching the "Ugly Betty" DVDs
about life at an American magazine."
For 17 years of my career,
I have witnessed the power our voices have
when they can access presence in the culture.
I've seen it.
I've lived it, we've all seen it.
In entertainment, in politics,
in business, in social change.
We cannot deny it -- presence creates possibility.
But for the last 17 years,
I've also heard the same excuses
for why some of us can access presence in the culture
and some of us can't.
Our stories don't have an audience,
our experiences won't resonate in the mainstream,
our voices are too big a financial risk.
Just a few years ago, my agent called
to explain to me why I wasn't getting a role in a movie.
He said, "They loved you
and they really, really do want to cast diversely,
but the movie isn't financeable until they cast the white role first."
He delivered the message with a broken heart
and with a tone that communicated, "I understand how messed up this is."
But nonetheless, just like hundreds of times before,
I felt the tears roll down my face.
And the pang of rejection rise up in me
and then the voice of shame scolding me,
"You are a grown woman, stop crying over a job."
I went through this process for years of accepting the failure as my own
and then feeling deep shame that I couldn't overcome the obstacles.
But this time, I heard a new voice.
A voice that said, "I'm tired.
I've had enough."
A voice that understood
my tears and my pain were not about losing a job.
They were about what was actually being said about me.
What had been said about me my whole life
by executives and producers
and directors and writers and agents and managers
and teachers and friends and family.
That I was a person of less value.
I thought sunscreen and straightening irons
would bring about change in this deeply entrenched value system.
But what I realized in that moment
was that I was never actually asking the system to change.
I was asking it to let me in, and those aren't the same thing.
I couldn't change what a system believed about me,
while I believed what the system believed about me.
And I did.
I, like everyone around me,
believed that it wasn't possible for me to exist in my dream as I was.
And I went about trying to make myself invisible.
What this revealed to me was that it is possible
to be the person who genuinely wants to see change
while also being the person whose actions keep things the way they are.
And what it's led me to believe is that change isn't going to come
by identifying the good guys and the bad guys.
That conversation lets us all off the hook.
Because most of us are neither one of those.
Change will come
when each of us has the courage
to question our own fundamental values and beliefs.
And then see to it that our actions lead to our best intentions.
I am just one of millions of people
who have been told that in order to fulfill my dreams,
in order to contribute my talents to the world
I have to resist the truth of who I am.
I for one, am ready to stop resisting
and to start existing as my full and authentic self.
If I could go back and say anything
to that nine-year-old, dancing in the den, dreaming her dreams,
I would say,
my identity is not my obstacle.
My identity is my superpower.
Because the truth is,
I am what the world looks like.
You are what the world looks like.
Collectively, we are what the world actually looks like.
And in order for our systems to reflect that,
they don't have to create a new reality.
They just have to stop resisting the one we already live in.
Thank you.
Gina Elizabeth Moreno talks about some tips for women in STEM.

Description of the video:

I never experienced what it was like to
be a minority until I left Oh Paso
moving out of the states for northern
states made me realize that I was
literally one in 50 female Hispanic
engineer coming back to El Paso made me
think a lot about this and made me want
to do some research as to why I was one
in 50 the most recent statistics tell a
story and that is that we're losing our
girls interest starting from middle
school their interest in science
technology engineering and math we are
failing in bringing and keeping women in
the field this this prevents us from
building groundbreaking innovation in
our world's most biggest challenges like
infrastructure space like space
exploration and much more so starting
from the beginning what affects a
woman's career choice - in order to
understand this we have to take a
holistic approach a systems engineering
approach yes you have the girl in the
center but around her or a set of
systemic influences that guide her to
this choice she doesn't do it alone some
influences are bigger than others but in
the end she doesn't do it alone so now
that we know this what can we do as
women and as a society to bring more
women to stem keep them and make them
prevail in leadership the first thing we
can do is foster the girls mindset we
don't want to be fostering the fixed
mindset the fixed mindset is a belief
that you are born with certain traits
and they become your characteristics
it's who you are you can't change it the
girls might sit on the other side which
is the one that we're trying to foster
here is the belief that you're born with
certain traits but you can change them
and develop them and develop them
this creates a love of learning and
resilience that is essential for great
accomplishment and success so we need to
start fostering things that foster the
girls mindset because it creates a bad
pattern for women
see when women believe that they are
method at maths for example in math but
at science they actually will score
lower in their Max math exams so we
don't want this as a Latino households
we need to stop embracing phrases that
trigger the fixed mindset such as no
mijo - no es bueno para las
multiplication essay or no mikata known
as sister para la cocina even if has
nothing to do with matter science
you are still fostering the wrong
mindset the second thing we need to do
is add more storytelling to stem a big
reason why girls don't come to stem is
because they believe it doesn't align
with their desire to make an impact in
the world and make a change I remember
when I was little I used to think yo
quiero ser una loca tora para curar mi
familia ya u da de mis amigos I was
failing to see that there are many other
careers that can help our communities
and especially our families so teachers
can have an impact professors at
university level courses can have an
impact when they teach them by not
simply explaining simple technical tasks
but explaining the broader social
impacts that our careers can have
through their own experience
this can help girls create their love
and reason to be instant these are the
passions that carry us through our
academic and professional careers this
can help girls who can't get away from
their phones realize that that runs from
science and technology or the girls who
love collecting stones that she can love
to develop a career in metallurgy
engineering or material science or my
personal one that numbers on a sheet of
paper can make a difference in a
person's life and make their jobs easier
through Industrial Engineering SEM is
far away from needing people who are
just about the facts and numbers I know
all of my engineering friends joined
engineering for a reason
like for example studying mechanical
engineering or biomedical engineering to
learn how to make human processes to
help human amputees around the world
are the type of things that give us
passion and fire or soul the next thing
we need to do is give a platform for
women leaders in stem so thank you TEDx
for letting me doing this but really we
need to realize that our female role
models in stem they're just regular
girls that yeah we might have a passion
for math and science and technology but
we might also have other passions like
dancing for example I remember
performing in this very stage or that we
might also love doing makeup and spend
too much time watching YouTube tutorials
on them but honestly the fact is that
we're just regular people and we have to
portray that we can all hold multiple
identities so that makes it easier and
takes the pressure away from women in
industry yeah we don't have to try hard
to fit in with our mill peers where our
unique person and girl you shine that
light because that light is what helps
you stand out
honestly it's what's helped me get here
where I am and stand out to find a job
and different fortune 500 companies so I
think it works but building a platform
also helps us find other women so we can
connect or share our struggles share our
lessons learn to share our tips and
experiences or opportunities we didn't
know existed so bringing more women in
the picture doesn't only mean more women
and SEM and means more women priority in
the workplace and means we can create
solutions that to to make groundbreaking
innovations that we couldn't do so
before so we need to continue to fund
and be engaged with organizations such
as my ship Cassie sweet wise and others
because these are the type of
opportunities that makes us leaders
these are the type of opportunities that
lets us be role models
I remember being engaged in robotics
teams for little girls and honestly it's
been one of the most rewarding
experiences when I hear a little girl
say yo quiero ser como tu con los a
Grande these type of opportunities makes
us leaders because leaders are not those
who are in power
but those who empower others thank you

"Looking back on my career journey, I wish I had known that there is no single perfect path to success. Despite entering undergrad with a clear vision, my career trajectory has been anything but linear...Success isn't about following a predetermined plan but embracing risks and carving a unique path."

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