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Real Stories

Latina, but not too Latina please.

Yesterday was awful. My boss told me I had to soften my communication approach.

Many times, in my career I have been perceived in a way that negatively reflects on me for having characteristics that are directly correlated to being Latina. I have been told I am loud, to straighten my hair, to simply not be so opiniated.

As a follow up to the conversation I had with my boss, I asked if I could be given examples to where I was going wrong. Examples she could not come up with.  Because after all, the clients I was servicing had nothing, but amazing feedback and my performance was never at question.

This is when I realized, I was merely being asked to be more white- to be more like them.

I thought to myself, how often must this happen to us? Is this why there are so few girls that look like me in corporate? So many questions swirled in my mind as I let the tears drop. I sat in my pity for an embarrassing amount of time before I came to the following conclusion: as much as these companies preach diversity, are they even aware of what diversity looks like outside of data and textbooks? And the only answer I could come up with is likely no. Because there is no way that a leader could tell a Latina woman to be softer and in the same breath praise her for breaking into a market (LATAM) they knew nothing about. It isn’t my job to make them comfortable.

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