By Nadia Farjood and Erin Vilardi
Latinas, despite being the country’s fastest-growing population, are the most underrepresented major group in American politics. Why? Because you can’t be what you can’t see. With a short supply of Latina role models and weak institutional support (think parties recruiting Hispanic leaders), Latinas are missing out on two critical elements known for increasing diversity in leadership. And when, on average, Latinas are paid only 56 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, economic inequity becomes a significant disadvantage in such a resource-driven political environment. Today, only a handful of organizations provide Latina-specific political and campaign training. So, what’s the good news? What can we do to advance Latinas who have been left out of the political system?
We’ve got some best practices from our partnership, Latinas in Leadership, a ten-part web clinics series with LatinasRepresent and VoteRunLead, featuring Latina leaders, for Latina leaders launched in October 2014. By combining tech and targeted training, we are reaching new leaders and growing the talent pool of Latina leadership.
Here’s what we’ve learned.
- Keep Resources Free and Accessible for LongTerm: Reduce economic and geographic barriers with free, online content and keep content available and evergreen to allow women to access it at their own pace,
- Latina-Specific Content, Recognize Intersectionality, and Internal Diversity: Respond directly to Latinas’ concerns, questions, and competencies and build a supportive network inclusive of the diversity within the community. Allow others to access resources from outside to showcase Latina talent.
- Inspiring Role Models from All Levels: Spotlight Latina leaders who are making waves in politics, policy, and public office from local levels to national role models.
It’s simple: Innovate. Think outside the box. Use technology to reach Latinas nationwide because. Try new tools to create a more reflective and effective democracy. Take a risk. Our digital innovations are equipping, emboldening, and energizing Latinas to vote, run, and lead and we hope you will join us in the journey.
Your first step can be to watch and then share the Latinas in Leadership web clinics!
It’s essential to the future success of our country that we have more qualified Latinas in civic leadership roles, and if you’re reading this post then the chances are pretty good that you agree. Join us and give us your feedback.
You tell us…
What did you think of the Latinas in Leadership series? What do you find the most rewarding? What are your fears about running for office? We hope a few women have popped into your head while reading this: share this with her and encourage her to run for office!