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The Time of the Latina is Arriving

LatinaLista — In only three years, by 2010, more than 40% of the US workforce will reach retirement age.

What does that mean for Latinas?

Well, according to a HispanicBusiness article, that potential mass exodus, or at the least, moderate exodus is going to leave doors open and offices unfilled – just waiting for Latinas in the workforce to fill them.

Latinas will have a headstart in that department.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The percentage of Hispanic females in the workforce will increase from 55.3% in 2005 to 60.5 in 2020.

Meanwhile, the bureau says the percentage for Hispanic men will decline from 80.1% to 76.9.

The participation rates for white men will drop from 72.9 to 69.4, and decline slightly for white women from 59.5 to 58.8.

Hispanic women who work full time earn 89 percent of what men earn each week, compared to 81 percent for women overall.

And the news just isn’t good in the labor department but in education as well.

Between 2000 and 2004, the number of Hispanic women entering college increased 22 percent, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac. Other increases were 16 percent for Hispanic men, 9.5 percent for white women and 16 percent for Hispanic men.

Latina entrepreneurs have grabbed headlines over the past several years as being the single biggest group that are owners/founders of their own businesses. Yet, when it comes to management positions in corporate America, where are Latinas?

About 27 percent of Hispanic women work in management, professional, and related occupations compared with 30 percent of African-American women, 39 percent of white women and 45 percent of Asian women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The good news is Latinas are making inroads in other areas. Latinas who own their own businesses and have leadership positions in academia and community development organizations are increasingly being considered for corporate boards – but Latinas still have a long way to go.

Hispanic men account for most of the 70 Hispanics who hold the 100 board seats among Fortune 500 companies, according to the HispanTelligence® January 2007 Boardroom Elite report. There were 67 Hispanics on 96 seats in 2006, and 69 on 95 seats in 2005.

However, with such a future on the horizon that is “for-the-taking” by Latinas, there needs to be a campaign to make young Latinas not only realize the importance of an education, but how much harder their future is without one.

And a separate campaign to make older Latinas, of every age, realize it’s never too late to accomplish your sueños.

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