Little research has gone into the experience of Latina women in the United States workforce. Flores and Hondagneu-Sotelo authored a compelling article focusing on the social dynamics impacting Latina graduates in entering the teaching profession. Their research examines how gendered family dynamics, financial constraints and the links between race, gender and class impact the pathway of Latinas teaching careers (Flores & Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2014). The scholars conducted 40 interviews with Latina teachers, used statistical data and analyzed research trends to support their findings (Flores & Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2014).Flores and Hondagneu-Sotelo call out and examine the gendered and racialized nature of viewing Latina women as familistic or ruled by family values and solidarity and working to preserve family over the individual; a common Latino cultural pathology burdensome to the women of these families (2014). The importance of this notion is the reality that teaching is primarily viewed as feminine and also aligns with a logistical schedule to promote this familistic ideology (Flores & Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2014). Additionally, they found Latina women seek to work in the teaching setting to assist in the advancement of minority students and those devalued by racial and socio-economic barriers (Flores & Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2014). The article stated some Latina women found teaching to be a profession with less racial and class discrimination than other professions and compared this to studies with the same results amongst Black women (Flores & Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2014).A career in teaching is much more attainable than one in law or medicine from a financial and overt discrimination standpoint and another factor influencing Latina women (Flores & Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2014). It is also in high demand for bilingual and minorities to enter the teaching profession due to the shift in student demographics, so Latina women are heavily recruited for these positions (Flores & Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2014). Though this article did not directly address Latina womens experiences on the job, it scrutinized several factors contributing to the rise in their presence in the teaching profession. Most interesting is the notion or assumption they will be more protected from work place discrimination in this field which speaks volumes regarding their impression of diversity management in the workplace. Based on this reality, I would encourage more research to be done on the actual workplace experience of Latina women in teaching. It is ignorant to assume that because a significant number of Latina women are in the field there are not still problems present with social, cultural or structural systems in place.
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