CHAPTER 3

LATINO CULTURAL ASPECTS

When differences associated with ethnic diversity are not distinguished and valued, people tend to engage in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination (Carr-Ruffino, 2003). Such has been the experience of many Latinos in the workplace. Over 54 percent of Latinos indicate that they have seen an increase in discrimination against them (Suro and Escobar, 2006). These Latinos felt that in the past five years, they have experienced discrimination including not being hired or promoted for a job and being called names or insulted. A similar study (Pew Hispanic Center and Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004) indicated that the vast majority of Latinos surveyed feel that discrimination against Latinos is a problem in schools (75 percent) and in the workplace (78 percent).

Along with discrimination, Latinos are also the victim of common negative stereotypes including being perceived as being too passive and lacking the conviction necessary to be a good manager or being too emotional to fill leadership positions (Carr-Ruffino, 2003). These stereotypes often are the result of a lack of understanding about how cultural principles and traditions common in the Latino community impact actions and behaviors. This is why it is so critical for leaders to broaden and deepen their understanding of Latino cultural characteristics. Doing so will not only help to create a more inclusive workplace, it will also enhance productivity and increase the probability of employee ...

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