STFU, Conservatives

I did what Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, encourages women to do in her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. In a self-proclaimed feminist movement to address current gender disparities in leadership, Sandberg aims to galvanize women with a call to action to lean in and step up in the workplace.

I did step up. I leaned in at staff team meetings, sat at the table and contributed to the dialogue. I explored and pursued research opportunities. I asked for mentorship. I scheduled meetings with key players, and asked for their support and guidance in moving my research career forward.

But leaning in has its limitations for women in the workplace, and especially for Latinas.

When Latinas lean in at work, they are often examined through a lens blurred with ethnic prejudices, and socially prescribed roles and expectations. God forbid she has a Spanish accent…

More than once, a lost patient or hospital staff wandering down the hall came to my office door to ask for direction. “Are you the secretary?” they would ask. “No, I’m Dr. Perez, how can I help you?” I’d reply. My title was often met by a subtle facial expression of surprise.

My bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and Ph.D. has raised questions on the role that affirmative action must have played in my academic achievements. In her memoir, Justice Sonia Sotomayor describes a moment when her academic merits were credited to affirmative action, despite graduating summa cum laude from Princeton University. This perpetual attribution of Latinas’ achievements to tokenism is real in the workplace, and underestimates what accomplished Latinas bring to the table.

An assertive Latina at work risks being seen as “difficult” or “opinionated.” A confident voice level makes her “confrontational” or “loud.” We are expected to be nice and supportive, and less so leaders. These social perceptions and ethnic biases form an important part of the organizational barriers that women, and especially ethnic/racial women, face in the workplace. This, of course, is in addition to the organizational culture and policies that are blatantly gender biased when it comes to promoting women leadership.

Angélica Pérez-Litwin, “Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ Message Not Enough for Women, Especially Professional Latinas,” Huffington Post 3/18/13 (via racialicious)
  1. phantom-atom reblogged this from racialicious
  2. thepointswepass reblogged this from femmanisting
  3. scattrdglitter reblogged this from racialicious
  4. femmanisting reblogged this from thereisonlyoneofus
  5. thereisonlyoneofus reblogged this from racialicious
  6. dreignus reblogged this from racialicious
  7. eclecticeclipse reblogged this from racialicious
  8. 3thecaptain reblogged this from racialicious
  9. 218poundingtons reblogged this from racialicious
  10. cheappoet reblogged this from iam-mirror
  11. iam-mirror reblogged this from racialicious
  12. saltlimeychile reblogged this from racialicious
  13. theycallme--b reblogged this from wespeakfortheearth
  14. sulthind reblogged this from stories-yet-to-be-written
  15. notyouraveragechica reblogged this from yourpersonalcheerleader
  16. stories-yet-to-be-written reblogged this from ohthewomanity and added:
    “I did what Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, encourages women to do in her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to...
  17. justwantogethere reblogged this from yourpersonalcheerleader
  18. jellybean-jones reblogged this from spaced--cadette
  19. spaced--cadette reblogged this from angryraging
  20. angryraging reblogged this from susurrations
  21. ohthewomanity reblogged this from yourpersonalcheerleader
  22. yourpersonalcheerleader reblogged this from susurrations
  23. susurrations reblogged this from bravenewgirls
  24. ofhereandnow reblogged this from racialicious
  25. brown-queer reblogged this from racialicious
  26. meanheans reblogged this from assassinregrets
blog comments powered by Disqus