Latina executives aim to change stereotype of U.S. Hispanic women
More than 300 female Hispanic executives and high-level officials met here at Google's headquarters for a conference aiming to change the stereotype of Latinas in the United States.
The Latinas Think Big Innovation Summit came amid a raging debate about Silicon Valley's lack of diversity in both gender and race.
At Google, for example, only 30 percent of employees are women, a situation that is repeated, or is even worse, in other companies like Twitter, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft.
"My vision for Latinas Think Big is to get Latinas into important places like Columbia University and Google," said Angelica Perez-Litwin, a psychologist of Dominican descent who created the online platform as a source of influence and support for U.S. Latinas.
Perez-Litwin trusts that the platform she founded will help change the U.S. media's usual portrayal of a Latina as this sexy woman who speaks broken English, and hailed the fact that 44 percent of the participants at the Latinas Think Big event were university graduates, 10 percent of them had doctorates, 31 percent were entrepreneurs and 44 percent work in the technology field.
Among them was Eliana Murillo, head of multicultural marketing for Google, who noted that innovation demands "a healthy disrespect for the impossible."
For her part the State Department consultant on science and technology, Frances Colon, said that Latinas "are at an incredible point in the United States," with growing purchasing power, education and professional training.
But, she said, there's a long road ahead and urged young Latinas to study engineering and information technology so they'll be more competitive and earn better salaries.
Latinas Think Big also seeks to spotlight the innovative ideas of Latina businesswomen, promote the number of young Hispanics women in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while connecting them with mentors who will help them.