4 Ways for Minority Moms to Get Ahead at Work

It's more important than ever to stand out at work. Diversity and inclusion leaders share simple but powerful ways for parents to do just that.

mother holding son and laptop work from home
Don’t stop hustling, Mami: You’ve got this!. Photo: ANDREAS ORTNER/TRUNK ARCHIVE

With companies making cuts and many of us working from home, how can you still get ahead? Latino Diversity and Inclusion leaders, all parents themselves, share their top tips for standing out, even in the middle of a pandemic.

1. Show Up

"My grandma used to say, 'Keep your head down, work hard, and eventually everyone will see it.' I've done all of that, and it will get you only so far. Now, more than ever, creating visibility is important. If you're on a Zoom call, turn the video on and participate. It sends the message that you're present, in the moment, and engaged. And you'll be less likely to become an afterthought on the team."

—Salvador Mendoza, Honduran Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, NBCUniversal

2. Make Connections

"The last thing you want to do after staring at the computer all day is join a virtual networking call. But success is about who and what you know, and attending industry events is a great way to deepen your expertise. Maximize those opportunities, and always follow up with new contacts via email or LinkedIn."

—Erica Madrid, Colombian-American Executive Director Diversity & Inclusion, Morgan Stanley

3. Problem-Solve

"At this point, it's your agility in adjusting to this new work environment that will get you promoted. Do you come up with solutions or problems? There's a difference between telling your manager, 'Morale is low, so I've done research, and here are a few things we can try' and 'Everyone is exhausted—no one can do any work.' Both say the same thing, but the first lifts everyone up and sets you apart as a resilient leader."

—Daisy Auger-Dominguez, Dominican-Puerto Rican Chief People Officer, VICE Media Group

4. Be Assertive

"Ask for what you want. Your boss isn't a mind reader. Tell them, 'I want a promotion. These are my accomplishments to date, and I have these goals for my next role. Whether it's on this team or another, how can you support me to get there?' And if they say that now is not a good time? Schedule a date to discuss the matter again in another three months."

—Jennifer Arnau, Peruvian–Puerto Rican Vice President, Global Technology Diversity & Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

This article originally appeared in Parents Latina's February/March 2021 issue as "Pa'lante! Get a Seat at the Table."

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