The Latina’s Role in the Financial Barrio

            The cost of living has exponentially increased and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Now more than ever the traditional gender roles that have inhibited Latina women are being challenged. Now many are seeking opportunities in the professional world. According to the 2010 US census the majority of both American male and females earned between $35,000 and 64,999. For both genders the higher percentages of wage earners had a bachelors or professional degrees. The city of Santa Ana has one of the largest percentages of Latino populations in the country with over 78%. Over 80% of Latino men are 60% of Latina women are employed. Why all these stats? It’s important to see the changes in population, what affects this has on the economy and why these changes have started taking place. Many speculations can be made about this statistical information and what it infers about modern society. Now as the glass ceiling has started cracking women, specifically for this blog’s purpose Latina women are changing the institutional stereotypes about their roles in domesticity. Ruth Woodfield in What Women Want from Work: Gender and Occupation Choice in the 21st Century had to say the following about the changing role of women in the workforce:  

“The role women play in the paid-employment sector changed dramatically in the closing decades of the last century. More women joined the workforce; they worked longer before having children and increasingly returned to work afterwards. Women entered occupations that were once considered closed to them, often in considerable numbers; and they climbed to positions previously thought impossible (Woodfield, 1)”.                                                                                                                  

What does this have to do with the female Latino barrio in the financial sector? According to Woodfield women who work in banks are very dedicated to their careers and their focus on upward mobility. This means tailoring their personal goal and obligations to meet the demands of their career path (Woodfield, 62). This generalization cannot be said about all women of the Latino community who work in the banking industry. Many are mothers or have other family obligations that they have to balance with their hectic professional ambition. So how does the modern Latina learn to juggle her family and work obligations? Regrettably there is no clear cut answer. These women need a certain amount of support their families.     

            In conclusion it can be seen through changing statistics that more women, specifically Latinas are choosing to seek advancement through education and professional environments, including in the banking industry. After careful research Ruth Woodfield discovered that women in financial sector would at times put their family obligations on hold for potential career advancement. As the banking industry changes with the times the Latina in this barrio must learn to adapt as well. The future is uncertain for these women but just as their mothers and sisters before them who started breaking the glass ceilings it is their obligation to bring further equality and opportunities for their progeny.


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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