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Intersectional Experiences

Women in the Workplace: Latinas

Since 2016, Lean In and McKinsey & Company have conducted Women in the Workplace, the largest study on the state of women in corporate America. Each year, the findings clearly show that there is no single story of women at work. To better capture the diversity of women’s experiences, our 2021 report includes data-driven narratives that highlight the experiences of Latinas, Asian women, Black women, lesbian and bisexual women, and women with disabilites.

Latinas are less likely than other women to have a high degree of flexibility in their jobs, which makes balancing work and life especially difficult. Compared to women of other races and ethnicities, Latinas are less likely to say they have the flexibility to take time off for family or personal reasons, and they are also less likely to be able to step away from work to deal with unexpected events. For Latinas who identify as immigrants, these numbers are even lower.

This lack of flexibility takes a toll—especially given that, compared to most other groups of women, Latinas are often juggling a heavier load at home. They are more likely to be responsible for all their family’s housework and caregiving and to say that these responsibilities have increased during the pandemic. Forty-three percent of Latinas are currently spending five or more hours per day on housework and caregiving, compared to only 34 percent of women overall. And almost a third of Latinas are on “double duty”—caring for children and an adult, such as an elderly family member—which adds significantly to their workload. Double-duty caregivers are more likely than women overall to be burned out and to have considered downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce.

“My nephews, my parents, my siblings, we all lived together during the pandemic. I had to be very cautious about working on-site because I would put a lot of my family at risk if I got COVID. At the beginning of the pandemic I was still being asked to come into the office. I just had to say no. I do think it hindered my career.” —Latina, manager

The combination of significant personal obligations and limited work flexibility leaves many Latinas without the time they need to recharge and reset. Compared to women overall, Latinas are less likely to take regular breaks and prioritize their own well-being when they work from home.

The narrative is based on data from Lean In and McKinsey & Company’s 2021 Women in the Workplace study. While it sheds light on some of the distinct experiences of Latinas, it is by no means comprehensive. Women face multiple and intersecting biases due to many aspects of their identity.

Latinas refers to women who self-identify as Latinx, Latina, or Hispanic.

For more data and insights on women’s experiences at work, read the full Women in the Workplace 2021 report. To learn how your company can empower employees to take meaningful action as allies, explore Lean In’s new Allyship at Work program.