I Am Not a Minority! I Am a Human Being!
As you have probably notice by now, I have always pushed for Latino rights. The following article was of special to me because of my daughter. When trying to raise my young family something that was going round the work place was sexual harassment and unequal treatment of women in the workforce. This was happening in my hometown of El Paso, Texas. This was very much a male dominated community. Here it seemed men would rather have their women barefoot and pregnant than have them have the same rights as men!
This was contrary to my way of thinking. I was probably not alone in advocating for women’s rights but the community had a long way to go in this respect. The Hispanic culture did not believe in women having much of an education. On the other had nation-wide women were the focus of upward mobility. And, the Latina was specially favored.
But this was El Paso, and the El Paso Times, the local newspaper published the story of a young Latina that had received a full scholarship to one of the major universities outside of the area. She would have to leave home! That was something her parents would not allow! She stayed home a attending the local college. She probably did well, she could have done better. This touched close to home because my daughter had a chance to go to M.I.T. I am not sure is this was part of being a token Chicana and I not really care about why she got this opportunity. I was all for it! It is sad to say that for whatever reason she did not take advantage she did not take advantage of this opportunity. It did not happen but later took advantage of other opportunities!
So today I am not writing to advocate minority rights or one of my other soapbox issues but … Oh well please just read the article.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Rich Mont <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Oct 3, 2007 3:44 PM
Subject: [Paisano Sin Fronteras] I Am Not a Minority! I Am a Human Being! – Advertisin…
I Am Not a Minority! I Am a Human Being!
Hire Me for Experience, not to Fill a Quota
Posted by Laura Martinez on 10.02.07 @ 02:49 PM
A week ago, a former colleague told me his new employer, a “huge” multinational bank, was desperately looking to hire an Executive Vice President of Human Resources. “You’re perfect for the gig!” he assured me. “They’ll hire you in a second!”
I really like this guy but I wasn’t sure of what he was talking about. Other than being fond of humans (well, some) and having a desire to have lots of resources in a bank, I couldn’t really see why someone with my background, would be “perfect” for the gig, especially one with such a pompous title.
“They need to hire minorities. You’re not only Hispanic, but you are a woman,” he informed me.
I was half thankful, half puzzled at the proposal. He even said the bank was “extremely interested” in my background and would set up an interview as soon as possible. No word of my absolute lack of experience working in a financial institution — human resources or not, having devoted all my life to the humble trade of writing stories for newspapers and magazines.
The interview, of course, never happened. But the incident made me realize that the bank in question was not interested in me as a professional; it was interested in me as a female Hispanic. And while both attributes might describe partly who I am, I thought it plain wrong to use them as “check marks” to get ahead of other, more qualified individuals who just happen not to be black, Hispanic, women, handicapped or somehow “challenged” in one way or another.
Before moving to the U.S. in 1999, I had lived and worked in Mexico, Singapore, Chile and Argentina, and never before I felt I had to wave a minority flag to get hired, noticed or to get ahead. (Trust me, you cannot be more a minority than a Mexican living among Singaporeans!) For the most part, I have always pitched my professional experience as an attribute far more useful than my heritage or gender.
I know corporations are pressed to fill up diversity-hiring quotas as a way to patch up years of gender and color discrimination, but I refuse to play along. And unlike some of my fellow Hispanics, who have jumped on the trillion-dollar opportunity wagon to present themselves as “professional Hispanics,” dusting off the Rodriguez’ and Gonzalez’ from their armoires, I’d rather remain a plain professional, who by accident of nature, also happens to be Mexican . . . and a woman.
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Read more from Laura daily at Mi Blog Es Tu Blog.