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Are you “That Guy/Girl?”


As a growing minority/majority or however you want to call us, Latinos work in various fields including health, education, communication and so on. However, when do you realize that as you look around the board room or meeting you don’t see any familiar faces? Is that a problem or are we just reaching too far into a situation. Growing up our parents tell us we need to continue our education and get the best job ever but for some reason we don’t really do that. We get into the non-profit sector or stick with some nursing job.

We have to be careful at what we look at though. Are we a Latino working in a mainstream career, a Latino working in a predominantly Latino field or working for a Latino president in a mainstream career? Either way look at your colleagues, at yourself and tell me if there’s another Latino. Sometimes we get categorized into a box and we become “that guy/girl” where we SHOULD know everything. And it’s just because you are Latino, you have become a decision maker (that can be good and bad). I believe we shouldn’t let it get to us because we are teaching those who don’t know better. In fact, it’s probably a requirement for Human Resources to provide diversity training. I mean look at the show The Office, Oscar is the Latino but they don’t make that a key part of his character. Should they?

You would think now being a large part of the population companies would hire more Latinos. I mean isn’t it the law to not discriminate and hire a good number of Latinos?  There are so many angles to cover in this issue, we have to look at what “we” like to do. Sometimes we just want to start our own business due to the lack of Latinos in certain fields. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States is expected to grow 41.8 percent in the next six years to 4.3 million, with total revenues surging 39 percent to more than $539 billion, according to new estimates by HispanTelligence.

So are you “that guy/girl” at work?

by Eric Cortes

For more information about Eric Cortes, visit

About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. […] in January, I wrote a post about being that person at work who knows everything about Latino culture.  There was a recent #latism party where attendees discussed Latinos in the media world and how we […]

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