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Nora Vargas, San Diego County Supervisor at a press conference. 
Nora Vargas, San Diego County Supervisor at a press conference. Photo: Alexandra Mendoza/ San Diego Union-Tribune

What needs to be done to support Latinas working in San Diego

A survey conducted by San Diego-based MANA revealed the main obstacles Latinas face in the workplace.

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The MANA organization in San Diego revealed in its Regional Report on Latinas in the Workplace, that Latinas are the ones who struggle with the most obstacles in the workplace on a daily basis.

Among these obstacles, the survey found that the most common are discrimination and sexual harassment, in addition to having to balance their time between work and responsibilities caring for a home or family member. These results have been described as revealing and troubling by the group.

In San Diego County there are about 3.38 million inhabitants, more than half a million of them are Latinas. That is to say, they represent 17% of the total population. At the same time, Latinas represent one third of the county's working women.

The results of the report were presented at a press conference by County Supervisor, Nora Vargas, who stressed the importance of supporting Latina women and working with businesses to improve the figures revealed in the report. 

The survey was administered to 62 working women in the fields of education services and nonprofit organizations. It attempts to assess the work environment, development and compensation, organizational policies and support, and the relationship of these women with their supervisors. In none of these areas did the respondents give a favorable rating.

More than one-third of them stated that discrimination impacts their creativity at work and loyalty to the organization.

"There's nothing like having a database that is scientific evidence of what's really going on for people to use this as a way to change how they do their work, and how they invest in communities."

Vargas, who is the first Latina on the Board of Supervisors, says these problems have been around for a long time and we know about them. However, she welcomes and appreciates that the organization systematizes this data because it is from scientific evidence that solutions to this problem can be proposed.

It is precisely the intention of the data to be presented to leaders and employers seeking to promote policies to address these concerns. The report recommends employers to increase equity, from increasing salaries to providing opportunities for promotions and tools for self-improvement within companies. 

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