June 16, 2006

Today’s Latino Professionals are Educated, Fully Bilingual and Assimilated: HACE’s Findings Shatter Stereotypes

The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) released the results of its 2006 Latino Professional Pulse Survey, “Making a Difference: Attitudes and Characteristics of Today’s Latino Professionals,” depict a population that is highly educated, fully bilingual, in almost all cases legally authorized to work, and with a family structure similar to the non-Hispanic white U.S. population. This survey also points to the fact that today’s Latino professionals have a more optimistic outlook on the economy than the overall population. They also value more than money when seeking jobs, are compassionate, and give philanthropic support to their communities on an annual basis.

“With so much focus on the issue of immigration, many people are unaware that a significant number of college-educated Latinos are successfully working in professional positions and advancing in their careers.” says Abe Tomás Hughes, HA-CE’s President and CEO. “This is an upwardly mobile segment comprised of English-dominant individuals of Hispanic heritage that are, in practically all cases, citizens or legal residents authorized to work here. They represent model citizens of this country and offer a clear picture of how Latinos are increasingly contributing to the future of the U.S.,” says Hughes. “Our results highlight that there are many layers and complexities to the Latino community in the U.S., beyond immigration. HACE is dedicated to help develop more Latino professionals in this country and committed to ensure that the image of Latinos reflects the great contributions we make on a daily basis,” explained Hughes.

The survey found that 96% of Latino professionals are in the U.S. legally and are authorized to work. An overwhelming majority (86%) of the Latino professional respondents are U.S. citizens, while the remainder (10%) are U.S. permanent residents or “green card” holders.

One of the key discussion points regarding the U.S. Latino population has been the issue of assimilation. Contrary to the stereotypical images that have proliferated in some media outlets, Latino professionals have assimilated very well into the U.S. culture. Practically all (98%) of respondents are completely fluent in English and an additional (89%) are fully bilingual or with limited Spanish speaking and writing skills. Most (57%) have been in this country for one generation or more. This segment is well educated, with 80% having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 13% for the overall Hispanic population and 28% for the non-Hispanic white population, while 97% have had some college course-work.

The jobs held by Latino professionals span a wide range of professions and include Fortune 1000 and privately held companies. However, a significant number of Latinos also choose to work in the public service sector. A full 30% of Latino professionals responding to the survey work in non-profit, government, or academic professions. This compares to 18% for the overall Hispanic population and 25% for the non-Hispanic white population.

Another common thread that runs through this group is a spirit of optimism about the economy and a desire to advance in their careers. Over the past three years of Latino Professional Pulse surveys, the optimism Latinos have about the eco-nomy has been increasing. Currently 56% feel that business conditions and the economy are rising.

The HACE Latino Professional Pulse is an annual Web-based survey of over 20,000 Latino professionals within the HACE national database.

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