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What It Means To Be A Latina Entrepreneur

What is it about Latina entrepreneurs that is so interesting to me?

I’m glad you asked!

Being a Latina entrepreneur myself, I am privy to the many facets of what it means to be one.

What is a Latina?

First, let me explain what it means to be a Latina. A Latina is a woman who was born in Latin America or whose ancestors are from the region. It is different from a Hispanic, who is from a country that speaks Spanish which includes Spain and excludes Brazil, which is in Latin America. I am both a Latina and a Hispanic woman because I was born in Cuba.

So when you hear people refer to themselves as Latina or Hispanic, now you know the difference.

Here is a great run-down by MundoJoven of MundoHispanico.

 

Pulled Between Two Worlds

Being a Latina with a career means you are constantly being pulled between two worlds. Our culture is super duper full of machismo. It’s something most of us have grown up with. It is changing, and that’s a good thing. But there is always the struggle between progress and improving and holding fast to our culture so that we do not lose that part of our identity which ties us to our history.

It is also what connects us and allows us to laugh at ourselves, our families and our customs. Here is a funny example by mitú featuring the overbearing mother cliche.

The Judgement Is Fierce

While women in general still deal with glass ceilings and issues of gender equality in the workplace, the Latina deals with that as well as the gender issues within our families and communities.

latina meme - judgement

We are still expected to be good Catholic girls growing up and prioritize being a wife and mother above all else. Whether you have a career or not, you are continuously judged on how well dressed and clean your children are and how well kept your house is. You must know how to cook delicious meals (I failed this one miserably) and keep a tidy home. A strong education and a good career path are encouraged, but those are still second to the domestic responsibilities.

I know many of my non-Latina friends face those same issues, however, in Latina culture, it is multiplied 10 times over.

Don’t Be Fancy

Then there is being an entrepreneur and all of its challenges. I don’t mean the sexy version where someone gets VC funding for an app and goes on 2 week skiing trips and barely hits the office. I’m talking about the real entrepreneur who lives, eats and breathes their business and can’t stop because it is just who they are.

Being an entrepreneur is hard work.  It’s certainly not fancy, there is always the risk of epic failure, and you are always on call. If you truly love it, then you just live it.

Latina Entrepreneur series coming soon

It is an exciting time to be a Latina boss right now. There are so many inspiring women who are slaying that I decided to kick off a series featuring their journeys.

Some of these ladies I know well and others I can’t wait to connect with and discuss what it means to be this rare species of human who is pulled in two directions at all times by some very strong life currents.

Stay tuned for the first feature. Who do you think it should be?

 

69 Responses

  1. Interesting read! Always nice to learn about different cultures and perspectives. Don’t know a lot about latino culture, and have to say i’m not latino since i’m the least domestic person lol x

  2. Thanks for the great insights about the being an Latina and an entrepreneur. It is never easy for us as woman but it is still worth it. Glad you broke the glass ceiling and pursue your passion.

  3. This is pretty interesting. Not being Latina myself, or even familiar with the culture, I had no idea about how hard it would be to become an entrepreneur. It does bring some things into perspective, though. My downstairs Latina neighbor is always telling me how tidy her house (she has 3 kids) is and how she cooks every day of the week (it always smells amazing). I’m just like, there’s no way I could even do that. Now it makes a little more sense knowing it’s what is expected as part of her culture.

  4. I am super excited about this series because I like to hear what it means to be an entrepreneur from different cultures. I think you are kicking butt right now, so keep up the good work.

  5. Awesome educated post on the Latino, Hispanic differences. On the judgement yessssss, although not on the machismo. All my family households are run by the woman of my family, even with the husband or bf in the house. And I can’t wait to see the series it will be great to read.

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