High potential women come with all backgrounds

3 Ways to Lose Your High Potential Latinas

Are you making these mistakes after hiring those high potential Latinas? Would you like tips on how to identify these high potential employees? Read on!

It happens so often it’s painful. A high potential Latina goes through a relatively short period of unbridled excitement about her new job, and after exceeding all her boss’ expectations, she does a 180 and looks for the door. You can’t help but ask, what the heck?

Mistake 1- Breaking promises to high potential Latinas

The story goes something like this. A high potential Latina, let’s call her Arlene, is hired to fulfill certain duties. After awhile, her boss, Henry, realizes she’s really good at her job and he gives her increasingly larger responsibilities. She’s excited, steps up to the plate and produces outstanding results in a short period of time.

3 ways to lose your High potential Latinas. Read on to find out how to identify them!

You may be surrounded by high potential Latinas.

Arlene invests long hours at work not only because she loves what she does but also because Henry told her that when her colleague, Tony, leaves in six months for another position, she will be promoted.

The six months come, Tony leaves, and Henry tells Arlene that he has decided that the results she produces are very hard to come by, therefore she needs to remain in her position. They will hire someone else to fulfill Tony’s job. Come again?

But wait, Arlene surely got a salary bump, right? Producing such great results and all… Nope. Not a dime. Zip.

Disillusioned and feeling undervalued, unable to make sense of what happened, Arlene decides to look for another job where her “unparalleled contributions” are appreciated and compensated. But most importantly, a place with a clear career path.

Mistake 2 – Not seeing a high potential Latina as a high potential employee

Yes, unfortunately, this happens quite often as well. You’re desperately looking for those unique gems to create a strong talent pipeline but inadvertently overlook the high potential Latina employee staring you in the eye. Why? Because she (or her resume) doesn’t look like they have the qualities of a leader. My question is: are you looking closely enough?

Let me give you an example. Daysi was the first in her family to go to college and she inspired, motivated, and supported her two younger sisters to do the same. She studied aviation administration at CUNY (City University of New York,) founded an organization for women in aviation at her college, did internships in aviation and at my non-profit organization, Latinos in College. She worked for JetBlue and for an aviation services company at La Guardia Airport before starting a career in retail at Target and now at Macy’s. She has a very unusual background to work in retail and you could be fooled into thinking she’s jumping around. Or you might underestimate her, because she didn’t go to a top tier school.

Are you making these 3 mistakes after hiring those high potential Latinas? Read on to find out!

High potential Latinas may have unusual backgrounds. Photo credit: Galleryhip.com

But believe me, you’d regret overlooking Daysi as the high potential Latina with all of the leadership qualities you seek. See, when you dig a little deeper, you realize this is a young woman committed to her community, who always goes above and beyond the call of duty both in her personal and professional lives.

Daysi thinks outside the box, is solutions oriented, has an enviable ability to network with high-level people, and is unusually open to feedback. She knows what it means to make do with few resources and how to prepare for things not working the way you expect them to. In her early thirties, she has assumed more responsibility than a lot of people will in their entire lives. Her challenging life-circumstances have built her resilience, grit, and hopeful outlook on life. No, you don’t want to lose your Daysis.

Mistake 3 – Pigeonholing Latinas

In a way, this mistake is connected to the previous one. If you pigeonhole Latinas, you’ll hardly see their high potential, right?

What I’d like to propose, is that you might be assigning your high potential Latina employees to areas that you believe they’re well-suited for when, in fact, you’re just following stereotypes for Latinas. Like customer facing or support positions, event planning, and so on. It’s as if you couldn’t imagine an Indian employee anywhere but in the tech department. What happens when that employee is actually a brilliant operations person?

You run the same risk with high potential Latinas. Pigeonhole them and you miss out on their real potential for your company. So it’s smart to keep yourself tuned into your subconscious biases and ask questions.

Supporting the Red Shoe Movement, students from @SLU_AphaRho and @SLU1987

Supporting the Red Shoe Movement, students from @SLU_AphaRho and @SLU1987

When you notice that one of your employees does something brilliantly outside of her job description, explore. Is this something you love to do? How come you’re so good at it? Do you do this in your spare time? If you’re able to connect that amazing skill with a position, she’ll do much better than if you keep her in the box you put her in.

Take a look and you’ll start seeing high potential Latinas all around you. Just keep in mind that quite often their backgrounds, resumes, or schools probably won’t look like your more typical high potential. But digging a bit deeper will unveil a treasure trove of talent in your own backyard.

Meanwhile, take a look at how to ignite your team’s fire!!

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Award-winning, best-selling author, corporate consultant and international speaker on career success and women empowerment. Frequent media contributor on CNN, Univision, Telemundo and others. Her latest book "Find Your Inner Red Shoes" is the backbone of the Red Shoe Movement.
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