Being Latino is as much about the choices as it is about the heritage. This means that Latino identity relies heavily on how individuals choose to deal with their cultural surroundings. They can accept and internalize them, deny them, or change them.
Choosing is more complex because Latinos face a myriad of pressures in their journey to define themselves in a society that often disparages their identity and seeks to impose definitions on them rather than allow self-identification. This identity struggle often gets carried into the corporate world experience of many Latino professionals.
This struggle was true for many Latino executives in our research study, who at some point had to come to grips with their own sense of Latino identity and ways to express it in the workplace—or even try to hide it during certain phases of their careers. The executives who did not lose their Latino identity along the way worked through these difficult organizational waters. Throughout this book we will share the lessons they learned.
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