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San Diego Group Working To Increase Number Of Latina Leaders

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A first-of-its-kind program in San Diego is trying to encourage more Latinas to compete for leadership roles, whether in politics or business.

Latina-elected officials and executives will be speaking in a series of lectures at National University to 70 women enrolled in the Latina Success Leadership Program through Mexican-American Women's National Association de San Diego.

Over the next couple of months they'll gather to discuss civic involvement, empowerment, networking, branding and resiliency.

People of Hispanic origin are the largest single ethnic minority in the U.S. In California, Latinos make up more than 38 percent of the population.

Adela Garcia, chairwoman of MANA de San Diego's Latina Success Committee and former IBM executive, cited a Center for American Progress study that showed women of color only make up 11.9 percent of managerial positions. Of that number, 3.9 percent are Latina.

“We’re not doing well at all,” Garcia told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday. “It’s really not good for the economy.”

Garcia said women need to drive their own careers.

“What happens is there’s a lack of understanding,” she said. “The women themselves need to see themselves as leaders.”

For more information about the local program, go to MANA is a national Latina organization.


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