As the leading tech expert for Hispanic audiences in the U.S., Ariel Coro was invited to participate in a panel hosted by the Labor Department discussing important topics such as Diversity in the Hispanic community as well as the challenges faced by Hispanics in the U.S. to advance in the labor force.
Participants in the panel included members of the Southeast region as well as Dr. Madeline Pumariega, President of Miami-Dade College, General Consul of Mexico Jonathan Chait Auerbach, Jose Figueroa-Seary, Retired U.S. Army Colonel and Ariel Coro, tech expert, speaker and media personality.
Coro discussed the challenges faced by Hispanic immigrants as well as the second-generation Latinos in this country. A main challenge or barrier is language. As a first generation immigrant, Coro understood early on that learning and dominating the English language was a key to success in this country and studied hard to improve his spoken, written and technical language proficiency which he sees as a major barrier to success for many Hispanics.
Hispanics and Small Business
There is also a lot to learn to become successful in the tech world and we need to understand that there are vast cultural differences that might be hindering our progress. Coro cited some examples based on his experience of Hispanics not wanting to get loans to start a business because it’s not customary culturally or even thought of as a possibility in many countries, not even counting the challenges in access to credit and lending institutions. There are also potential cultural stigmas attached to diluting company ownership via shares to investors and even key employees. This is a basic ingredient to modern startups that hasn’t been widely adopted by Hispanic small businesses and potentially startups. Based on his experience, many Hispanic small businesses fail for lack of proper funding.
When it comes to Hispanics, startups and Silicon Valley, the numbers are also concerning. A small percentage of Hispanics are employed by the Silicon Valley giants averaging about 5 to 6% across the board when the Hispanic population in California in many places is a majority and according to the most recent survey, Hispanics account for around 18% of the population in the US making it the largest minority in the country.
Hispanics and Technology Access & Usage
Coro also discussed how Hispanics over index in the adoption and usage of mobile and other relevant technologies. For many Hispanic households, their main means of accessing the internet is through a mobile phone screen and this poses many challenges when it comes to education and learning. In a world where social media apps that are mainly accessed through mobile platforms have sophisticated algorithms designed to consume people’s time. Coro sees Hispanics particularly vulnerable since the over indexing in technology is not translating to more jobs in the tech field based on the latest statistics.
Coro’s work in educating the Hispanic community through the media has faced many challenges throughout the years but he feels optimistic about the possibilities the future holds for the Hispanic and LatinX community in the U.S.