Last week my boss, Kara Nortman, had the chance to meet with the President at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, she asked a simple question: How do we encourage and get more women into STEM (Science Tech, Engineering and Math)?
President Obama expanded the answer to Women and Minorities. He made a point about the influence of TV and if you don’t see “you never see you in that position its hard to imagine, well that’s something I should be doing.”.
I have been thinking about that for a long time and ever since I moved to this country, I have made a very concious effort to not project myself as “Juan Carlos, the Mexican” but as Juan Carlos. Why? I don’t want to be the first one to draw a line between me and the rest of the people. Also, while I lived in Mexico, I was just “Juan Carlos” and I think that little thing has worked for me in my life in the US but I cannot ignore the fact that I got laid off from Sony Pictures two weeks after I made a claim to HR about a very racist comment made by a coworker. Also, I cannot ignore the fact that someone I know did a little test of using an anglicized name, got significantly more job interviews than his hispanic name. Also, in my neighborhood watch, I have gotten a lot of emails where the only ethnicity pointed out on burglary is “hispanic”.
Something inside me is annoyed at the fact me that in most TV shows, latinos are represented as table cleaners, janitors and the best that we can aspire to be is a latin-lover (the case of Gloria in modern famly) but never as a boss, coworker or somehow an equal.
Today I saw a commercial from a big oil talking about tech, it included all minorities, except for latinos and it strikes me as odd the fact that new TV series have a focus on “segments”, and they are doing “Blackish”, “The Goldbergs” and the latino-inspired show is about a pregnant chick….
Now I don’t want to sit down and cry, I want to try doing something to change that. Why? Whenever I can, I try to transform negative into positive energy and most importantly because my kids are latinos, and I don’t want people to not take them seriously unless their resume is using an anglicised names.
In the next few weeks, I’d like to post some basic tutorials of programming and also highlight the bios of some hispanic and latinos in tech. You may be surprised of how many of them have had a HUGE influence in technology….Maybe, its time to be loud for the better.
To watch President Obama’s response to Kara, you can see below.