A Roadmap to Empowerment: The Future of Latinos in a Digital Economy

October 13, 2021  • Aspen Institute Latinos and Society & Aspen Digital

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The Hispanic population, representing one of every five people in the U.S., provides untapped potential for any organization in search for talent. Research suggests that inclusion of Latinos in the workforce fuels innovation and revenue, and that they are estimated to drive nearly 25% of the country’s GDP growth. At the same time, Latinos currently make up a disproportionate 25% of low wage jobs, demonstrating a clear need for improved pathways to economic mobility and empowerment. When it comes to tech, despite explosive population growth and genuine progress in the penetration of Blacks and Latinos in the industry, job numbers remain far below their white and Asian counterparts. According to Pew Research Center, Latinos represented only 8% of the nation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) workforce in 2019.

But there is hope. The digitalization and diffusion of technologies in the workplace has drastically transformed how work is defined. Now more than ever, the workers in most demand must have the cognitive knowledge, skills, and abilities to adapt to a digital environment. One of the key questions then is how can we better reframe and realign skill sets and talents of the Latino workforce to better map onto the needs of modern-day businesses.

To address this, the Aspen Institute Latinos & Society Program and Aspen Digital offer a roadmap, which is a synthesis of seven one-on-one interviews and three roundtable conversations with over 30 participants from leading tech companies, nonprofits, and educational institutions.