Improving Hispanic Representation in STEM


The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility discussed the importance of advocacy for Hispanics in STEM fields on July 30, 2020 in their webinar, Why Is STEM So Important? Contributors were Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Hispanic Engineers, Raquel Tamez, and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Dr. David Ortiz.

HACR EVP and Chief Operating Officer Lisette Garcia moderated the panel, guiding the conversation with statistics rooted in STEM- and diversity-related research. Garcia highlighted that millions of STEM jobs remain unfilled, but Hispanic students are still highly underrepresented in the field—just over two percent earn STEM-related degrees. “Hispanics hold only seven percent of STEM jobs, less than half of their size in the U.S. workforce,” said Garcia, in addition to receiving differential outcomes in terms of promotions and advancement opportunities. 

Tamez and Ortiz offered their explanations for the root causes of these disparities, as well as actions their organizations are taking to remediate them. “A systemic issue requires a systemic solution,” said Tamez. “A holistic, integrated solution [means]…we need to communicate…amongst corporate and government organizations.” Added Ortiz, “About two-thirds of Hispanic or…Latinx students who are enrolled in higher education are at an HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institution). So in terms of a pipeline, an opportunity to make a real impact [on increasing the number of Hispanics in STEM careers], we have a huge community of would-be STEM students.” Watch the video below to hear what these leaders are doing to bring STEM opportunities to the Hispanic community.

You can see audience questions answered from Raquel Tamez in this post-webinar Q&A.