After noticing the lack of visibility for Latina leaders in the Greater Boston Area, attorneys Eneida Roman and Betty Francisco decided to take action. The two created Latina Circle in 2012 to connect and network with women of influence and power.
“We want to address the leadership gaps for Latinas here in Boston,” says Francisco. “And build a network that can take us to the next level.”
As an organization, Latina Circle is working to break down barriers, mentor professional women on the rise, and create opportunities for others.
“We started with our own network,” says Roman. “And now we’ve grown into almost 700 people.”
Latina Circle is best known for their Cafecitos networking breakfasts, where women are hand-selected for a morning of networking. What separates this networking event from others is that the attendees are encouraged to bring another professional Latina on the rise who would benefit from networking within their circle to develop mentor relationships.
When Roman and Francisco first started Latina Circle, they wanted to create community and move beyond networking, while also building a path towards growth. Today, Latina Circle’s networking events offer a welcoming environment to connect with Latina professionals.
“We’ve met so many women from so many different industries,” says Francisco. “And we discuss topics that are relevant to the Latino community.”
One issue that Latina Circle is very invested in, is the lack of Latino turnout at the voting polls. There is also a lack of Latino representation in cabinets, boards, and commissions, and Latina Circle wants to advance Latino civic engagement and political leadership.
“According to Mass Vote,” says Roman. “Sixty-six percent of eligible voters in Massachusetts are registered to vote, yet for Latinos, that rate drops to forty-two percent.”
Latina Circle has teamed up with the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy to introduce the Nuestra Voz Conference: Amplifying Latino Power, Influence, and Impact on Saturday, June 17, 2017. This conference “will convene over 250 Latinx leaders and 40+ community partners at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate to celebrate progress in recent elections, while also identifying existing gaps in overall Latinx representation.”