According to the Census Bureau, despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, women are still vastly underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce. Women made gains – from 8% of STEM workers in 1970 to 27% in 2019 – but men still dominated the field. Men made up 52% of all U.S. workers but 73% of all STEM workers.
In steps @natalie_dragomarino a mother, hot yoga practitioner, and powerful Latinx woman in STEM. She grew up in your “typical loud, passionate Puerto Rican household.” Currently a mother of two and sister to three siblings. She’s cultivating a community for Latinx women in STEM to be seen, heard and empowered.
“I want to create a space where we can learn and grow while also being mindful of our journeys, whether mother, career woman, still in college, or freshy graduated.”
According to diversity expert Monica Harvin, “Just 3.5 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded in STEM fields in the U.S. in 2010 went to Latina(x)s. And only 17 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded to Latinas in 2010 were in a STEM field, compared to 20 percent for black women, 23 percent for white women, and 33 percent for Asian women.” Although Latinx people are one the fastest growing populations worldwide, Latinx women also rank below other women in majoring and earning degrees in STEM.
As an International Business degree holder, she began her career as an HR professional, managing HRIS technology teams. Currently, she is senior product owner for a prestigious human capital management firm. In 2020, she landed the job at the start of the pandemic and had to learn a new role virtually with two small children at home.
Touting herself as “a huge nerd”, she admires two powerhouse Latinx women Ellen Ochoa and Nydia Velazquez. Ochoa, an engineer, astronaut and in 1991 the first Latinx woman to go into space. Velazquez, in 1993 was the first Puerto Rican elected to Congress. She was a key leader in the ousting the U.S. Navy from Vieques, Puerto Rico where for decades it was used as a training ground to drop munitions.
Always loving her culture, she feels Latinx people are diverse and rich in so many different cultures, that it’s hard to classify.
“Latinx helps us avoid being caged into a box. Latinx culture gives us a way to express ourselves in a world that wants to classify everyone and everything.”