Transforming the lives of Latinas and their communities and providing training and support through both female and Hispanic cultural lenses

The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), a national 501 (c)(3) organization based in Washinfton, D.C., was established in 1987 in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Glass Ceiling Initiative.

This seminal study found that while minorities and women were making substantial gains in entering the workforce, they were not equally represented at the mid- and senior levels of management in government or corporate sectors. The report found that Latinas were also significantly underrepresented on corporate boards and in the nonprofit and political arenas.

NHLI’s mission is to develop Latinas as ethical leaders through training, professional development, relationship-building and community activism. The organization seeks to transform the lives of Latinas and their communities by:

  • enhancing and developing leadership abilities among Latinas;
  • ensuring that Latinas are in leadership positions and have the access and power to influence public policy;
  • providing visible role models and mentors for Latinas; and
  • improving services to Hispanics across the country through its extensive alumnae network.

NHLI is the only national organization providing executive leadership programs for Latinas in the United States. Its highly effective leadership program has been recognized by many entities.

Alumnae Impact on Hispanic Communities

NHLI’s recent 20-year impact study demonstrates that there has been a significant impact on communities across the country through its alumnae by improving community services to Hispanics via more than 500 alumnae Leadership Projects, which have already reached more than 31,000 Latinas and touched hundreds of thousands of lives. Alumnae have directly provided one-on-one mentorship to more than 5,000 Latinas.

NHLI has a “multiplier” effect: Via mentoring, leadership projects and networking, it has measurably affected the lives of more than 56,000 Hispanics nationwide.

Executive Leadership Program

For 26 years, the National Hispana Leadership Institute has fostered hundreds of Latina leaders through its award-winning Executive Leadership Program (ELP). NHLI is ranked among the Top Twenty Leadership Programs for Latinos by Latino Leaders Magazine and recognized by Independent Sector, the Center for Creative Leadership and the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, among others, for its unique work preparing Latinas for positions of national influence, public policy impact and contributing to the advancement of the Hispanic community.

The Executive Leadership Program targets mid-career professional Latinas and advances a model that emphasizes and builds upon personal strengths. What makes NHLI’s program different from other leadership programs is that it addresses skill-development and provides training and support through both female and Hispanic cultural lenses. NHLI also promotes a heightened awareness of social responsibility and stronger attention to the needs of the broader Hispanic community.

The organization’s investment in Latina leaders is distinguished by the availability of top-ranking executive training at some of the nation’s leading institutions, such as the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Center for Creative Leadership. Upon completing the program, NHLI alumnae reinvest their refined skills into diverse sectors, thereby exponentially impacting the Latino community. The shere of influence has become quite formidable and now represents an extensive list of influential Latinas in both the private and public sectors, strategically located in more than 40 states, as well as recognized “firsts” in many fields.

Program Components

The Executive Leadership Program spans 10 months and includes three components: training, mentorship and leadership projects. The 2014 program began in January and ends in October 2014. The rigorous training curriculum consists of four one-week sessions, each implemented in a different city, that develop participants’ skills in cross-cultural communication, strategic management, public policy and leadership-building.

The mentorship component commits participants to mentoring a minimum of two other Latinas during the program year. Additionally, participants will design and complete individual leadership projects that will significantly impact the community, are implemented during the program year and are completed prior to graduation date.

NHLI believes that people are the true agents of change within organizations–and that change begins with one person.

The guiding concept and vision of NHLI reach far beyond the establishment of succesful leadership training. NHLI is a comprehensive leadership institute. Through the development of individuals, it seeks to develop communities. Latina leaders who complete the NHLI training program acquire the tools to meet daily challenges more effectively. More importantly, they acquire the tools to enrich and enhance their environment.

By showing participants how to support each other and how to cultivate new insights and skills, NHLI teaches different ways to lead in a participatory, collaborative, nontraditional manner.

Get additional information about NHLI and its Executive Leadership Program at NHLI.org.

Source: National Hispana Leadership Institute

This article appears in the Winter 2014 edition of Hispanic Network Magazine.