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Implications and Recommendations

A few recommendations for practice include: (1) To reinforce Latinas’ empowerment in college, it is important that university departments highlight and promote outstanding Latina women leaders’ contributions, not only in leadership programs (Suarez, 2015) but also in workshops and institutional training addressing leadership in college and beyond. (2) To instill in students the importance of acquiring soft skills in college, such as teamwork, leadership, and conflict resolution, STEM faculty should include at least one concept in the form of a class activity in the courses. (3) To develop Latinas’ leadership as students and professionals, STEM programs should encourage Latinas to participate in student organizations, especially the organizations related to their college major. Latinas’ participation in this type of organization may help develop both leadership attitudes and networking skills.

The gap in the existing leadership literature and the experiences of the participants in this study lend themselves to several recommendations for further studies:

  • 1. Studying the perception of Latinas’ leadership from peers, faculty, and staff perspectives, especially at larger HSIs. Latinas’ leadership can be better comprehended from different lenses, which will help add critical knowledge to the field. In addition, research on this topic could serve to propose programs and services that holistically support the development of Latinas in STEM disciplines in college.
  • 2. Examining how minoritized women students develop their leadership styles along their college pathway, in trying to find an identity as women, Latinas, and scientists. Such research could provide meaningful data that help define the safe spaces that Latinas use to excel as STEM college students. This threefold identity (woman, Latina, and scientist) could be useful to adopt a leadership style that adapts across the college path.
  • 3. Analyzing the participation of Latina STEM students to leadership-oriented programs and workshops. This type of research would contribute to the importance of such programs for Latinas’ leadership development. It can also provide evidence of benefits for Latinas who participate in such programs, and through feedback, improve current programs and implement new pilot programs.


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