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Simmons College and Madrinas Partner on Needs of Rapidly Growing Number of Latina Professionals

BOSTON (May 7, 2007) — Recognizing the rapidly growing number of Latinas flooding the corporate workplace, the Simmons College School of Management and Madrinas — a national network for Latina professionals — are forming a unique partnership to develop resources and strategic programs to help them advance in their careers.

Madrinas, in conjunction with the Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management, will focus on long-term research, programming, mentoring, and networking opportunities to ensure that Latinas have tools to help them grow and succeed in diverse corporate industries.

Areas of collaboration include seeking a better understanding of the unique challenges faced by Latinas in the corporate workplace through enhanced research; mentoring young Latina professionals to navigate often homogeneous work environments; and creating opportunities, such as specialized executive education programs, to enhance the group's professional development options.

The unique partnership kicked off Friday, May 4 at a reception for the Madrinas Executive Committee, at the School of Management, 409 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston — the evening before the 28th Annual Simmons School of Management Leadership Conference. The reception is being sponsored by Depuy, a Johnson & Johnson Company, and L'Oréal USA.

With Latinas representing one of the fastest growing groups of women entering the U.S. workforce today — their numbers are estimated to reach 9.2 million by 2010, according to recent surveys — "there is a real need for programs that address their specific needs," says Roseanne Lopez, president of Madrinas. "We want to throw the lifeline to the next generation of young professionals."

Supporting the growing number of high-level Latina professionals was the catalyst for the creation in 2002 of Madrinas, a network committed to career advancement, leadership development, and mentorship for Latinas in the workplace across a multitude of industries.

"One of the core missions of the Simmons School of Management is to effectively serve the needs of professional women of color," said Deborah Merrill-Sands, dean of the school, which is the only business school in the nation designed for women. "Our alliance with Madrinas is key to furthering the professional empowerment and success among Latinas in corporate positions."

Simmons School of Management Professor Patricia Deyton, director of the school's Center for Gender in Organizations (CGO), will oversee the partnership and coordinate upcoming projects.

Madrinas is a 501©(3) founded in 2002 by a group of visionary Latinas who recognized the need for a powerful network. Madrinas was initially launched in partnership with the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility to provide a
forum dedicated to the advancement of Latinas in today's corporate environment, by leveraging the group's combined assets.

The Simmons School of Management, the only business school in the world designed specifically for women, is committed to advancing women of diverse backgrounds into leadership positions. The Center for Gender in Organizations (CGO), the School's research arm, works to reform organizational effectiveness by strengthening gender equity in the workplace. Simmons College ( is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston.