Placida V. Gallegos

Latina Advancement Specialist, Center for Hispanic Leadership

Dr. Placida Gallegos has spent her career in academia and organizations working to create healthier, more inclusive cultures where people can thrive and achieve their fullest potential. As the Latina Advancement Specialist at the Center for Hispanic Leadership (CHL), she initiates and facilitates provocative conversations for and about Latinas at She conducts leadership development seminars for Latina professionals entitled “Latina Advancement in the Workplace: Redefining Success and Achieving our Cultural Promise”.

In addition to her work with CHL, Dr. Gallegos is a Professor at Fielding Graduate University in the Human and Organizational Development Program and has conducted research in the areas of transformational leadership, career development of women and people of color and creating inclusive organizations. She is also an organizational consultant who has engaged for the past twenty-five years with a wide range of corporate clients and industries across the country including manufacturing, telecommunications, insurance, financial, and educational institutions.

Placida has consistently had a passion and deep commitment to empowering Latinas and creating greater understanding of the under-leveraged talents they bring to organizations. Her dissertation research conducted in 1987 focused on the emergence and development of Latina leaders in large corporate settings and was entitled "Emerging leadership among Hispanic women: The role of expressive behavior and nonverbal skill". Her research and practice since then have continued to emphasize the unique challenges and opportunities Latinas and Latinos present to society and organizations. Currently, Dr. Gallegos is completing a national research study exploring Latina career development and leadership. The findings of this study will be relevant to Latinas themselves and organizations that are interested in better utilizing their expertise, relational skills and leadership abilities.

For the past 15 years, Placida has worked within corporations providing Hispanic Leadership Development seminars for Latinas/os to accelerate the development of their leadership and supporting them in bringing their cultural values, history and background experiences into the workplace to further the objectives and strategies of each business. In these workshops, she emphasizes differences between Latinos and Latinas in terms of the stereotypes they encounter, the impact of sexism and socialization factors. Recognizing the similarities among Latinos is enhanced by the recognition that Latinas face different challenges than other groups and need unique skill sets and strategies to meet these challenges effectively. She has also identified areas of development needed for non-Latino managers and organizational leaders so they can develop the cultural competence to lead and manage Latina/o employees.