The Macho Thing
What is this Hispanic macho thing? The dictionary defines macho as 'male.' In simple terms, macho or "machismo" expresses masculinity. In some Latin cultures, it is the way men are expected to behave. It’s the belief that men have a more dominant role at home and in society than women
Machos are supposed to be physically and mentally strong, and they're expected to be the prime providers and protectors of the family. Men control their emotional behavior; otherwise, they fear being perceived as "flojo" or weak. This cultural identity is more prevalent among males who are first-generation Hispanics.
In American culture, macho behavior is called sexism or male chauvinism. As Hispanic women gain prominence in the workplace and society, macho behavior becomes increasingly offensive.
Unfortunately, macho behavior continues to be alive and well with first-generation Hispanics in the workplace. In the macho culture, a Hispanic female supervisor will have a much more significant challenge gaining the trust, respect, and loyalty of her male Hispanic team members. Taking "orders" from a woman is not something they can easily accept.
Being macho has to do with wielding power. It's about letting everyone know "who's boss." 'De-macho-ing' Hispanics in the workplace can be achieved by providing relevant leadership training that promotes a culture of equality and respect for all employees, regardless of gender.
It's not easy to suddenly remove a type of thinking that has existed for many generations. However, by teaching them to realize that macho behavior is self-defeating and demeaning, you, the leader, would be tremendously beneficial in helping first-generation Hispanics create an environment based on respect and equality.