“The role of women working in Latino supermarkets is expanding noticeably,” according to Karina Rodriguez, office manager of the independent Hispanic store, Bay Supermarket, located on Normandy Isles in North Miami Beach.
This statement is palpable as, upon entering the 5,000-square-foot store, on the right is a young woman tending to the customer service area. On the other side, cashiers are scanning their customers’ purchases, and to the left is another lady attentively managing the bakery and serving coladas.
Everywhere you look, there are women diligently ensuring that all customers have a good experience when visiting the supermarket.
The fact that women are staffing these store sections is not that surprising. However, Karina pointed out that “women’s roles in supermarkets are changing. We recently hired a woman to work in the butcher’s section, and the result has been excellent.”
She added, “Today, many Latinas are more interested in working in areas of supermarkets that have traditionally been male-dominated positions. Women Today are also motivated by the need to work because, in some cases, they are the breadwinners in their households.”
Francis Rodríguez, Karina’s husband and owner, founder, and president of the company commented that “today more than 50% of our payroll is made up of women and the trend has been growing for several years.”
Rodriguez added that “women tend to be very organized and meticulous in their assigned tasks. They are very dedicated to their work and can relate very well with customers by nature. This connection is vital for a store like ours as the goal is to keep them coming back, and over time they become loyal customers.”
He believes that the same growth in hiring women for his business is happening in all Hispanic supermarkets.
Karina’s role in this grocery retail company has grown over time. She handles the payroll, recruiting, and IT responsibilities. She has college degrees in business administration and Information Technology and currently oversees all financial aspects of the business.
Karina is an excellent example of the skills that modern Latina women have to contribute to the growth of supermarkets.
Francis is not shy to admit that “without Karina’s support, this company doesn’t survive more than a month!”
As the Latino population continues to grow, with increasing education levels and the motivation to contribute to the support of their families, it is expected that Latinas will be an increasingly attractive option to drive Hispanic supermarkets.