“Diversity in America is not black and white”
Former SEC Commissioner Roel Campos blasted corporate America for excluding Latinos from the board room and announced a national campaign to “target” companies with no Latino representation.
The leading association advocating for Latinos on corporate boards has come out forcefully with a plan to call out corporate America for little Latino representation on corporate boards.
According to data compiled by Institutional Shareholder Services, only 2.25% of all corporate board members of Russell 3000 index companies were Latino.
Roel Campos is a former Commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the current chair of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA).
The LCDA is a national, membership organization promoting C-level and board diversity.
Campos stated that Latinos have not benefited from diversity efforts.
“Latinos were excluded in the push to add women to the boardroom and again being excluded by efforts solely focused on Black directors.” he said. “Diversity in America is not black and white. A truly diverse boardroom is inclusive of Latinos.”
In response to the struggling representation stats, LCDA recently announced the creation of a new initiative entitled: “Latino Voices for Boardroom Equity.”
The initiative was started in partnership with civic and business leaders and also includes: the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), UnidosUS, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), and the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), according to an LCDA press release.
The new initiative hopes to change Latino boardroom representation by focusing on three objectives:
- Triple Latino representation on public company boards by 2023.
- Act to target corporations with no Latino representation.
- Track progress through publication of a quarterly scorecard.
LCDA said the campaign will begin with some of the largest companies in the State of California because their research found that of 662 California based companies, 571 or 87%, had no Latino representation on their corporate boards.
A 2019 analysis by LCDA found that 76.8% of the Fortune 1000 companies do not have a Latino on their board. In turn, only 23.2% of the F1000 companies had one or more U.S. Latinos on their boards.
“Diverse representation on Boards of Directors is more than just a goodwill gesture, it is good for a corporation’s bottom line since research shows that companies with diverse boards are more successful financially. And given the highly competitive 21st century economy, continuing to neglect a trillion dollar market and the future American workforce is a costly, short-sighted, and unnecessary business decision,” said Janet Murguia, UnidosUS CEO.
Latinos represent a fast growing, and dynamic sector, LCDA stated.
The organization found that Latinos in the U.S. are the largest racial or ethnic group in the country, totaling 58 million (18% of the population) and projected to grow, on average, 1.2 million per year between 2017 and 2060. U.S. Latino consumers are the economic engine of the country; they command $2.3 trillion GDP and are driving consumption growth in every mass consumer category.
“In a country in which nearly 25% of the GDP growth is driven by Latinos, no company can be effectively governed without Latino voices on their board. Supply is not the issue. Despite a strong qualified pool, Latinos have long been systematically excluded and bypassed.” said Pat Pineda, LCDA Board Member.
“Latino businesses across the country are supplying value-added goods and services for Corporate America and Fortune 1000 public boardrooms would greatly benefit from our business acumen, experience and grit,” stated Ramiro A. Cavazos, President & CEO of USHCC.