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Claudia Romo Edelman is joining her first U.S. corporate board at Canoo. Photo: Harrison Brink/AL DÍA News
Claudia Romo Edelman is joining her first U.S. corporate board at Canoo. Photo: Harrison Brink/AL DÍA News

Claudia Romo Edelman appointed to the board of Canoo, to launch Latinas on Boards Challenge

The We Are All Human and Hispanic Star founder also told AL DÍA that 10% of her board compensation will go to organizations pushing more Latinas to be on…

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In a press release from Canoo, an electric car manufacturer based in Los Angeles, California, it was announced that Claudia Romo Edelman, founder of the We Are All Human Foundation and the Hispanic Star, would be joining the company’s board of directors.

When she spoke to AL DÍA on March 17, Romo Edelman couldn’t express enough how much of “a big deal” it was for her.

Not only is Canoo on the cutting edge of electric car technology, but with the appointment — Romo Edelman’s first — she becomes one of the few Latinas on corporate boards in the U.S.

According to the Latino Corporate Directors Association’s tracker of Latinos on boards from companies on the Fortune 1000, there are only 117 Latinas. 

When speaking to LCDA's Oswaldo Meza, he offered congratulations on behalf of the organization to Romo Edelman and said he looked forward to working with her in the future.

"It's time Latinas got a seat at the table. We need more voices, and boards are incomplete without Latinos," said Meza.

While Canoo is not on the 2020 Fortune 1000, its board is public, and Romo Edelman sees it as an opportunity to bring more Hispanics, especially Latinas, to the table.

“I feel not only humbled, but also responsible to be able to share everything that I’ve learned through this process, and actually start advocating for more Latinas to be in corporate boards,” she said.

In an exclusive announcement to AL DÍA, Romo Edelman said she will donate 10% of her board compensation to organizations pushing for more Latinas on corporate boards.

“I think that’s what we all should be doing,” she said. “When you get there, you get the access code, share the access code, and keep the door open.”

Romo Edelman also said she’ll be launching the “Latinas on Boards Challenge,” which will consist of further donations, a pledge from companies to get Latinas on boards, and a series of webinars run through her Hispanic Star platform to share knowledge with Latinas about what it takes to get into the boardroom.

Those featured in the talks will be Romo Edelman and potentially other Latinas that have broken the predominantly white male barrier to sit in boardrooms across the country.

“Hey sister, be the role model for all of us giving back. Be the Bill Gates of companies that have the giving pledge,” was her message. “It’s not only about money, but the energy we’re going to pull for other Latinas to get on boards.”

In a message to corporate boards across the country, Romo Edelman called appointing Hispanics the “clever thing to do, particularly more Latinas.”

“We will actually be able to bring that insight and experience about the future consumer, about trends,” she said. “Diversity and inclusion is here to stay and you really need to have that perspective within.”

Regarding her appointment at Canoo, Romo Edelman credited its Board Chair Tony Aquila for what she called a “brave” and “courageous” move to appoint her to her first board.

She said she was drawn to the company because not only does she see electric cars as the future of automobile transportation, but that Canoo will also build affordable versions of them.

To this point, Romo Edelman said electric cars have been “pretty elitist” and not accessible to help the Latino or any minority community.

“A Tesla is a dream for Latinos, but not a reality because we know we can’t afford it,” she said.

She also went on to say that a majority of Latino small businesses she’s encountered in her other work at the We Are All Human Foundation or the Hispanic Star use their own cars for work.

Canoo is out to change that with its own line of electric delivery cars and trucks, and Romo Edelman will be one of the leaders charged with delivering them to the communities as best as possible.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated with a statement from the Latino Corporate Directors Association.
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