Latina women: Standing out in the boardroom
The effort of these Hispanic origin women is recognized by the corporate world that applauds their vision and talent.
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“Women make up 15% of the total workforce; 32% of the total administrative global group; they represent 38% of boards of directors. In fact, as of the end of 2021, our company was the only one of nine S&P 100 firms with six or more women on its board of directors,” said Gloria Bailey, SVP of Market Executive Bank of America Corp, during the 2022 Latina Empow(h)er Summit that took place last month.
Taking these figures into account, it is very important to highlight the successful Latina executives, who have had to break down not only gender barriers, but also ethnic origin ones, to get to where they are now.
Latinas in Business Inc., recently published a piece highlighting the successful path of four Latina executives who have been breaking down prejudices in the different organizations of which they are part.
“Historically, Latinos are the least represented in corporations compared to any other group. Only 3% of the Fortune 1000 company board seats are held by Latinos, despite the large size of the U.S. Latino population,” it is pointed out in the article.
Esther Aguilera, CEO of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA), warned about this important challenge, indicating that Latina women are being left behind.
“Over the last 10 years, between 2010 and 2020, Latinos only gained 1%. We went from 2% of corporate board seats to 3%. Latinos and Latinas are invisible in the C-suite and the boardroom. For Latinas, it’s even smaller. Only about 1% of the public company board seats are held by Latinas. Yet, we are such a large and contributing sector, we have a long tradition of entrepreneurship and growing corporate business businesses nationwide,” underlined Aguilera.
These are some women of Hispanic origin who, despite the obstacles, currently stand out on their corporate boards and open up a wide range of opportunities for those who come after them.
Here are some notable Latina executives:
This recognized world leader in food and agriculture, is Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for Corteva Agriscience.
Alonzo is responsible for the External Affairs department, which includes Corporate Communications, Global Corporate Responsibility, Government and Industry Affairs, and Product Promotion.
This executive has also served as administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, the federal marketing agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, and has a successful career in the public, non-profit and corporate sectors.
“As a Latina leader, Anne has been recognized for her leadership supporting and mentoring Latinos across the U.S. and was honored with awards, such as Top 100 Most Influential Latinas by Latino Leaders, Top 100 Latinos by Board IQ, Chicago United People of Color Award, Maestro Award for Entrepreneurship by Latino Leaders, Brava (courage) Award by LATINO Magazine and Corporate Elite Ranking, Hispanic Magazine,” it is highlighted by the publication.
Sindy M. Benavides
This Honduran-American immigrant is the founder, co-founder, or founding board member of LULAC Council 4611, the VA Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN), the VA Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR), and the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action (HOLA).
She is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, where she ensures that young women and immigrants have the same opportunities she has had.
With different positions in the public sector, Benavides uses her platforms to serve and support Latinos in their search for the "American dream.”
Durruthy is a queer Afro-Latina who is currently the vice president of global diversity, inclusion and belonging at LinkedIn.
“At LinkedIn, Rosanna’s focus is on empowering all employees, members and customers to realize their full potential. With Rosanna’s leadership, LinkedIn continues to build a strong culture that values diversity, inclusion and creating a sense of belonging, for all of their employees,” the article pointed out.
Recognized as one of the leading professional Hispanic women in the country, with great relevance in diversity and inclusion issues, Durruthy also stands out for her role as an angel investor and advisor to new companies such as Viridis Learning, Encantos Media and Strive.
Rachel A. González
González, who joined Starbucks Coffee Company in 2018, is currently executive vice president and general counsel, handling legal and regulatory affairs as well as global safety, ethics and compliance.
Due to her valuable executive leadership skills, González also held current roles at Sabre, a leading provider of technology solutions to the global travel and tourism industry, where she also held the chief administrative officer position.
Drawing on her extensive experience in executive positions in the private sector, González currently serves as a member of Dana's Compensation Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee, as well as the Board of Directors of Electronic Arts Inc.
“These four Latinas represent a small but growing group of Latina executives. In a time where representation and diversity is crucial and Latino populations are on the rise, we need to see more Latina executives, leaders, and founders on the corporate level. Latinas can no longer be left behind in the boardroom,” ended the publication.