Latinos are ‘quite’ underrepresented on corporate boards

Latinos are ‘quite’ underrepresented on corporate boards

Latinos are “quite” underrepresented on corporate boards, especially given the size of the US Hispanic population, according to a report released Friday by the Latino Corporate Directors Association.

Latinos make up 19% of the US population, but in 2020 they held 4.1% of the Fortune 500’s board seats. By comparison, whites held 82.5% of those seats, blacks held 8.7% and Asians held 4.6%.

The difference is even more stark for Latinas – Latinas held just 1% of board seats on the 2020 Fortune 500.

“The number of Latinos on boards is very small and we continue to hear that organizations cannot find qualified candidates,” said LCDA President and CEO Esther Aguilera. “With our growing network of LCDA members, we have proven that there is ample supply and that excuse no longer applies. Despite this strong qualified group, Latinos have been systematically excluded and ignored. This is unacceptable in 21st century America.”

The report found that historical data suggests there has been little progress when it comes to Latinos on the boards of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies. But Hispanics lag behind other groups and have the biggest gap to close.

From 2010 to 2020, Latino representation on the boards of Fortune 500 companies increased by just 1.1 percentage points.

But recently, that has started to change. In the past two years, Fortune 500 companies have seen an increase in Latino board representation comparable to the last decade, from 3.7% to 4.4%. Latino representation on the boards of Fortune 1000 companies similarly progressed, with an increase of nearly 1 percentage point from 3.2% to 4.1%.

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Since 2011, the number of companies with Latino representation on their boards has grown by 22%. Most of the progress has been made in the last three years, when representation increased by 12 percentage points from 2019 to 2022. That’s three times the increase in annual progress over the previous eight years.

The report says that while the Fortune 1000 shows some progress, “even at this rate, it will take decades to reach parity.”

The report is one of a series of studies presented at L’Attitude, a conference focused on Latino leadership, participation and representation in corporate America that takes place Thursday through Sunday in San Diego.

Latinos are the second largest racial or ethnic group in the US, with more than 62 million, accounting for more than half of the country’s population growth over the past decade. At the same time, Latinos’ gross domestic product grew 57%, faster than the overall US economy.

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