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Little Progress for Hispanic Inclusion on Corporate Boards in Past 20 Years

Seventy percent, or nearly 350 of the Fortune 500 companies do not have a Hispanic member on their board, according to a new study by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR).

The organization’s 2013 Corporate Governance Study (CGS) measures Hispanic inclusion in the C-Suite and boardrooms in Fortune 500 companies, revealing that there has been little progress for Hispanic inclusion on corporate boards over the last 20 years.

Some other key findings include:

· Latinas only hold 37 out of 5,511 board seats in the Fortune 500

· Hispanics held three percent of seats in the boardroom of the Fortune 500

· Only 10 Fortune 500 CEOs (two percent) are of Hispanic heritage

· 133 Hispanic individuals held 171 board seats in the Fortune 500

· Only four percent of Fortune 500 companies had two Hispanics on their board

The CGS shows that while Hispanics have made certain gains in the number of seats held in the boardroom, this still only amounts to a small percentage of the overall total of eligible seats. Between 1993 and 2007, there was significant momentum in Hispanic representation in the corporate boardroom. However, 2013 data suggests the momentum has been lost, and it is important to highlight that these gains were minimal and not representative given the size and consumer strength of the U.S. Hispanic population.

“Companies such as American Express, Apple, ExxonMobil and Sears should be embarrassed their boards exclude Hispanics despite a demographic of 60 million consumers with a buying power of $1.3 trillion,” said HACR President & CEO Carlos F. Orta. “The lack of Hispanic inclusion doesn’t bode well for shareholder value given the U.S. Hispanic consumer is the 14th largest economy in the world.”

Last year, a report by Saatchi & Saatchi S explored the potential of the U.S. Latino market in sustainable business, and explored the best way to tap into it. Recognizing this market’s potential, earlier this year Toyota launched a program aimed at promoting environmental awareness in the Hispanic communities in Miami and Los Angeles while also providing tools to encourage and enable these communities to live more sustainably.


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