WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) announced "Latino Voices for Boardroom Equity," in partnership with leading business and civic leaders, including 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). This initiative will target and engage with US public companies lacking Latino representation. Progress will be tracked and shared through the publication of a quarterly scorecard.
Latinos in the US are the largest racial or ethnic group in this country, totaling 58 million, 18% of the population, and projected to grow, on average, 1.2M per year between 2017 and 2060. US Latino consumers are the economic engine of the country; they command $2.3T GDP and are driving consumption growth in every mass consumer category.
"In a country where Latino GDP is 24.4% of total US GDP growth, 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," stated Pat Pineda, LCDA Board Member.
The number of US Latinos on corporate boards is staggeringly low and there has been no progress in the last decade by any measure. In stark contrast to the size and economic strength of the US Latino population, US Latinos hold a mere 2.2% of the board seats among the publicly-traded companies listed in the Russell 3000 Index, according to ISS ESG data as of August 31, 2020.
The "Latino Voices" initiative asserts that diversity without the inclusion of Latinos is not acceptable:
- 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.
"Latinos were excluded in the push to add women to the boardroom and are being excluded again by efforts solely focused on Black directors," stated Roel Campos, former SEC Commissioner and LCDA Board Chair. "Diversity in America is not black and white. A truly diverse boardroom is inclusive of Latinos," said Campos.
"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 an unnecessary business decision," said Janet Murguia, UnidosUS CEO.
"What we continue to have today is systemic exclusion which is not acceptable in 2020. Latinos are the current and future workforce of America with a growing purchasing power that impacts the bottom line of major corporations across all industries. We are closely watching the actions taken in the corporate boardrooms and will not hesitate to publicly denounce companies who market and profit from our community but fail to include us on their corporate boards," stated Sindy Benavides, LULAC National CEO.
"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, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC).
"Since 2008, Latinos have comprised 82% of the growth in the US workforce. Any company seeking growth must look to engage the U.S. Latino community in all facets, as customers, employees, executives, and board members. It is irresponsible for companies not to have Latinos included in their Boardroom given those statistics. This should be an easy decision, it's both the right thing for society and for shareholders," said Damian Rivera, ALPFA CEO.
"With Latinos comprising over one quarter of all public school students in the United States, public companies must recognize Latino importance, today and tomorrow, as leaders, workers, and consumers; board inclusion is critical to these companies' future success," stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel.
"If corporations do not want to give us a seat at the boardroom table, these corporations are going to feel the absence of the buying power of the U.S. Latinx, which is expected to reach 1.9 trillion by 2023. It'll be time for us to withdraw our money and take our business to corporations that believe, support, and uplift our community," said Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition.
ABOUT LATINO VOICES FOR BOARDROOM EQUITY
Latino Voices for Boardroom Equity was formed by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), UnidosUS, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), and the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA).
This effort will target companies that lack US Latino directors, starting with some of the largest companies based in California, then spanning nationwide. LCDA CA Company Board research found that of the 662 California-based public companies, 87%, 571 corporations have no Latino representation on their board of directors.
A Latino Board Tracker, maintained by the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA), analyzes companies on the Fortune 1000, identifying corporations with one or more Latinos/as on their board. In 2019, LCDA analysis 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 US Latinos on their boards, occupying only 2.7% of Fortune 1000 board seats.
ABOUT THE LATINO CORPORATE DIRECTOR'S ASSOCIATION
The Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) is a national, membership organization promoting C-level and board diversity. Our organization champions diversity at the highest levels of corporate leadership behind a critical mission: increase the representation of US Latinos on corporate boards.
LCDA actively works with Blacks, Asian-Americans, women, and LGBTQ+ organizations to advocate for board diversity. LCDA serves as an advocate and resource to corporate boards, search firms, private equity, and institutional investors interested in gaining access to exceptional Latino board talent.
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For more information about Latino Voices: latinocorporatedirectors.org/latino_voices_for_boardroom_eq.php
SOURCE Latino Voices for Boardroom Equity