In 2015, the U.S. Hispanic population was estimated at 55 million, or 17 percent of the nation’s population. The Hispanic consumer controls a purchasing power of $1.3 trillion, projected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020.
According to the “Missing Pieces Report: The 2016 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards,” women and minorities remain underrepresented on Fortune 500 company boards. In 2016, the total number of board seats in the Fortune 500 declined from 5,463 total board seats in 2010 to 5,440 in 2016.
This decrease represents a challenge to grow the representation of women and minorities in corporate boardrooms. Hispanics are seeing less progress than other minority groups. Of the 5,440 total board seats, Hispanic men and women hold only 188 board seats or 3.5 percent of the total. Moreover, in four years, Latina women lost two Fortune 500 board positions.
In the last decade, there was a notable momentum in Hispanic representation in the corporate boardroom. However, the 2016 data suggests that there is still a significant gap between the strength of the U.S. Hispanic population and the number of Hispanics on Fortune 500 boards.
A changing market
Hispanic inclusion in corporate America has never been more critical. As corporations look to increase their market share, they must look to the growing Hispanic community as critical partners in their success. Corporate boards should be inextricably linked to diversity and inclusion to produce more value to the company’s shareholders and to achieve sustainable growth and long-term success.
The time is now for Corporate America to change the status quo and recognize the growing need to accelerate its progress and increase diverse environments.
Ariana Solis Gomez, Director, Communications, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, [email protected]