Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | Updated at 7:26 PM ET


There's A Push for Greater Latino Inclusion on Boards of Fortune 500 Companies

First Posted: May 10, 2016 11:38 AM EDT

Photo : Getty Images/Saul Loeb

The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is calling for the inclusion of more Latinos in leadership positions on the boards of some of the country's top Fortune 500 companies.

In a recent Washington D.C. gathering of many of the nation's top business executives marking HARC's three decades of advocating for Hispanics in corporate America, leaders used part of their platform to stress just over seven percent of Latinos now hold board positions and just over 4 percent of them are executives.

"We have to continue to advocate to corporate America on why they need to be consciously searching for Latinos when they have vacancies," said Cid Wilson, HACR president and CEO. "They need to change their thinking about who do you know versus who can do the job. There's no excuse not to find qualified Latinos because we have plenty who are ready to serve."

Latinos Can Be Key to Fueling Company's Success

Wilson went on to illustrate "being a diverse company and being a profitable company is not mutually exclusive." He hinted that the ones that have come to seek to actively engage the Latino community are the ones that are now truly thriving.

Latinos now account for roughly half of all consumer spending growth across the U.S. Despite that profitable distinction, the numbers for Latinos in key positions at top companies are even more dismal than the aforementioned ones, with that group accounting for just one percent of all executive spots.

AT&T Federal Relations Vice President Susan Santana stressed Latinas have many of the attributes and qualities that make for a poised and polished business exec.

Leaders Stress Latinos to Be Yourself

"It's okay to bring our authentic selves as Latinas (to work)," she said "We love our families, we're loyal, we're committed, and we're not afraid to be leaders in corporate America. It's okay to be your real self. It can be done and you can still advance."

Various Latina execs were also on hand for HARC's 30-year anniversary forum, sharing strategy aimed at increasing the overall numbers of Hispanic business leaders by highlighting their experiences and offering advice.

HARC bills its mission as advancing the "inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions."

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