Latinos are crucial to our Republic’s future. Latinos make up almost 20% of the US population, are the youngest ethnic group and growing rapidly. As a nation that thrives on commerce, free markets, and innovation, we must nurture, promote, and empower the next generation of Latino executives and corporate leaders in order to strengthen America’s economic future.
The data and the opportunity are very clear. According to the US Department of Labor, Latinos are projected to account for 78% of net new workers between 2020 and 2030. Yet, according to a report by the LCDA and KPMG, LLP, Latinos make up only 3% of Fortune 1000 board seats– while comprising almost 20% of the U.S. population. Fast Company reported on January 28, 2020, that Latinos occupy only 4.3% of executive positions in the U.S., based on research from the Center for Employment Equity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Last week I was honored to spend time with remarkable Latino executives and corporate board leaders from around the US who share a passion for America and our values: faith, family, economic opportunity, and hard work. The Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) and Latino Leaders Magazine brought together incredible business executives to discuss ways in which companies can increase qualified Latino representation among corporate boards. The discussions were inspirational and served as a call to action to company leaders across the country that the time to harness and advance qualified Latinos to positions of leadership is now.
Hard working, entrepreneurial, qualified Latino talent abounds. However, building a pipeline of Latino executives and corporate leaders takes intentionality, committed allies, and dedication. Indeed, advancing the future generation of Latino executives and corporate leaders will require all of us as Americans to open and expand our networks to qualified Latinos in order to both build a pipeline of Latino talent and enable their ability to compete for leadership positions.
One of our greatest founding fathers –Benjamin Franklin– wrote “…industry and patience are the greatest means of plenty.” This endeavor will require commitment and time, but it is a mission we must all embrace –especially decision makers in positions of influence– in order to prepare the future corporate leadership of our nation and ensure that America continues to thrive. ¡Empecemos ahora!