Latinos underrepresented on corporate boards, new report shows

Latinos underrepresented on corporate boards, new report shows

Latinos are underrepresented in corporate boards, especially considering the size of the U.S. Hispanic population, according to a report released Friday by the Latino Corporate Directors Association.

Latinos make up 19% of the U.S. population, but they hold 4.1% of Fortune 500 board seats in 2020. Whites held 82.5% of the seats, Blacks held 8.7% and Asians held 4.6%.

The gap is even more stark for Latinas - Latinas held only 1% of board seats on the 2020 Fortune 500.

The number of Latinos on boards is so small, and we keep hearing that organizations can't find qualified candidates, said the LCDA president and CEO Esther Aguilera. With our growing LCDA network of members, we have proven there is an ample supply and that excuse no longer applies. Despite this strong qualified pool, Latinos have been excluded and bypassed for a long time. This is unacceptable in the 21st century of America. The data shows that there's been some slight progress when it comes to Latinos on Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 company boards. Hispanics have the widest gap to close, lag behind other groups and have the widest gap to close.

Latino representation on Fortune 500 company boards increased by only 1.1 percentage points from 2010 to 2020.

That has started to change recently. In the last two years, Fortune 500 companies had an increase in Latino board representation comparable to that of the last decade, rising from 3.7% to 4.4%. Latino representation on Fortune 1000 company boards increased by 1 percentage point, from 3.2% to 4.1%.

Since 2011, the number of companies with Latino representation on their boards has gone up by 22%. The representation of women went up 12 percentage points from 2019 to 2022 in the past three years, making most of the progress made in the past three years. That is three times more than the increase in yearly progress during the previous eight years.

The report says that the Fortune 1000 shows some progress, but it will take decades to reach parity. The report is one of a series of studies presented at L Attitude, a conference focused on Latino leadership, participation and representation in corporate America, which took place from Thursday to Sunday in San Diego.

Latinos are the second-largest racial or ethnic group in the U.S. at over 62 million, accounting for over half of the country's demographic growth in the past decade. The gross domestic product of Latinos grew by 57%, faster than the general U.S. economy.