Corporate America Leaving Hispanics Behind

Last Updated Dec 16, 2009 12:39 PM EST

The Hispanic demographic group is growing three times as fast as the growth rate of the total American population, according to the US Census Bureau. By 2050, if the predictions are valid, there will be over 100 million Hispanics in America, which will be close to a quarter of the US population.

Hispanics currently make up around 15 percent of the total American population. Yet according to a new report by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, an advocacy group, Hispanics are underrepresented in boardrooms across America.
The group sought to survey Fortune 100 companies, as well as its corporate partners, to gauge how Hispanics were included at the decision maker levels of the largest American companies. Perhaps fearing disclosure, over 70 percent of the firms in the Fortune 100 ignored the group's survey request. Companies like Microsoft, Johnson and Johson, Chevron, JP Morgan and Target all declined to participate.

The companies that did respond included blue chip companies like McDonald's, Kraft, Wal-Mart, IBM and Dell. Within the responding group, Sodexo, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Marriott and Verizon scored the best for including Hispanics at their respective headquarters.

Overall, though, Hispanics are not on an equal footing amongst their C-Suite peers, according to the survey's results:

  • Only 6% out of 384 open board positions are held by Hispanics
  • Of the 1,281 executive and director positions available, Hispanics held only 61 positions
  • Only 2.5% of philanthropic giving was directed to the Hispanic community
  • On average, Hispanics are earning $12,000 less for a full-time position than non-Hispanics
Why do you think Hispanics are currently underrepresented in corporate America? Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences below.
  • Stefan Deeran

    Stefan Deeran helps environmental nonprofits and green businesses develop and execute their new media campaigns. He also publishes The Exception magazine, a nonpartisan news platform serving his home state of Maine. You can follow him on Twitter @RStefanDeeran or via Facebook.