Gaps in Latino Boardroom Representation – Insights from the Latino Corporate Directors Association

| Ozzie Gromada Meza

This post is the first in a series of guest-authored commentary pieces spotlighting data and insights from the Board Diversity Gaps report, produced in partnership between Diligent Institute, the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LDCA), and 21 other organizations committed to promoting boardroom diversity around the world.

The Disparity of Latino Board Representation

The lack of Latino representation on US corporate boards has long been a significant challenge. For years, Latinos have been systematically excluded and bypassed for a seat at the table. As part of its mission to raise awareness of the dire state of Latino representation on corporate boards, LCDA conducts regular audits of Fortune 1000 companies and other public companies.

Summary data from the last decade concludes:

  • Latinos are vastly underrepresented on corporate boards yet are the second largest population group in the United States, totaling5 million Americans and contributing $9B to the economy year-over-year.
  • Latinos have the widest representation gap to close of any underrepresented racial/ethnic group.
  • Latinas historically have been least represented, with 1% of board seats on the Fortune 500; the least number of seats of any gender or ethnic group.

Research from the Missing Pieces report, a collaborative effort between Deloitte and The Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD) shows comparative representation of underrepresented groups in Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 company boards. While most underrepresented communities have experienced more than a 1 percentage point increase since 2004, Hispanics/Latinos have not.

Fortune 100 and 500 Findings: Representation Gaps in the Boardroom

According to the Missing Pieces report, Hispanic/Latino(a) board members only hold 4.7%, or 58 seats, in the Fortune 100 as of 2020. For comparison, this number is 79.4% (985 seats) for white directors, 11.4% (141 seats) for African American/Black directors, and 4.4% (54 seats) for Asian/Pacific Islander directors.

In the Fortune 500, the trends are similar: Hispanic/Latino(a) board members hold only 4.1% (or 240 seats), compared with 82.5% (4,853 seats) for white directors, 8.7% (510 seats) for African American/Black directors, and 4.6% (270 seats) for Asian/Pacific Islander directors.

LCDA is Moving the Needle

LCDA is committed to advancing change, being a catalyst for Hispanic/Latino representation on corporate boards and uplifting a new wave of Latino executive talent.

In 2022, LCDA’s work has resulted in measurable impact:

  • Ten years ago, 87% of Fortune 1000 companies lacked US Latino directors. Today, approximately 65% lack a Latino on the board.
  • Today, less than 50% of Fortune 100 companies still lack a US Latino on the board of directors, a decrease from years prior.
  • Over the last decade, Latino representation on Fortune 500 company boards increased 1.1% from 2010 to 2020. From 2020 to 2022, Latinos achieved a comparable increase to the last decade from 3.7% to 4.4%, a 0.7% increase.
  • Latino representation on Fortune 1000 company boards is progressing at a similar rate as Fortune 500 with a nearly 1% increase from 3.2% to 4.1%.

Slight progress continues for US Hispanic/Latinos on Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 company boards, but are far from equity. When comparing historical data the gains vastly lag behind other racial and ethnic groups.

About the Latino Corporate Directors Association

The Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) brings together accomplished and respected Hispanics/Latinos in corporate leadership and corporate governance committed to paying it forward. Our mission is to develop, support, and increase the number of Hispanics/Latinos on corporate boards. LCDA’s strategy to accelerate Hispanic/Latino placements on corporate boards is focused on three areas: grow demand, grow supply, and raise awareness. Our program areas focus on growing the supply of high-caliber boardroom candidates and providing quality corporate governance programming for experienced and aspiring directors. LCDA serves as an advocate and resource to corporate boards, search firms, private equity, and institutional investors interested in gaining access to exceptional Hispanic/Latino board talent.

Research Tools and Resources

  1. The Latino Board Tracker, a publicly available research tool that tracks the number of Latina/os on Fortune 1000 company boards. The Latino Board Tracker is an important research platform providing companies and boards a way to compare their inclusion performance to peer companies.
  2. 2022 LCDA Latino Board Monitor, an annual report measuring progress and raising awareness of Latino inclusion on public company boards. The closing feature of the report identifies Fortune 1000 companies with and without US Latino representation on their board of directors.
  3. LCDA’s Member Directory, an online member database searchable by name, state, gender, industry, and sector.
  4. LCDA’s Talent Services is focused on promoting board opportunities or generating confidential candidate lists for board searches. To learn more, contact Ozzie Gromada Meza, Vice President of Member and Talent Services at ogromadameza@latinocorporatedirectors.org.
  5. Latino Representation on Fortune 1000 boards: 2020 Edition, KPMG and Latino Corporate Directors Association examine Latino representation on the boards of Fortune 1000.

About the Author

Ozzie Gromada Meza

Vice President, Member and Talent Services, Latino Corporate Directors Association

Ozzie brings 10 years of direct corporate experience and 5 years of entrepreneurial experience. He developed his expertise in boutique and Fortune 50 organizations. Prior to joining LCDA, Ozzie was an intelligence lead at JamesDruryPartners, a leading board advisory services firm, where he focused on aligning C-level executives backgrounds with Board of Director opportunities. Earlier in his career, he supported the executive recruiting team and spearheaded the build-out of the first talent intelligence team at Allstate Insurance. From this work, he was awarded the Special Libraries Association Business and Finance Impact Award in 2013. Known for innovation, Ozzie has been a speaker on trends in talent intelligence, regionally and nationally. He has been a member of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals and past participant of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Leadership Academy. Ozzie holds a B.S. in Information Systems and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ozzie and his husband are the proud parents of twins and enjoy traveling.