Bloomberg Línea — Almost four out of 10 executives on the boards of directors of companies in the United States were of Latin American origin in 2021, according to a survey conducted by KPMG, which analyzed the boards of the Fortune 1000 companies.
The study states that Latinos occupied 3.7% of board seats, which shows an increase of one percentage point compared to the 2.7% of 2019. While that number may be low, considering that the Latino population accounts for 18.9% of the total US population, it clearly represents progress, albeit little.
However, the Latino presence on boards of directors has only increased by 1% with respect to 2020, the same as when comparing 2020 with 2019. According to the KPMG data, the increase of Latinos on the boards has occurred in those companies that already had Latinos in their top ranks, as reflected in the graph below, where those companies with one or two Latinos are the ones in which the incorporation of Latinos increased.
A July 2021 BoardReady study showed that companies with 30% or more board seats held by non-white directors performed better than companies with less than 20% of seats held by non-white directors; despite the factual evidence that diversity in Fortune 1000 companies is still in short supply.
What do Latino managers look like?
Although diversity in terms of origin is very limited in these types of organizations, we can also see a slow advancement of women taking seats on boards. By 2021, 33% of directors were women, up from 30% in 2020.
On the other hand, Latino directors are slightly younger than all Fortune 1000 directors. The average age of Latino directors is 60, while the average age of all Fortune 1000 directors is 62.
As it is vital for companies that directors cannot serve on multiple boards at the same time, half of the board members serve only one board, while short terms of office where the renewal of such executives can bring new visions to the companies are also taken into account.
Thus, 38% of Latino talent has served between one and five years on their boards.
The industries in which Latinos have the largest presence are food, beverage and tobacco, with 52%; engineering and construction with 41%, and entrepeneurial services is in third place with 40%.
“It is notable that no industry has more than 7% of its board seats held by Latino directors. This compares to nearly 20% of the US population that identifies as Latino,” the KPMG report states.