HACR, working to elevate Hispanic inclusion in corporate America
The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility seeks to make the voice of millions of Hispanics in the United States heard.
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Highlighting recent figures that present a bleak picture for Latino executive talent, when it comes to the number of board-level appointments, Hispanics hold only 5% of Fortune 1000 company board chairs and 4% of positions on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. This is while Latina women only make a presence with 1% in Fortune 500 firms and, added to other minorities, they only occupy 6.6% of these chairs.
“The voice of more than 46.6 million Hispanics in the United States needs to feel heard, not neglected!” it is pointed out by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), referring to the measures it has taken to promote the inclusion of Hispanics in American companies.
What is HACR Doing?
The nonprofit organization, founded in 1986, prioritizes working with corporations nationally and globally to create positive change in Latino and Hispanic communities.
Its main focus is on 4 areas of corporate social responsibility and community reciprocity:
“HACR is proud to be promoting Hispanic inclusivity through direct corporate advocacy by speaking with chief executive officers, board of directors, and chief diversity officers to increase the representation of Hispanics at all levels in Corporate America,” said Cid Wilson, President and CEO of HACR.
Having Cid speak with the leaders that influence the appointment of board members allows for elevating more Latino/as and Hispanics to get onto more corporate boards.
From the Hand of the President
Wilson is a recognized and enthusiastic promoter of Hispanic talent in the United States. During his time at HACR he has contributed to the growth of the organization, especially thanks to the tripling of net assets, but especially to his tireless work in favor of making Latino talent visible.
"I want people to remember me as the leader who changed corporate culture, who created a Corporate America that is not only inclusive but also a place of belonging,” noted Wilson.
To answer frequently asked questions like “what is corporate America doing to change corporate board culture?” Or “How can each director of the board be a catalyst for change in the current culture of the corporate board?”, Wilson argues that in order to make possible the presence of more Latinos on the boards, it is necessary to change the current corporate structure in the U.S.
“The misconception you hear from Corporate America that they can not find ‘qualified’ Latino/as or a ‘good fit’ is a fallacy!” underlined Wilson.
For Wilson, it is important to highlight that in order to occupy a managerial chair, visibility is needed. This, referring to the following numbers:
- 2/3 of board positions are chosen by word of mouth
- 1/3 are decided by search firms
- 60% of board seats go to current/former CEOs or other C-suite roles
- The last 20% goes to everyone else
"If you add visibility, time, and qualifications, it equates to external credibility and the notice needed for the boards,” stated Wilson.
Wilson also emphasizes the issue of changing mindsets within business organizations in the United States.
“The issue of 'qualification' and 'fit' completely goes away because now Corporate America is looking at this through the acculturation lens rather than the old-school assimilation lens. When Corporate America adapts acculturation in their corporate boards, you will see the numbers of Hispanics and Latinos getting on boards go up dramatically," emphasized Wilson.