Washington, D.C. - A study released this week by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) revealed that 85 percent of all Fortune 1,000 companies have no Hispanic representation on their board of directors.
According to the 2001 HACR Corporate Governance Study, Hispanics hold only 1.7 percent of all board seats in the largest companies of the nation, up by 0.3 percent compared to 2000 data and 1.0 percent since 1993. However, Hispanics represent nearly 14 percent of the United States population, including Puerto Rico.
"Although the representation of Hispanics in the governance of the largest companies in the nation has increased since 1993, the rate of increase is too modest to achieve full Hispanic inclusion within the next ten to twenty years," said Anna Escobedo Cabral, president and chief executive officer of HACR.
According to the study, Hispanics hold 181 of 10,597 board seats in all Fortune 1,000 companies, an increase of 29 seats since 2000 and 97 seats since 1993. To reach a level of inclusion that mirrors Hispanic population figures, Hispanics would hold 1,484 seats across all companies.
"The growing Hispanic community, Hispanic employees and customers, will continue contributing to a larger share of this nation's economy, said Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). "To remain successful, companies must be more responsive to the Hispanic community and ensure Hispanic inclusion in their governing bodies, workforce, procurement and charitable contributions."
For the first time, the study also reported on the representation of Hispanics at the executive officer level as reported to the Securities Exchange Commission. It indicated that 93 percent of all Fortune 1,000 companies do not have Hispanic executive officers within their organizations. In addition, HACR identified only 487 Hispanics who serve in positions that are considered among the highest ranking 100 employees of each Fortune 1,000 company.
Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the nation with an annual purchasing power of more than $560 billion. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics represented 10.8 percent of the civilian labor force in 2000.
"As consumers, Hispanics will be more inclined to purchase goods and services from companies that have embraced Hispanic inclusion at all levels of their workforce as well as in their economic activities," said Ronald Blackburn-Moreno, Chairman of HACR.
"To remain competitive in an increasingly diverse market, corporations must cast a wider net to ensure Hispanic inclusion in their boardrooms and decision making positions," Black-burn-Moreno added.
The study ranked companies for their record of Hispanic inclusion. Twenty-three companies received a triple A (AAA) rating for having Hispanics on their boards at a rate equal to or higher than the Hispanic population in the United States and Puerto Rico 14 percent or above. These companies are Adobe Systems, Adolph Coors, Belo, Darden Restaurants, Edison International, Granite, Home Depot, KB Home, Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, MasTec, National Semiconductor, Peoples Energy, PG&E Corp., Pitney Bowes, Popular, Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Raytheon, Republic Services, Scholastic, Valero Energy, Warnaco Group, and Watsco.
"We commend and publicly recognize all companies that have taken notice of the Hispanic community's talents, knowledge and entrepreneurship and have achieved full Hispanic inclusion in their governance," said Cabral.
The study revealed that aside from the 854 Fortune 1,000 companies that have no Hispanics on their boards, there are 20 industries with no Hispanic board members, including health care, sporting goods, food and grocery wholesalers, and securities firms.
"As members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, we are committed to working with HACR to advance Hispanic representation in corporate America," said Congressman Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), Vice Chairman of the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus. "Across the country, Hispanics play an important and growing role in our national economy. It's time to expand that role to include better representation among America's corporate executives."
"It is clear that unless we respect, value, and maximixe ALL our resources, our future as the leading nation in the world is questionable," said Alma Morales Riojas, president of MANA, a Latina organization. "We must ensure that Hispanics are an integral part of corporate America at all levels or we will put the nation's economy and future at risk."
The 2001 HACR Corporate Governance Study examines Hispanic representation at the highest levels of Corporate America and rates Fortune 1,000 companies for their record of Hispanic inclusion. Since it was first published in 1993, the HACR Corporate Governance Study has pointed out areas for growth in the representation of Hispanics on the governing boards of the largest companies in America. The 2001 study was based on results from surveys sent to all Fortune 1,000 companies in 2001. The list of Fortune 1,000 companies varies from year to year because it is based on annual revenues.
HACR is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America's governance, employment, philanthropy, and procurement, at a level equitable to their economic contributions. HACR partners with corporations who are committed to advance Hispanic inclusion in all of their economic activities.