71 % of top U.S. companies lack Hispanic representation on their boards

WASHINGTON, DC-- The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) unveils the findings of its 2007 Corporate Governance Study. The study measures Hispanic inclusion on the boards of Fortune 500 companies.

The Hispanic imprint on American culture and business is undeniable. As the largest and fastest-growing minority community in the United States, Hispanics represent 14 percent of the population and one out of every eight employees in the labor force. For Corporate America, the growth in the Hispanic population has meant an opportunity to profit from the community’s expanding purchasing power, a hefty $863.1 billion in 2007. HACR advocates for greater inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America.

Despite Hispanic community’s growing economic clout, Hispanics remain absent from corporate boardrooms, HACR’s 2007 Corporate Governance Study reveals:

-- Since 2003 there has been a 26 percent rise in the number of Hispanics sitting on Fortune 500 boards.

-- Almost 10 percent of Fortune 500 boards have maintained Hispanic representation for at least a decade.

-- Hispanics held just 3.1 percent of all Fortune 500 board seats in 2006.

-- Hispanic women held just 0.8 percent of all Fortune 500 seats in 2006.

-- Almost three times as many Hispanics serve on Fortune 500 boards than on Fortune 501-1000 boards.

-- Hispanics serving as board chairs, presidents and/or CEOs in the Fortune 1,000 has increased from 16 to 22.

-- Just two companies in the Fortune 500 had three or more Hispanic board members.

-- Only 1 percent of executive officer positions were held by Hispanics.

“HACR wishes to thank IBM for its continued leadership in supporting and advancing HACR’s goal to increase Hispanic inclusion throughout Corporate America,” said HACR president and CEO Carlos F. Orta. “Their support of the 2007 Corporate Governance Study allows HACR to continue to conduct research on issues important to our advocacy work in this area.”

"The findings of the HACR governance study are compelling and reinforce the need for continued efforts to increase Hispanic representation in corporate leadership roles," according to Ron Glover, Global Vice President, Workforce Diversity, IBM. "We believe the data from this study will encourage companies to take action around this important issue."

About HACR: The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, founded in 1986, is a coalition of the most influential Hispanic national organizations in the United States. Collectively, the coalition reflects the voice of 46.6 million Hispanics living in the United States and Puerto Rico. Our mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions.

To that end, HACR focuses on four areas of corporate responsibility and community reciprocity: employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.


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