Pocos hispanos en juntas corporativas

WASHINGTON – El senador Robert Menéndez (D-NJ), Presidente del Grupo de Trabajo sobre asuntos Hispanos de los Demócratas del Senado, dio a conocer los resultados de su encuesta para evaluar la representación de mujeres y minorías en los más altos puestos gerenciales de las compañías “Fortune 500”, así como el uso de empresas propiedad de minorías y mujeres en el proceso de contratación y adquisiciones.

La encuesta concluyó que la representación de mujeres y minorías en las juntas corporativas sigue estando muy por debajo de los índices poblaciones a nivel nacional. La encuesta de Menéndez ha sido una de los más exitosas de su clase; la misma obtuvo respuesta de 219 corporaciones en la lista “Fortune 500” y 71 en la lista de “Fortune 100”.

Las minorías representan un total del 14,5% de los directores en las juntas corporativas y en general tienen menos representación en los puestos ejecutivos que en las juntas corporativas. Los hispanos estan proporcionalmente menos representados en las juntas y tienen aún menos representación en los puestos ejecutivos. Los mismos comprenden 3,28% de los miembros de juntas y 2,90% y de los puestos ejecutivos, cerca de quinta parte del 15% que representan en la población de Estados Unidos.

Entre los grupos minoritarios, los afroamericanos tienen la mayor representación en las juntas en comparación con su población, pero el mayor descenso en representación a través de todos los grupos en puestos ejecutivos, la cual se vio reducida de un 8,77% a 4,23%. Las mujeres en cambio tienen mejor representación en los equipos ejecutivos que en las juntas corporativas, con 18,04% y 19,87% de representación respectivamente, pero estas cifras tan solo representan menos de la mitad de su proporción de la población a nivel nacional.

El senador Menéndez y otros también ofrecieron recomendaciones concretas, incluyendo la creación de un grupo de trabajo con selectas empresas, compañías de búsqueda de ejecutivos “head hunters”, miembros de juntas corporativas, y otros expertos para ayudar a las empresas a moverse en esta dirección.

“Como Presidente del Grupo de Trabajo sobre asuntos Hispanos de los Demócrata del Senado, una de mis principales prioridades siempre ha sido promover y ampliar la diversidad a todos los niveles de los sectores económicos, políticos y sociales, y el conocimiento que ha resultado de esta encuesta nos ayudará a lograr este objetivo,” dijo el Senador Menéndez.”Este informe confirma lo que habíamos sospechado desde el principio – que las empresas estadounidenses deben hacer más para que las salas de “Wall street” reflejen la realidad en “Main Street”. Tenemos que cambiar la dinámica y hacer habitual que las minorías formen parte de la estructura corporativa de América. No se trata sólo de hacer lo correcto, esto es también una buena decisión de negocios que beneficiará tanto a las empresas y como a las comunidades a las que se acerquen y en las que inviertan. Es por eso que estoy ofreciendo mis recomendaciones para trabajar de cerca con las empresas que quieren mejorar sus números y los ejecutivos que quieren hacer una diferencia en su comunidad. “

“En la Cámara Hispana de Comercio Hispana de los Estados Unidos (USHCC), como una organización que representa más de 200 cámaras hispanas locales a través de todo el país, y habla en representación de 3 millones de empresas pequeñas y propiedad de minorías en todo el país, creemos que acoger la diversidad no es simplemente lo que hay que hacer, es también una decisión de negocios inteligente. Para nosotros, la diversidad no es un concepto abstracto – medimos el éxito por el número de empleados hispanos calificados contratados, desarrollados, y promovidos por sus empleadores corporativos y aplaudimos el liderazgo del Senador Menéndez por hacer responsable al sector corporativo en sus compromiso con la diversidad. “, Dijo Javier Palomarez , Presidente de la Cámara y Director Ejecutivo de la Cámara Hispana de Comercio Hispana de los Estados Unidos (USHCC).”

“Una fuerza laboral diversa es fundamental para ofrecer el mejor servicio a nuestros clientes a nivel global, el apoyo a nuestras iniciativas comerciales y la creación de un entorno de trabajo que promueva el respeto y la equidad”, dijo José Manuel Souto, Director de Finanzas para Visa en América Latina.

“Nuestro país es muy rico en diversidad, y nuestro progreso económico reside en gran medida precisamente en nuestra capacidad de aprovechar esta diversidad. En nuestro sector experimentamos de primera mano una enorme cantidad de talento que no es explotado, sediento de oportunidades para demostrar a los inversores institucionales su capacidad para competir y dar resultados. Felicitamos al Senador Menéndez por su visión y liderazgo, e invitamos a las empresas estadounidenses a ver estos esfuerzos como una oportunidad para encontrar nuevas ventajas competitivas. Al explorar la utilización de talento diverso y capaz, la América corporativa gana fresco y el progreso económico de nuestro país acelera. ” dijo Monika Mantilla, Presidente y CEO de Capital Altura, y miembro de la Junta de New America Alliance.

“La diversidad étnica en las juntas de las empresas es en definitiva un buen negocio. Cuando el 40% o más de sus clientes en los Estados Unidos van a ser minorías, las empresas necesitan los conocimientos y la experiencia de miembros en sus juntas que entiendan estos segmentos del mercado para mantenerse competitivos. El Senador Menéndez es digno de reconocimiento por hacer de este un tema de discusión pública y diálogo. “, Dijo Roel Campos, ex comisionado de la SEC y miembro de la Junta de la Alianza Nueva América.
Esta encuesta es una de los mayores estudios sobre la diversidad en el liderazgo corporativo con una de las más altas tasas de respuesta. Un total de 219 compañías “Fortune 500” participaron, incluyendo 71 compañías de “Fortune 100”, haciendo de este uno de los mayores estudios sobre las mujeres y la representación de las minorías en el liderazgo empresarial. La misma pidió a la siguiente información de las empresas: 1) si tienen o no planes escritos sobre objetivos de diversidad, 2) datos sobre diversidad en su Junta y gestión a nivel ejecutivo, y 3) información sobre la diversidad de proveedores.
PDF de la encuesta: http://menendez.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Menendez%20Diversity%20Survey2.pdf
PDF del reporte con estadísticas y recomendaciones: http://menendez.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CorporateDiversityReport2.pdf


Hallazgos más importantes de la encuesta y recomendaciones basado en esta data:


KEY FINDINGS

Diversity on Corporate Boards

-Women represent 18.04% of Directors; 1 out of every 5 Board members is female. The proportional representation of women on Boards is less than one-half of their proportion to the overall U.S. population.

-Minorities represent 14.45% of Directors; 1 out of every 7 Board members is a minority. Minorities represent less than half of the 35% of the population they comprise overall in this country.

-Blacks/African Americans have the highest representation at 8.77% compared to their population, reporting a Board ratio of about 69%.

-Hispanics have one of the poorest representations on Boards. They comprise about 3.28% of Board members, one-fifth of the 15% they represent in the U.S. population.
Native Americans made up about .04% of Board members, approximately 5% of their actual population.


Diversity on Executive Teams (CEO and direct reports)

-Women represent 19.87 percent of Directors; 1 out of every 5 Board members is female. Although women fared slightly better on executive teams than on corporate Boards, they still represent less than one-half of their population.

-Minorities overall have less representation on executive teams than they do on corporate Boards, representing 10.44% of executive managers, compared to 30% of their actual proportion to the U.S. population.

-Blacks/African Americans saw the greatest decline in representation from Boards to executive management teams, 8.77% to 4.23%. In fact, they went from about one out of every 11 Board members to one out of every 24 executive team members. When compared to population statistics, Blacks/African Americans on executive boards represented only about one-third of their U.S. population.

-Hispanics/Latinos fare worse on executive teams versus corporate Boards at 2.90%, Asians and Native Americans do slightly better at 2.55% and .25% respectively.


Supplier Diversity

Only 98 corporations (less than half of respondents) provided some form of data on supplier diversity, whether it was by racial/ethnic category or just overall procurement with Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). 118 corporations either chose not to answer the question or said they do not track this data at all.
Of the data collected:
• Hispanic/Latino-owned firms represent 2.69% of total procurement.
• Black/African American-owned firms represent 2.58% of total procurement.
• Asian-owned firms represent 3.21% of total procurement.
• Native American-owned firms represent 0.83% of total procurement.
• Other minority-owned firms represent 3.31% of total procurement



RECOMMENDATIONS

The following are recommendations that corporations can implement today if they are serious about improving diversity at the top:

 Develop Relationships with Expert Organizations Outside of Traditional Networks. Nominating committees should never use the excuse that they cannot find a qualified minority or a woman to nominate to their Board. This was actually a common response over the course of this survey. There are numerous organizations that may be outside of the traditional network but have extensive contacts, resources and expertise in different communities and know who the right people are. Those organizations should be engaged to the fullest extent.

 Do Not Recruit Solely at the Ivy League Schools. Expanding recruitment from Ivy League schools to other top schools can be another way to get qualified diverse candidates into the corporate pipeline. Also, developing relationships with professional organizations that can help identify qualified people through their memberships.

 Utilize Executive Search Firms with Expertise in Diverse Communities or Require Them to Seriously Consider Diversity. The survey showed that a discussion of diversity when using executive search firms did not necessarily correlate with improved diversity. Therefore, steps should be taken beyond just a simple discussion. All search firms should be obligated to look for and provide companies with diverse, qualified candidates rather than simply pulling from traditional pools of candidates. For example, diverse candidates who have experience running large non-profits or government agencies should not be ruled out, especially if their issue expertise aligns with the company mission. A search firm should be able to provide detailed information on what they are doing proactively to recruit diverse candidates. In addition, search firms that have unique expertise with diverse communities should be recruited to help identify candidates for Board and executive management positions. Insight into diverse communities can create a lot of business for a search firm that is effective in a niche space.

 Interview at Least One Diverse Candidate When Filling Board or Leadership Positions. Similar to the National Football League’s self-imposed “Rooney Rule,” where at least one minority candidate is interviewed for head coaching and senior football operations opportunities, nominating committees, CEOs and Human Resources personnel should aim to interview at least one minority candidate when looking to fill leadership positions. These interviews should be done in a serious and meaningful manner, not simply to check a box.

 Link Success with Diversity to Bonuses. Corporations should link diversity among each business department to the bonuses and annual performance reviews of business leaders. The survey found that corporations that do this tend to have better diversity among their workforce and among the top leadership.

 Hire Chief Diversity Officers from Diverse Communities. It is crucial that diversity chiefs at a company come from the communities they are recruiting from and working with. These individuals are more likely to have ties to the communities they represent and can use those relationships to recruit diverse candidates for positions at all levels.

 Hold More than Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer Accountable for Diversity.Diversity should be a goal in every aspect of a company’s operations not only in the areas of procurement, Board and senior management levels, but also in a company’s treasury office where financial oversight lies. Diversity should be considered among brokerage fees that extend to professional services like legal fees, mergers and acquisitions, pension fund management, and other services. Many times the budget for these types of services significantly exceeds that for suppliers. These areas should be part of a corporation’s diversity plan. While this particular survey did not ask questions related to brokerage fees and professional services, the next one will.

 Create External Advisory Councils to Assist with Diversity. Forming an external advisory council to focus on diversity is a good step to developing relationships within specific communities and identifying potential candidates for positions. These Councils should not be formed only when there is a crisis. There should be a separate council for each diverse group, i.e. women, Asians, etc, and each should report to the CEO. These councils should be composed of outside community leaders that do work and have extensive networks with these communities.

 Be Clear on the Difference Between U.S. Employees and Foreign Employees When Filling Directorships and Other Leadership Positions. Although this survey did not ask corporations to differentiate between U.S. and foreign employees, future surveys will. Foreign Nationals should be considered separately from the levels of diversity for U.S. employees.

 Groom Senior Employees for Top Positions. It is critical that corporations implement meaningful succession planning, whether in the form of a mentoring program or other similar mechanism, for senior employees of a company who can be groomed for top leadership positions in the future. Such a program should require a significant time investment from the CEO and his or her leadership team. These programs help identify people who not only could be future leaders of the company, but could be tapped for Director positions on other corporate Boards.

 Track Supplier Diversity So It Becomes a Priority. The lack of data shared regarding diverse suppliers, specifically in terms of a breakdown by ethnic/racial category, proves that this is an area that needs work. According to the latest census figures, there are more than 7.8 million women-owned businesses and 5.8 million minority-owned businesses. It is important to make an effort to procure with diverse suppliers and track this progress over time. If a corporation does not know where it stands, it cannot take action to improve.

 Philanthropy is Good, but Not Enough. This survey showed two things, among others: that there is much philanthropy, but less diversity. Although philanthropy is good and should be part of a corporation’s diversity plan, philanthropy alone is simply not enough. Diversity at all levels should be made a priority not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is a good business decision.

 Opportunities for Board Diversity When Companies Go Public. Some companies have been bought by private equity firms that will take them public very soon. In the process, companies will have to rename an entirely new Board of Directors. This provides a prime opportunity to seek the most diverse, qualified candidates for Director positions and can have the quickest impact on improving Board diversity. Corporations that fall into this category will be watched closely over the coming year.

 Do Not Rely Solely on Written Diversity Plans. While corporations with written plans are more likely to have better diversity among their leadership as well as with suppliers, the gains were only slight. Therefore, corporations should not rely solely on written diversity plans, but should also implement more far-reaching changes that can have an even greater impact. Implementing some of the aforementioned recommendations should provide corporations a good step in the right direction.

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