Hispanics Take Fewest New Boardroom Seats Since 2011, Study Says

  • Heidrick & Struggles finds Latinos are 4% of new directors
  • Group represents 17% of population but only 2% of CEOs

Hispanic executives made up just 4 percent of new directors at U.S. companies last year, the lowest since 2011 and a fraction of the 17 percent of the U.S. population that the group represents, according to a report by executive recruiter Heidrick & Struggles.

The annual study also found that 54 percent of 399 incoming directors at U.S. companies are either current of former chief executive officers. With Hispanics making up just 2 percent of CEOs at S&P 500 companies, that doesn’t bode well for increased diversity, the firm said. The number of boardroom appointments in 2015 was at a seven-year high.

“It’s reasonable to expect that a greater number of women, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asian/Asian-Americans might have claimed seats in the boardroom,” said the report. “However, it did not turn out that way.”

The development may be a “missed opportunity,” the report said

The percentage of Hispanic residents in the U.S. rose to 17.4 percent in 2014 from 15.8 percent in 2009, and the group’s purchasing power was forecast at $1.5 trillion last year, up from $1 trillion in 2010, according to the report.

Black directors were 9.3 percent of new directors, an increase from 8.3 percent last year, Heidrick & Struggles said. Blacks account for 12.4 percent of the U.S. population. Incoming Asian directors are about equal to their percentage of the population, which is about 5 percent.

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