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Boardrooms Need Diversity, Yet Latinos Are Fighting for Seats

Only 3% of corporate directors are Hispanic, but activists are ready to seize the moment.
Esther Aguilera, CEO of the Latino Corporate Directors Association.

Esther Aguilera, CEO of the Latino Corporate Directors Association.

Photographer: Wilfredo Martinez for Bloomberg Businessweek

Racial justice protests last summer brought attention to the lack of diversity in just about every power center in America. But while calls for policing reforms and a reduction in income inequality have commanded headlines, some Hispanic leaders have used the moment to cast a spotlight on a less noticed uphill diversity initiative: boosting the representation of Latinos in boardrooms of a nation where they’re already the largest ethnic group.

Hispanic activists think the time is ripe for making advances. In September, California approved a law that will require public companies based in the state to have more women on their boards and at least one director from an underrepresented minority by the end of 2021. Nasdaq in December submitted a proposed rule to the Securities and Exchange Commission that would require its more than 3,000 listed companies to have at least one female director, and one from an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ group.