News Column

The Honored Few

January/February 2004, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

Collectively, the corporations of the Fortune 500 have 69 Hispanic individuals on their boards. These members of the Hispanic Business Boardroom Elite hold a total of 96 board seats at 88 different companies.

Which sectors and corporations value a Hispanic voice in the boardroom? Consumer goods, telecommunications, banking, and financial services companies lead the list. Nineteen of the board seats are at companies that appear on the Hispanic Business Top Advertiser directory (see December 2003 issue), indicating a correlation between these companies' target market and their board diversity. Another 12 board seats come from utilities and nine from banks or government-sponsored lenders. These sectors traditionally have heavy regulation and recognize the need for diversity throughout the organization. Airlines, media, and retailers also have a major presence on the list, and these sectors play to a mass-consumer market.

Eight companies have two Hispanics on their board: Darden, Freddie Mac, Kellogg, Kodak, Pacific Gas & Electric, Pitney Bowes, Wal-Mart, and Wells Fargo. No company on the list has more than two Hispanic directors.

Linda Alvarado leads the Boardroom Elite with seats on five boards. Enrique Hernandez Jr. and Armando M. Codina tie for second with four seats each. Five Hispanics tie for third, each serving on three boards. Only seven of the names on the Boardroom Elite are inside directors, meaning they work for the corporation on whose board they serve.

The 96 board positions occupied by Hispanics represent about 1.6 percent of the approximately 5,900 seats of Fortune 500 corporations. Hispanics currently account for 13.5 percent of the U.S. population, meaning the Hispanic presence in the boardroom amounts to less than one-eighth of parity with the population.

All Boardroom Elite members must be U.S. citizens of Hispanic descent who sit on the board of directors at a Fortune 500 company headquartered in the 50 states or the District of Columbia. City designations on the list indicate the location of the corporate headquarters, not the home of the director.

Boardroom Elite directory research by Chief Economist Juan Solana, Research Supervisors J. Tabin Cosio and Michael Caplinger, and Research Assistant Cynthia Marquez.

VIEW the 2004 Hispanic Business Boardroom Elite


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