LATINO LEADERS: What trends do you see currently on Board Diversity?
RON LUMBRA: We are seeing great demand from clients for diversity in the boardroom. It has been quite refreshing to hear diversity as one of the top priorities for boards and senior C-suite leaders today. I think the recent shift in headlines we have seen this year, such as the recent California legislation for Boards and #MeToo have raised a great deal of awareness and is driving meaningful change in the boardroom. It might be slower than we like, but we see the tides shifting. Boards with a focus on diversity have a substantial competitive differentiator when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.
LL: On the side of your clients, what are they most interested in when it comes to fulfill Board seats? Is Latino diversity on the table?
RL: Our clients are most interested in building a board with top global talent that has the right combination of expertise to drive growth and purpose for company into the future. Latino talent is consistently part of the conversation, we often hear from our clients that they want to have their customer and employee base reflected within the boardroom. In fact, in our 2019 U.S. Board Monitor, which is an annual study of the trends in non-executive director appointments on Fortune 500 Boards, we saw that 23% of new board seats were filled by ethnic minorities (African-Americans, Asians/Asian-Americans, and Hispanics), up from 14% in 2009. Progress is slow but, improving.
LL: What are the benefits you see of having a diverse Board?
RL: With a more diverse workforce around the world today there are a variety of valuable benefits to having that carry over into the boardroom --including different orientations and broadened perspectives--which helps boards better anticipate and manage risks and helps directors better understand and think more...