Author:Arellano-Fryer, Lola
Position:BOARDS: RSR PARTNERS - Interview

In the past few years, there has been a significant shift in corporate approaches to board composition, with an ever-increasing focus on diversity. No one knows this better than Victor Arias, who has dedicated his multi-decade career to executive search and board recruitment, while championing the advancement of Latinos in these roles.

ARIAS IS a Managing Director at RSR Partners, which he joined in January 2018 after many years as a Senior Client Partner with Korn Ferry. He was drawn to RSR Partners, a leader in executive recruitment, because of the agility and creativity afforded by a boutique firm. For Arias, joining RSR Partners represented an opportunity to amplify his voice as an advocate for Latinos in board leadership roles. By seeking Allan's expertise, RSR Partners demonstrated an intentional commitment to Latino leadership, which is something he values highly.

Here, Arias lends us some of his insight on the future of Latinos in board leadership positions.

We're living in a time of change.

Recent years have brought extensive shifts in the board panorama. Importantly for Arias, this year has seen more first-time directors than last. This development translates into new perspectives into the board room. According to Deloitte's 2016 Board Diversity Census, members of minority groups are more likely to serve on multiple boards, which means 'diversity' can often translate into the presence of a small group of people.1

Just within the past two to three years, corporations have begun to understand that their leadership must reflect their changing consumer base, which is increasingly driven by millennials, women, and minorities. "When I talk about Latinos on boards, it's really about the case that the Latino demographic can be considered the new mainstream America," Arias says.

A recent development that Arias has contributed to shaping is a new, more nuanced understanding of who represents talent in the corporate world. An older model that emphasized C-suite experience above all has given way to a vision that encompasses a broader diversity of skill sets, such as those of entrepreneurs and subject experts. This broader viewpoint helps bring diversity to boards in terms of knowledge and perspective.

Simultaneously, more Latinos are staying in the corporate pipeline, eventually rising to assume C-suite roles. According to Arias, it's crucial to conduct better research on these trends in order to track these developments, as C-suite roles...

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