Latinos face a paradox in the United States of being both ever-present and invisible. You do not have to be an academic to know that the Latino community is a growing population in North America. Most people who listen to the radio, watch television or read the newspaper have already heard that fact a few times in the last few years.
On the one hand, their presence in society has just about changed everything from the workplace, pop culture and even the political landscape. As the largest ethnic minority group expected to make up one-fourth of the U.S. population by 2025 and one-third by 2050 most cannot escape their influence in our communities.
Yet, there is a problem. While being this ubiquitous Latinos are still quite frankly invisible in top leadership roles not only in top corporate leadership but in top religious leadership across the country as well. According to the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) Corporate Governance Study, Latinos hold only three percent of seats in the boardroom of Fortune 500 companies and only two percent or 10 Fortune 500 CEOs are of Latino heritage. This study along with lived experiences point to the reality that Latinos remain woefully underrepresented at the decision-making tables of the Fortune 500. Therefore, it is no surprise, that we find very little Latinos in top leadership roles or sitting on boards of religious organizations across the country.
Businesses and marketplace leaders are reacting to the trends by developing councils and human resources practices that will attract and retain top Latino talent. Yet, the religious community has been slow to wake up to the fact that while it may feel easier to keep the status quo at their churches and nonprofits, the lack of the Latino voice on staff or on boards will hurt them sooner rather than later.
Five Tips to Help Bring Latino Leadership into your Organization
Latinos are a large portion of the country and that is not slowing down anytime soon. By 2050, Latinos will represent 30% of the total U.S. population. Yes, we are everywhere yet we still find ourselves invisible in churches and religious board rooms which doesn't make sense since studies continuously point to the fact that the people your organization is trying to reach will most likely have a high concentration of people who look like us.
NOTE: I will be sharing more about the rise of Latinos in the U.S. and how churches can adjust their practices to attract and retain them as leaders at the Exponential Orlando event.