Though the U.S. Hispanic and Latino population is set to rise, the nation’s largest minority continues to be underrepresented in C-suites and boardrooms across the country, falling behind all other gender, racial, and ethnic groups in terms of representation.
“While the US Latino population grew by 3% in the last decade, Fortune 500 Latino representation increased by a shockingly low 1%,” according to the 2021 Latino Board Monitor report.
According to the Latino Corporate Directors Association, in 2021, 69% of Fortune 1000 companies lacked even one Latino director on their board. Latino and Latina CEOs have actually lost ground in the last decade, writes the LCDA.
And the number of Hispanic and Latino CEOs? Those numbers are even lower. As of early 2021, only 16 of the S&P 500’s CEOs were of Hispanic descent, per the LCDA.
In this article, we’ll dive into the latest data from the LCDA to give you an overview of some of the top Hispanic and Latino CEOs in the Fortune 500, the status of Latina CEOs, and more.
Let’s get started.
Latino CEOs in the Fortune 500
Corporate boardrooms are “a sea of White,” LCDA Chief Executive Officer Esther Aguilera said at this year’s Bloomberg Equality Summit. Latino CEOs “lead only 20 of the Fortune 500 companies,” Bloomberg reported, citing the latest data from the Latino Corporate Directors Association.
Here’s a look at five Latino CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Each of these Hispanic or Latino CEOs lead organizations ranked in Fortune’s top 100 companies.
Archer Daniels Midland: Juan R. Luciano
Juan R. Luciano was appointed as CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) in 2015, taking the helm as the organization’s ninth chief executive. Luciano grew up in rural Argentina on his family’s farm, per reporting from Crain’s Chicago Business. Luciano went on to earn an industrial engineering degree from the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology, and today he leads ADM, a global nutrition business ranked No. 38 on the Fortune 500.
Johnson & Johnson: Joaquin Duato
In January 2022, Joaquin Duato became CEO of Johnson & Johnson, ranked No. 37 on this year’s Fortune 500 list. “A dual citizen of Spain and the United States, Joaquin’s international perspective gives him a deep appreciation of diversity in all its forms,” according to his company biography. “He is committed to building an inclusive workforce that reflects the patients J&J serves, evidenced by nearly a decade acting as Executive Sponsor for the African Ancestry Leadership Council ERG.”
PepsiCo: Ramon L. Laguarta
Barcelona native Ramon L. Laguarta became CEO of PepsiCo in 2018. A 26-year PepsiCo veteran, Laguarta’s leadership includes an emphasis on sustainability, from recyclable packaging and compostable materials to mitigating the impacts of climate change and supporting sustainable food systems. Laguarta holds an MBA from Spain’s ESADE Business School and a Master’s in International Management from Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, according to information from PepsiCo. He speaks several languages, including English, Catalan, Spanish, French, German, and Greek.
HP Inc.: Enrique Lores
As chief executive officer of HP Inc. since 2018, Enrique Lores is outspoken when it comes to environmental, social, and corporate governance. “We believe that diversity is critical. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but it has strong benefits for our business,” Lores said last year in an interview with CNBC. “Just last year we generated more than $1.5 billion because of our efforts in sustainability and diversity. I think this will continue to expand in the future.”
AbbVie: Richard A. Gonzalez
Richard A. Gonzalez has led AbbVie, a global pharmaceutical company, as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for nearly a decade. A longtime leader at Abbott Laboratories, Gonzalez took the helm of AbbVie in 2013 when the company was established following a split from Abbott. Gonzalez is one of the longest tenured CEOs in the industry, according to reporting from Fierce Pharma.
Latina CEOs in the Fortune 500
When Geisha Jiminez Williams was named chief executive officer of PG&E in 2017, she became the first Latina woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. Williams has been recognized as “the highest-ranking Latina leader in business,” according to Artera Services, where Williams is a board member.
Williams stepped down from her role as CEO in 2019, unfortunately bringing the number of Latina CEOs in the Fortune 500 back to zero. But in July 2019, Cheryl Miller was tapped to lead AutoNation, the country’s largest automotive retailer and No. 129 on this year’s Fortune 500. Miller is the first female CEO of a publicly traded automotive retailer, per Boating Industry. Today, Miller is the chief financial officer of West Marine. So far, Williams and Miller are the only Latina CEOs to lead Fortune 500 companies.
“I’m the first person in my family to go to college. I’m the first person in my family to be in any sort of position in corporate America. I’m the first in a lot of ways. I’m an immigrant who came to this country without being able to speak English and somehow—only in America, right?—I became the CEO of a Fortune 200 company,” Williams said in a TIME interview. “You always hear people talking about what it means to be the first. But I think it’s important that we focus on making sure there are others. While I may be the first, I certainly don’t want to be the last.”
Reputation is severely lacking for Latina CEOs in the Fortune 500, and, unfortunately, likewise in boardrooms.
“Latinas hold the smallest number of board seats, compared to any gender, racial, or ethnic group,” reports the LCDA. “Within the female demographic, Latinas hold only 1% or 59 board seats, compared to 1,226 White, 183 Black, and 89 Asian women.”
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Luis Ubinas, former president of the Ford Foundation and a director at AT&T Inc, told Bloomberg he believes many search firms “operate almost exclusively within the ecosystem that they know. Because they are Latino-free zones, they don’t know any Latinos are Latinas to recommend.”
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