The Ritz Herald
LCDA Annual Board Leaders Convening

Latinas Only 3.3% of Women Appointed to California Boards Since SB 826 Legislation Enacted

LCDA's review finds 17 U.S. Latinas amongst the 511 seats filled by women on California public companies

Published on March 03, 2020

The Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) announced today that, following a review of Equilar data of women appointed to California public company boards, Latinas make up only 3.3% of women appointed to boards since SB 826 was enacted on October 1, 2018. SB 826 mandates that domestic and foreign public companies headquartered in California have at least one woman by the close of 2019 and a minimum of 3 women on boards with 6 directors or more by 2022.

Of the 511 seats filled by women on California boards since the bill was signed into law, LCDA’S analysis shows that only 17 board seats are held by U.S. Latinas, the lowest number of any minority, in a state where the Latino population is more than 39%. White women make up the largest number of appointments at 77.9%, followed by Asian women at 11.5% and African American women at 5.3%. The Asian and African American population in California is 15.3% and 6.5% respectively.

California LCDA Member and Former Secretary of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, stated, “Collecting resumes, without a commitment to diversity, will not change the color of California boardrooms. It’s past time that Latinas had a seat at the table. There is an ample supply of qualified and experienced Latina directors and C-level Latinas from an array of industry sectors. Companies must be committed to diversifying their boardrooms.”

Contreras-Sweet continued, “The research is overwhelming, including a recent McKinsey study that shows, at the board of directors’ level, more ethnically and culturally diverse companies achieve above-average profits. There is a strong correlation between diversity and corporate performance.”

These findings exemplify what most diversity advocates already knew—even in California, companies are largely selecting white women to achieve diversity on boards. This was also demonstrated in recent research published by Catalyst which found that women of color hold only 4.6% Fortune 500 board seats.

LCDA advocates for disclosure and transparency of reporting to the SEC, which includes the gender, ethnicity, and race of board members and executives, so that all shareholders can make informed decisions about the corporations in which they invest. Lack of regulatory disclosure motivated LCDA to recently launch the Latino Board Tracker which tracks U.S. Latinos on Fortune 1000 company boards. The Latino Board Tracker analysis of F1000 California headquartered corporations concludes that Latinas hold only 1.1% of board seats, less than any other ethnic group.

“California lawmakers and corporate America must understand that gender diversity is not enough. An all-white male and female board of directors is not diverse. Board composition that lacks Latinos, is not reflective of California diversity,” stated Linda Griego, Former Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles and LCDA Member. “California Latinos are an economic powerhouse driving growth in every sector of our state’s economy and we should be represented on every public company board in California.”

Executive Editor