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Research paper -  Hispanics in the C-suite
 

Research paper - Hispanics in the C-suite

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Primary and secondary findings and interviews with subject matter experts on the importance of diversity in the boardroom with comparisons against Hispanics and Caucasians in the two-tournament system ...

Primary and secondary findings and interviews with subject matter experts on the importance of diversity in the boardroom with comparisons against Hispanics and Caucasians in the two-tournament system of corporate America. Further identifies the importance of mentors, specifically senior mentors, who help their protégées with obtaining stretch assignments and the opportunities for nominations into board of governance roles. However, with narrow specifications, it is the efforts of the Hispanic executive to work twice as hard, be a subject matter expert in his/her field of interest, and obtain the competencies required, and outlined in this study, to further their chances to be the future of C-Suite Hispanics.

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    Research paper -  Hispanics in the C-suite Research paper - Hispanics in the C-suite Document Transcript

    • USF - 611The Future of C-SuiteHispanicsResearch Paper & FindingsEd Hernandez, MBA12/6/2011
    • 1ContentsAbstract....................................................................................................................................................... 2Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 2Research question ....................................................................................................................................... 4Definitions of Terms................................................................................................................................... 5Methods....................................................................................................................................................... 6Results......................................................................................................................................................... 6Review of the literature............................................................................................................................... 6Interviews.................................................................................................................................................. 10Interview with Donna Blancero............................................................................................................ 10Interview with Victor Arias, Sr............................................................................................................. 11Interview with Carlos Orta.................................................................................................................... 13Discussion & Findings.............................................................................................................................. 14Figure 1................................................................................................................................................. 16Figure 2................................................................................................................................................. 17Figure 3................................................................................................................................................. 18Figure 4................................................................................................................................................. 18References................................................................................................................................................. 20
    • 2The Future of C-Suite HispanicsEd Hernandez, MBAUniversity of San Francisco, Masagung School of ManagementMSOD Class of 2012December, 2011AbstractPrimary and secondary findings and interviews with subject matter experts on the importance ofdiversity in the boardroom with comparisons against Hispanics and Caucasians in the two-tournamentsystem of corporate America. Further identifies the importance of mentors, specifically senior mentors,who help their protégées with obtaining stretch assignments and the opportunities for nominations intoboard of governance roles. However, with narrow specifications, it is the efforts of the Hispanicexecutive to work twice as hard, be a subject matter expert in his/her field of interest, and obtain thecompetencies required, and outlined in this study, to further their chances to be the future of C-SuiteHispanics.IntroductionThere has been limited research on the importance of diversity in the board room and how Hispanics,would represent the 10thlargest economy in the world (Sanchez, 2011), hold significant buyer powerthat lacks market reciprocity in Corporate America, specifically the Fortune 1000 companies in theUnited States and its corporate board rooms. This study leverages previous research and updates thecurrent state of the Hispanic talent pipeline for board governance roles that will help further the businesscase for diversity in the board room and how it needs to start from the top and not the front lines.(Garcia, 2009)As background of the opportunity, Hispanic Americans, who represent 14% (as of 2009) of the UnitedStates, occupy only 2.3% of the total board of director seats among Fortune 1000 companies. SomeHispanics have reached higher organizational levels, as a whole the population continues to beunderrepresented at the upper echelons, or the C-Suites, of major Corporations. This ascension of thefew who have progresses up the corporate ladder presents social challenges with those who are still
    • 3aspiring or do not have the requisite skills/education for such positions (e.g. social isolation,disconnect/distance, and less civic engagement. (C. Douglas Johnson, 2009) Therefore, this researchwill further understand the opportunity to bring more Hispanics into the boardroom in order to addressthese social challenges as well as to fulfill the need for diverse experience and perspective in theboardroom as more companies ride the globalization wave. (Garcia, 2009)The opportunity to understand the challenge for Hispanic-Americans to proportionally represent thepopulation on Fortune 1000 corporate boards in the United States due to the concept of marketreciprocity and the need for diverse leadership in this ‘hyper-connected’ world is explored in thisresearch paper. Therefore, I leverage the established network that has been developed over my tenure asa leader of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs for the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2009, I wasinvited to attend the Hispanic Executive Summit where I learned about the opportunities that exist andthe challenges in obtaining board appointments to corporations in the United States. From myexperience, I learned there are a desired skill set, and a gap in the ability to proportionally representHispanics in the upper echelons of Corporate America. (C. Douglas Johnson, 2009) From theopportunity to undergo a research project and topic of my choice, I determined the best topic that couldbuild on my knowledge for future use, and that for others, would to better understand the challenges thatHispanics face in being selected for these important roles in corporate America that shape policy andmake critical decisions for its stakeholders.From my initial interest in this topic, there was an intuition that the status quo was a lack of marketreciprocity in the board room. Through the secondary research I discovered there had been challengesfor African-Americans, who were the first to be considered “Minorities” in the view of the dominantculture. Only through the civil rights movement, did African-American obtain a seat at the table;however still battle for opportunity into executive management. It is through the work of David Thomasthat identifies the ‘two-tournament system’ of corporate succession for whites in contrast to minorities(Thomas, 2001). From Thomas, we can identify the need for mentors and corporate sponsors who needto realize the importance of mentoring and that race matters when you mentor a minority protégée.Thereafter, it is the importance of understanding the competencies as identified through Anna Duran’sresearch and study that allow quantifying the skill set that will build competencies to serve in the board
    • 4room such as Financial Acumen (Duran & Lopez, 2009). Finally, from my research findings andinterviews, we can obtain an update to the pipeline of Hispanic executives’ competencies for the boardroom and the current economic environment that will galvanize the desired representation by theHispanic Directors of today as well as those who aspire to serve in corporate America’s boards ofinfluence.Research questionTherefore, the question that I pose in my research is the following: Are American Hispanicsproportionally represented in the Fortune 1000 boards, and if not, how can my findings support theefforts to proportionally represent them in the upper echelons of corporate America the board rooms ofmajor corporations.After proposing my research topic, it was clear that the secondary research available had done someanalysis of the key attributes and behaviors that would lead to obtaining a board seat on a Fortune 1000board as a Board Director. The gap was evident in a recent documentary by Hispanic Association onCorporate Responsibility (HACR) in the ‘Insider Game’ released fall 2011 (Sanchez, 2011). In thatdocumentary, there is the realization that there is not a following of young Hispanic executives in theirshadows continuing through the glass ceiling, yet those Hispanic Executives who have achieved boardstatus are now looking to leave a legacy.In my research, I have sampled my vast network of business professionals of over 1000 professionalsand obtained a response rate of approximately 20% from those surveyed for a total of 260 responses.From those responses, I performed an analysis in attributes and competencies found in a previousresearch study by Dr. Anna Duran and contrasted that information to those who currently seek tobecome a governance member of a Fortune 1000 company with additional behavioral attributes thatleverage the work of Dr. Donna Blancero, whom I interviewed for this study.From my interview with Dr. Blancero and two other senior executives, I was able to determine some ofthe variables that matter in being invited to serve or being selected to sit on a Board. First and foremost,it is the corporate sponsor or mentor who will serve as the individual who can help groom the individual
    • 5to the role, but it is the individual who must excel at the work and challenges in corporate life that willget him/her on those respective boards. In addition, there is the requirement to fulfill corporate rolesthat may require the aspiring professional to relocate various times w/in his/her career for the benefit ofthe corporation.Definitions of TermsIn order to identify my sample to identify itself in race, I leveraged the U.S Census 2010 racequalifications as follows, with an option to decline stating their race:• Caucasian - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, orNorth Africa.• African American - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.• Hispanic/Latino - A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central America, or otherSpanish culture or origin, regardless of race.o Hispanic American – Infers Hispanic of U.S birth as the general definition does not stateif the respondent is born within the United States of America• Asian - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, orthe Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea,Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, or Vietnam.• American Indian/Alaska Native - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Northor South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation orcommunity attachment.• Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander - A person having origins in any of the original peoplesof Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific islands.Secondly, to define the term of a Fortune 1000, it is a list of public corporations listed by FortuneMagazine on a yearly basis. In addition, most corporations, public or private, have a board of directorswho meet on a regular basis to provide strategic direction to the organization’s leadership on behalf ofits stakeholders. The Fortune 1000 is based on their revenues collected in a given fiscal period.
    • 6Mentors or Corporate Sponsors can be formal or informal individuals who develop a professionalrelationship in the workplace through a mutual and beneficial interest in professional developmentand/or a philanthropic desire to make a difference or give back to individuals who may benefit from thesupport of another professional in the workplace.MethodsI started by search in secondary research by reviewing a white paper that was published by Korn/FerryInstitute in 2009 when I attended the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s (NSHMBA) HispanicExecutive Summit that same year. From that research, I pursued subject matter experts, like the co-author of the paper, an educator and previous Editor of the Hispanic Business Journal published byNSHMBA, and was thereafter referred to existing publications and another subject matter expert, whichI interviewed in a face-to-face meeting during NSHMBA’s Annual Conference this fall. From thereview of the literature, I was able to identify competencies and challenges of Hispanics in management,the history of diversity, and current efforts in driving the Hispanic Boardroom initiative to the forefrontof corporate America.ResultsReview of the literatureThe literature that I found started with the Korn/Ferry white paper that spoke to the business case inhiring diversity for corporate boards, followed by the competencies identified by Dr. Duran in herresearch, that followed additional interviews, further research with Mr. Thomas’ findings in climbing thecorporate ladder and how race matters, while further research on diversity in the board room leveragessome of the same sources in my literature review. However, there has been little to update or providethe importance of developing the pipeline to serve in corporate America for which this paper furthers thedialogue within my academic and professional circles.Out of the many articles and publications that I reviewed, I have summarized just a few of the ones thatwe felt were most germane to my area of interest.
    • 7A Leadership Repository for Boards of Directors, VICTOR ARIAS, SR. AND CARLOS GARCIAArias and Garcia presented statistics on how Hispanic Americans only represented 2.3 percent of thetotal board of director seats among Fortune 1000 companies; at that time, only 19 percent of Fortune1000 boards had a Hispanic director. In this white paper, it states the challenges in bringing Hispanicexecutives for nomination due to the presence of new regulatory era, lingering misconceptions about theHispanic market (the difference between the Latin American executive from that of an AmericanHispanic), a tough director recruiting environment, and, equally important, flaws in the directorshipsearch and selection process. This publication speaks directly to the implications of the Hispanicrepresentation gap within the ranks of U.S. publicly held corporations. As referenced, Vic Fazio, aformer Congressman who [at publication] sits on the board of Northrop Grumman Corporation states“Individuals who have had direct responsibility in areas important to the company have a regulatoryperspective are valuable; it is an additional benefit if these people bring gender or ethnic diversity to aboard.”As Arias states, this is a Trillion-Dollar Business Case that lends itself to competitors who understandthe market, where the U.S. Hispanic market is massive and growing and if neglected, will likely lose“product and service of choice” opportunities and market share. Secondly, many Hispanic businessleaders cannot be identified and recruited through traditional networks; therefore, the boards that buildrelationships with Hispanic executives will be better able to compete for increasingly valuablemanagers, executives and directors in the future as the influence of the Hispanic market grows. Finally,the required engagement with the community and stakeholder organizations will be established andstrengthen with the visibility into Hispanic communities when companies are seen as an employer ofchoice and hire the Hispanic talent to bridge that gap to sell to the Hispanic consumer market. Arias andGarcia recommend in order to strengthen the selection process to redefine the specifications to include“business-cultural fluency” that requires “inclusion” which differs from “representation” to stimulate theexchange of ideas and knowledge among intellectual peers on a board of directors. In addition toredefining the specifications, they suggest to modify the search process to include more finalists andtake greater responsibility in brining Hispanic candidates to the nominating committee.
    • 8The Truth about Mentoring Minorities: Race Matters, DAVID A. THOMASThomas builds on his book with John J. Gabarro, of Breaking Through: The Making of MinorityExecutives in Corporate America (HBS Press, 1999) to the Harvard Business Review in brief to bringattention to the two-tournament system that lends itself to fast track whites early into middlemanagement while minorities tenure in middle management lends itself to a longer yet beneficial periodinto executive management. Thomas speaks to his interviews with 20 minority executives,predominantly African-Americans but also Asian- and Hispanic-American, and 12 white executiveswith 21 nonexecutives (people who had plateaued in middle management) through their experiences andprogression through corporate America over three years ;he also reviewed the promotion records ofmore than 500 managers and executives at three major U.S. corporations: a manufacturer of commodityproducts, an electronics company, and a high-tech firm. These corporations that Thomas studied had along history of commitment to diversity and he felt that these companies would have more to teach usabout how minority executives could succeed – even given various obstacles.Through his findings, he found an Entry level to middle management stage where minorities watchedtheir white counterparts quickly receive plum assignments and promotions into middle management, andgrew discouraged. However, some minorities remain motivated by forging mentoring close and fullerdevelopmental relationships with mentors who opened the door to challenging assignment and expandedresponsibilities, sending the message, “These are higher performers.” During the second stage,minorities “catch up” to fast-tracked whites through deep and broad functional expertise that leads toinfluence over subordinates who might otherwise be resistant to minority leaders. Finally, afterminorities have forget mentoring relationships with powerful corporate-level sponsors, minoritymanagers take on challenges to working cross-functionally, learning to think and act more strategicallyand politically than their white counterparts. Thomas continues to emphasize that minorities continue todevelop their networks of highly placed mentors and sponsors, relationships with bosses become crucial,and they establish several new, long-term relationships with other executives as well, both white andminority. After developing this framework of the two-tournament system, Thomas continues to discussthe challenges on cross-race mentoring and its unique challenges with suggestions to openly discussracial sensitivities, see yourself in your protégés, and if unsure of one’s role as a mentor of a minority,help protégés identify other appropriate supporters.
    • 9Increasing Chances for Hispanic Selection and Participation in the C-Suite, ANNA DURAN, PHDAND PATRICIA DENISE LOPEZ, PHDDuran and Lopez survey Hispanic executives who are members of a corporate board and those who areseeking corporate board appointments around eleven knowledge domains or corporate board membercompetencies that they identified from a review of business and academic literature as well as interviewswith board members, search professional, and management experts. They used two-tailed t-test dataanalyses to reveal that corporate board members and non-corporate board members evaluated theircompetencies differently in two domains, namely, possession of knowledge of a specific industry ororganization of interest, and financial and statistical literacy. Duran and Lopez refined their questionsthrough a pilot phase of the survey a year in advance with 32 participants and added another domain ofknowledge called business cultural fluency.The total pool of subjects for this study involved 180 Hispanic attendees of a series of corporategovernance courses held within an executive education program at a major school of business over aspan of four classes from 2003-2007. These subjects responded to the survey by letter, e-mail, andpersonal calls for a response rate of 30%, or 54 participants. Out of the competencies defined in thesurvey, Hispanic executives seeking board positions rated ‘More than Sufficient and Above’ knowledgein the areas of having a portfolio of significant experiences and accomplishments, general leadershipexperience, an understanding of the relationship between business and economic environment (ondomestic markets), and a well honed area of expertise.However, areas that could be further developed were that of financial and statistical literacy, marketknowledge and marketing acumen, knowledge of boards and their functions, and the relationshipbetween business and the economic environment (as it refers to the realities of globalization on themarketplace and the workplace). Through their research and findings, they discuss that it is not just“who you know,” “how many contacts you have,” “what you stand for” or “what you have done as aleader” that counts when being considered for the governance positions; it is also “what you know”specific to the needs of business and the industry in question. Therefore, as found in the sample, those
    • 10interested in holding a corporate board position, must be clear about an organization or industry thatthey would like to serve as directors.The governance experts and search professionals, as identified in the article, all agree that having a deepunderstanding of the key drivers of the industry/business as well as the philosophical values of theorganization of interest are essential elements of contribution for corporate board members. Thisperspective, as referenced by Duran and Lopez, suggests that knowledge transfer is a key component ofsocial capital or network development.InterviewsI interviewed an educator who has published on Hispanics and the importance of mentorship, anexecutive search partner who places Hispanic Directors into corporate boards, and the CEO of anadvocacy group for Hispanics. Within these interviews, I further discovered the fiber that connects themall, a passion for representation and a voice that wants and needs to be heard in the rooms that matter,the board rooms of America, the classrooms of higher learning, and in the halls of democracy wherepolicy is shaped for the average person.Interview with Donna BlanceroBlancero, an Associate Professor at Bentley University, has been a supporter, a mentor, and informalchampion of mine since I joined the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and when I was interested inpursuing my PhD and I researched that path through the PhD Project in 2007. She has been the editor ofThe Business Journal of Hispanic Research and published numerous papers on diversity and theimportance of mentorship. In my phone interview with her, we discussed the importance of mentoring,individuals who I should interview as well, and two articles that I have included in my literature reviewto further develop this research project. In respect to networking, there was the importance of beingconnected to the right people, that qualifications does not equal knowledge, and there needs to be a levelof digging deeper for Hispanic talent in the board room.
    • 11The lack of representation in networking circles that drive the pipeline for executives in the C-suite, theboard rooms of corporate America, or the in-groups, must be bridged and that leveraging the research ofDavid Thomas in “Breaking Through…” can further identify the strategic, big picture importance of thenetwork and the importance of developing strategic partnerships through stretch assignments.Thereafter, we stressed the importance of education as there is a significant gap in high school diplomaachievement versus that of Blacks (African-Americans) or Whites (Caucasians) in the United States. Inaddition, there should not be the ‘poor us’ attitude in Hispanics, rather emphasizing the clear aspects ofeducational concerns for all and the importance of connecting the lack of higher educational success forHispanics that leaves a gap in the pipeline of representation in corporate America and that impact ondecisions for proportionate representation in professional roles in the United States.Thereafter, we discussed what is “Success” for the whites versus Hispanics who have looked for awork/life balance and how the millennials (those coming to age in the 2000s, Generation Y) will alsocrave for balance in their personal and professional lives. Finally, having the knowledge of thoseknowledge areas of importance to succeed in corporate boards is critical, but we go back into havementors with influence, albeit they may be white males, it is important to be mentored and possibilityfurther education with the support of educations like the National Association of Corporate Directors(NACD) and leverage the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) resources tofurther close the gap.Interview with Victor Arias, Sr.Arias is an Senior Client Partner at Korn/Ferry International, an executive search firm, whom advocatesfor Hispanic executives for corporate appointments and is a board member of AFC Enterprises (i.e.Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen), Advisory Council Member for Stanford Graduate School of Business, anda mentor to the pipeline of aspiring Hispanic professionals like myself. In our phone interview, wediscussed the economic environment and its impact on board turnover contributing to the decline inrepresentation for Hispanics and minorities at public companies as existing directors do not want to‘jump ship’ and mandatory retirement ages are being extended from 62 to 65 years of age. In addition,corporate America look looks at CEOs/CFOs of public companies and does not consider privatecompanies, board of regents, board of trustees, and therefore narrows the scope of potential diversityoption, people of color, and is the ‘eye of the needle’ in this dilemma of proportional representation in
    • 12the C-Suite. In addition, half of placements go to search firms with these narrow search criteria and theremainder of the nominations go the “old fashioned way” as who you know and is found within the in-group or ‘top of mind’ aspect of personal circle of influences.Arias recommends changing the specifications and expanding the search criteria to go after generalmanagers and not just CFOs. As an example, he states there is an emphasis on execution compensationand there is a need for a Human Resource executive on corporate boards who can understand how tostructure compensation as there is more scrutiny with institutional investors like California retirementssystems (i.e. CalPERS/CalSTRS). In addition, there is a peer compensation process that is creating a‘paper up’ process for the right lend of compensation structure and company expertise on the board withthe HR representative focusing on representation of Hispanics- and African-Americans within saidboards. A company that states it is committed to diversity and its importance is being asked by theSecurities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to divulge the ‘how’ board appointments occur and theimportance of Diversity is being seconded by big institutions like CalPERS.Arias further leverages the Census findings from 2000 and recently 2010 that the wave was coming andis now here, respectively, about preparing the work force to attract the Hispanic market and consumer inthe “how to” attract those segments into buying the companies products and services to sustain profitsand grow overall bottom lines in the United States. Further discussion around attraction of Hispanicsinto the pipeline of board appointments can not only be solved within corporate America, but thesecompanies will need to reach out to Entrepreneurs, and non profits; those aspiring Hispanic executiveswill need to be educated through search firms and HACR; corporate relations engagement may supportthe idea of driving the pipeline forward, but may skip a generation on the importance of making animpact. Finally, Arias further emphasized the importance of having a white mentor, not a Latinomentor, due to power and influence in organizations with senior professionals as it is not a level playingfield where minorities have to work twice as hard to succeed.In correspondence, Arias shared a PowerPoint deck that states that 86% of the Fortune 1000 have zeroHispanic representation on the Board; total seats held by Hispanic-Americans are 142 out of 9,800 seats(approximately 1.4%) as analyzed by Korn/Ferry. Some of the trends in his deck were International
    • 13replaced diversity as focus, SOX created demand for CEOs/CFOs, low turnover in seats (as referencedin our phone interview). Some of the demand drivers are higher turnover of seats, improving economy,census results, IPO influence, government regulations and scrutiny, institutional investor pressure.Supply issues stated in his presentation are that Hispanics can’t be found, lack of corporate executivedevelopment/retention, critical mass, narrow specifications (little desire for non-traditional candidates),and few reliable sources of Latino Candidates. With his next slide, he looks for the action plan of who isresponsible, what can be done, where is the focus, and how to create sustainable change.Interview with Carlos OrtaOrta is the CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility and recently published the“Insider Game” 12-minute movie that speaks to current Hispanic Executives on corporate boards desireto answer Mr. Arias’ questions of who is responsible, what can be done, where to focus, and how tocreate the desired change. During our face-to-face meeting in Anaheim during the National Society ofHispanic MBA convention that we both were attending, we sat down for the hour to understand thechallenge of market reciprocity in corporate America, the history of diversity and its challenges, andwhat HACR is doing to support this initiative with the help of Hispanic executives with influence in theboard rooms.Orta states that proportional representation is not owed to us, but the numbers show that Hispanics havea 20-30 market share in the products and service offering in the United States. It is about asking thequestion of diversity in business to business interactions and that there are not enough opportunities forHispanics to be CEOs, to Arias’ point, and look beyond the traditional specifications into entrepreneurs,as well as city, county, and state boards of commissions and federal boards to obtain a “Stamp ofApproval” to serve in corporate governance. As boards look to prioritize who sits on them, there is aprioritization to obtain an expert on the board, be the best of the best, and if they get a diversitycandidate, that is great; however, competence adds the value required to fulfill the requiredspecifications. Furthermore, it is who you know as if you are not on “main street, you miss out” on theopportunities to be nominated. He further illustrates that the power structures can be found in theSymphony, Orchestra, and Ballet boards, or as he states that Anita Fey has coined the SOB boards.
    • 14We discussed the importance of mobility in assignments and his previous experience in corporateAmerica with advice to be mobile as being a Cuban in Florida is not a rarity and if he did not like his jobassignments, that he could come back with additional experience that his peers would never obtain. Hesuggests it is best to socialize and be strategic on boards, create a (20 year) plan or roadmap to becomean executive and champions/corporate sponsors will seek you out for the opportunities you may desire.In addition, he suggests that Hispanics learn to make sacrifice and that African Americans demand whatthey want and Hispanics do not. From this point, we discuss the history of blacks’ workings to becomethe predominant “minority” and through their efforts, define those civil rights that Hispanics are nowstepping into and benefiting through their own efforts. Even though, the efforts have been made forinclusion, it is still important to be the best and have a solid track record.Finally, passion is important for Hispanics and Orta held that passion through his professionalexperience working at Ford and his passion for cars and current role as CEO for HACR as a politicoworking on behalf of the many Hispanic executives in power who are looking to HACR for the supportof moving the goal of proportional representation in the board room and hence, leaving a legacy for theMillennials to step into the doors those Hispanic executives have opened and no one has yet steppedthrough in their foot steps as thought would occur. He speaks to the benefits of being bi-cultural andthat is an importance trait to hold as diversity is critical in this global economy that is now leaning on theBRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) that will be driving significant growth in theupcoming years. And if Orta could, he would learn Mandarin to further his qualifications to be the bestand compete with the best in this hyper-connected world.Discussion & FindingsIn my findings, I surveyed my network of professionals of 1,340 professionals via email and subsequentpostings via LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter with 249 (partial and complete) responses for a responserate of 18.6% in the fall of 2011. In my responses, a majority of my respondents where Caucasian andHispanics, whom I analyzed for the findings to the questions developed using the categories developedby Duran and Lopez in their Board Competency Survey (Duran & Lopez, 2009). In addition, I includedbehavioral type questions developed through my secondary research, interviews, and feedback from
    • 15peers and my professor. In the analysis I found that approximately 90% of the sample favored“Increasing diversity in gender and ethnicity among Fortune 1000 board members is critical toimproving corporate governance and building a competitive advantage.” However, those responsescould be found biased due to the social likeability factor and may be not as high if tested in indirectmethods to find further validation of this belief. However, the response to mentors and having seniormentors was more surprising and representative of the population through hypothesis testing andconfidence intervals at the p-value of 0.05, that Hispanics are more likely to have a mentor or corporatesponsor by an approximate ratio of 2-to-1 than Caucasians. Furthermore, this ratio stays consistent withthat of a senior executive mentor whom, from the research, provides further validation that theindividual is someone who should be mentored and be watched as a high-potential employee for stretchassignments (Figure 1).Even though the majority of Caucasians and Hispanics do not have a senior mentor, it is important tonote the difference between those that do have the senior mentor as Mr. Thomas writes in his article thatwhite middle managers plateau and do not achieve executive management status while Hispanics tend to‘catch-up’ due to mentoring relationships forged in their early parts of their career through stretchassignments that propel them into executive management in the two-tournament system. Being in thissample, I performed a hypothesis test and confidence intervals for the range of responses that I wouldreceive from the general population at a 95% confidence interval. From my hypothesis test that there isno difference in the sample (null hypothesis) between Caucasians and Hispanics having a SeniorMentor, as asked “Do you have a senior executive (VP level or above) as a mentor and/or corporatesponsor?” I found that I could reject the null hypothesis (there is a difference) at p-value of 0.00002 andthat the confidence level at 95%, for Caucasians having a senior mentor range from 27.2% to 45% withmy proportion sampled at 36.1% and Hispanics interval range from 54.7% to 73.1% with my proportionsample at 63.9%. Therefore, I can confidently state at the 95% confidence level Hispanics are twice aslikely to have a senior mentor as their Caucasian mentor helping Hispanics obtain stretch assignmentsand announce them as high-caliber employees.
    • 16Figure 1Furthermore, I analyzed the findings of Duran, et al findings of the Board Competencies a found withinher survey and contrasted her means to those found within my survey to see that my sample has a“sufficient knowledge to “more than sufficient knowledge” (mean averages of 3.0 - 3.4) of the boardcompetencies versus her sample of Hispanic executives with “more than sufficient knowledge” to “highlevels of sufficient knowledge” (mean averages of 3.9 - 4.3) in general leadership experience, a wellhoned level of experience, a portfolio of significant experiences and accomplishments, and anunderstanding of the relationship between business and the economic environment. Therefore stating,that those attending executive training versus my sample may be more senior in their progressiontowards board attainment or that there has been a lack of progression for the C-suite Hispanic in today’senvironment since the study. However, Duran’s sample was relatively smaller and a more captiveaudience, versus a generalized population that is in business and Hispanic, therefore my current sample
    • 17could be more accurate and generalizable to the skill set of the Hispanic executive with the age range of35-54 years of age versus her sample that did not include age, rather seniority at the executive levelstatus. Some of the characteristics of my sample is more of Individual Contributors to Senior Managers(Figure 2) with 11 to 20 years of experience and the majority of the sample with 10+ years working for aFortune 1000 company with the majority of the sample not serving on a corporate board, rather half ofthe Hispanic sample serving on a non-profit board.Figure 2For Hispanics in this sample, I have identified the summary statistics against some of the keycompetencies in Duran’s competency survey where 2 is “Some competency,” 3 is identified as“Sufficient competency,” 4, is “More than sufficient competency,” and 5 is “High levels of sufficientcompetency” (Figure 3). In addition, some of the competencies that seemed lacking in Duran’s studywhere sampled where the mean is this study is approximate 3 (Sufficient knowledge) where Duran’s
    • 18study realized a 4 (more than sufficient) or 5 (high level of knowledge) ratings. Therefore, it can beseen that having these competencies and levels of knowledge in these areas can lead Hispanic executivesto the board room with further experience and/or training in corporate America.Figure 3Figure 42.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00A well honed area of areas of expertiseGeneral leadership experienceA portfolio of significant experiences andaccomplishmentsA record of advocacy leadershipAn understanding of the relationship betweenbusiness and the economic environmentCurrent Findings: Identified competencies inserving on a Fortune 1000 Board. (Duran, 2009)ModeMedianMean2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 5.00Understand basic finance principles, includingrisk assessmentUnderstand basic marketing principles andstrategies (pricing, etc.)Organizing, Analyzing and InterpretingStatistical data for business purposesDesigning an effective communication strategyabout product valueReading and Interpreting Financial DataCurrent Findings: Identified areas of improvementin serving on a Fortune 1000 Board. (Duran, 2009)ModeMedianMean
    • 19To leverage the importance of education and that of having a mentor, I cross-tabbed and filtered forHispanics and Caucasians with a Master’s degree to identify income levels and percentage of the samplewith a mentor to further illustrate the importance of mentors in corporate America. Regardless of race,the majority of my sample was earning over $135,000 in annual income level where Caucasians in thissample only 32.7% of them had a mentor, Hispanics had 53.5% mentors. Therefore stating thateducation and mentors can be the viable combination that unlocks high earning potential and capturesthe only Fortune 1000 board director in my sample with 2 Board of Regents/Trustees for a publicinstitution.In conclusion, I would recommend obtaining a senior mentor or corporate sponsor in one’s attempt toclimb the corporate ladder and have a high earning potential that allows one to fulfill one’s legacy.Albeit owning a fancy car or becoming a mentor, just like the cross population with a Master’s and a sixfigure salary, regardless of race, is mentoring at 61.9%. Furthermore, to speak to the fact you must havepeople you trust in and out of the organization is vital in maneuvering through the corporate politics andbeing tapped for ‘stretch projects’ to grow from middle management into the C-Suite of corporateAmerica. This confidence, that my sample exudes with education, experience, and mentors, allow themto agree or completely agree with their abilities at work and be a resource when that stretch assignmentrequires a relocation to a different part of the country as the sample agrees that is also an importantfactor in contributing to one’s progression through the tournament of corporate America. Advocacygroups like HACR and Hispanic Directors will be knocking on the doors of the Fortune 1000 and I amconfident that the pipeline is growing to fill those seats that will help proportionally represent Hispanicsand other minorities in the board room and be leaders in driving the U.S economy forward into thehyper-connected world.
    • 20ReferencesC. Douglas Johnson, P. &. (2009). Step-Up Leadership Development for Hispanic Professionals withWalkout. The Business Journal of Hispanic Research, 46.Duran, A., & Lopez, P. D. (2009). Increasing Chances for Hispanic Selection and Participation in the C-Suite. The Business Journal of Hispanic Research, 3(1), 54-76.Garcia, V. A. (2009). A Leadership Repository For Boards of Directors. Los Angeles: The Korn/FerryInstitute.Sanchez, L. (Director). (2011). Insider Game [Motion Picture].Thomas, D. (2001, April). The Truth About Mentoring Minorities: Race Matters. Harvard BusinessReview.