HACR Commends New California Law Requiring Diversity on Corporate Boards

HACR Admin

WASHINGTON, October 6, 2020 – The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) supports the passage of Assembly Bill 979 by the California State Assembly and State Senate signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 30, 2020. The new law mandates that all California-based, publicly held companies have at least one board director from an underrepresented community by 2021. By 2022, organizations with four to nine board members must appoint two directors from underrepresented communities, and boards of more than nine must appoint at least three.

“For too long, corporate America has excluded Hispanics and other underrepresented demographics from the boardroom under a system that often prioritizes non-diverse relationships,” said Cid Wilson, president and CEO of HACR. “This new law requires corporations and their leaders to be more reflective of the customers, employees, and shareholders they serve. It’s not just the right thing to do—it’s smart business.”

“Despite numerous studies showing the business benefits of diverse corporate boards, many companies still lack inclusion in this setting due to what we call a ‘who-do-you-know’ sponsorship system, rather than a system that works to represent diverse groups,” concluded Wilson.

According to the Alliance for Board Diversity-Deloitte Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Corporate Boards, Hispanics and Latinos make up 3.8% of all Fortune 500 corporate boards, with less than 1% of those corporate board seats going to Latinas. Of California’s 662 public companies, only 13% have at least one Latino on their boards, according to the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA). This is despite the fact that Latinos are approaching nearly 20% of the U.S. population and command $1.7 trillion in economic buying power.

HACR and its coalition members continue to advocate for increased Hispanic inclusion on corporate boards in the U.S. The HACR Research Institute recently released its 2020 Corporate Inclusion Index, an annual corporate accountability survey. To download the survey, visit https://www.hacr.org/cii/.

About HACR

Founded in 1986, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) is the nation’s leading corporate advocacy organization representing 14 national Hispanic organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America in the areas of Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance. Through our corporate leadership advancement programs, Symposium best practice conferences, research initiatives, and public communications, HACR is illuminating The Power of Hispanic Inclusion™ throughout Corporate America.