Advancing Hispanic Managers to Executive Positions in Global Enterprises

The National Hispanic Corporate Council designed and implemented its Corporate Executive Development Program to provide career advancement opportunities for Hispanic mid-level managers in Fortune 1000 companies. To date, the innovative program has helped 108 Hispanic managers move into or toward executive positions.

Although Hispanics are the second largest demographic group in the United States, comprising about 17 percent of the U.S. population, they hold less than five percent of executive and managerial positions in corporate America, according to NHCC’s Executive Director Octavio Hinojosa Mier.

“Hispanic professionals are underrepresented in the C-suite,” he said. To date, the program has resulted in 50 percent of the participants attaining positions of significantly greater responsibility with an average pay increase of 20 percent.

Advisory Board Guiding the Way

The development program is guided by an advisory board that includes top talent management from sponsoring NHCC member companies and leadership development experts from the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.

Participants are all mid-level Hispanic managers with track records of success and the potential to ascend to executive positions. They are each sponsored by senior executives in their business area and by executives responsible for developing talent in their organization.

The program is delivered in three phases over nine months. It guides participants through core elements including: Leading with authority, leading with high performance teams, becoming a corporate leader, and assessment of individual competencies. These are achieved through interactive learning experiences, awareness of cultural barriers, individual development plans, advisory support, and hearing from successful Hispanic corporate leader speakers.

Benchmark Assessments During and After Program

During the program, the participant’s advisor and faculty help establish program objectives and assess progress. Updates with the participant’s organization supervisor and sponsor are conducted, as needed, throughout the program. In addition, a final assessment of graduating participants is made 12 months after their graduation. This assessment determines success rates and supports curriculum improvement for future sessions.

According to participant feedback, over half were either promoted to positions with greater responsibility at their respective companies or accepted positions at other companies within six months to a year after graduation. The graduates had successfully grown out of managerial roles and assumed executive level positions.