03/29/2013 12:46 pm ET Updated May 29, 2013

Latinos Locked Out of Fortune 1000 Boardrooms

Latinos are the fastest growing purchasing bloc in the United States.

The Selig Center for Economic Growth estimates that the Latino community is projected to flex its purchasing muscle to the tune of $1.5 trillion dollars by 2015, up from $1.2 trillion today. To give you an idea, if you compare the U.S. Latino purchasing of $1.5 trillion a year against worldwide gross domestic product figures you'll realize that if Latinos were separate nation they would be the 13th largest in the world.

Consequently, big business is pulling out all stops to attract Latino consumers with multi-lingual marketing and products. Walmart told suppliers last week that it plans to double its advertising budget to over $100 million this year to localize and competitively target Latino consumers, and McDonald's launched its new "café con leche," which is an espresso with steamed milk.
Businesses might be spending millions of dollars developing strategies to win over the Latino market but they have failed to understand one simple fact: the key to a winning Latino-consumer strategy is including Latinos on their boards. Failure to do so is not only systemic discrimination, but bad business.

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