Change is afoot in the LATINA Style 50! Not since 1998, when we started to track how corporate America was responding to the growing number of Latinas in the workplace, have we seen such a drastic improvement in how companies are supporting their Latina employees.
Latinas continue to enter the professional field in growing numbers, and the competition for their talents is hotter than ever. A number of Latinas have joined corporate boards, including Aida Alvarez, who was elected to the board of directors of Wal-Mart. The rise to the top continues to be slower than we would like, but steady progress is being made – and the influence of Latinas at higher levels is being felt more and more.
Truth be told, companies are not making these changes for the sake of appearances. Rather, corporate America is finally realizing that diversity equals dividends. A diverse workforce translates into a significant competitive advantage in creativity, innovation, responsiveness to changing markets, and globalization. Companies with a diverse workforce are much better prepared to face these opportunities.
Our Company of the Year, McDonald’s Corporation, is a perfect example. From top to bottom, this icon of America’s corporate might has embraced diversity full force, providing Latinas, women, and minorities with great opportunities for advancement and career development. They have created an environment where talented Latinas at all levels – from franchisees to executives – can flourish. We congratulate McDonald’s and all the other members of this year’s list.
By Gabrielle Lake and Marta Ortúzar