By Thomas Savino, CEO, Prospanica.
Hispanic leaders frequently refer to what they perceive as today’s hostile climate for Hispanics in the country. I agree we face unique challenges, and all is not as we would like. However, new data and events on organizational performance now present a great opportunity for a surge in Hispanic advancement as organizational leaders.
As the headlines can show us, we are becoming more aware of corporate realities regarding harassment and diversity, while also learning the flaws of educational admissions practices, educational pedigrees, and the corporate meritocracy. Many in our community have known for decades that now dated views on each of these subjects by the nation’s leaders served to inhibit the progress and contributions of Hispanics.
Recent research by MIT and McKinsey, has proven the value of diversity to performance in organizations. Companies with diverse workforces are 35 percent more likely to outperform their industry average. Elsewhere, various high school and college admissions lawsuits and scandals have resulted in a rethink of the value of educational pedigrees and the professional meritocracy.
In the decades since Prospanica (formerly the National Society of Hispanic MBAs) was founded, the organization and Hispanics have realized great progress. As measured by membership, Prospanica has 25,000 members when 1000 once seemed like a stretch goal. The Hispanic high school graduation rate has jumped from 58 to 78 percent.
During those years, Prospanica created arguably the most powerful national Hispanic networks, provided professional development for over 10,000 Hispanic professionals and scholarships for thousands of Hispanic students.
Today, our chapters are stronger than they have been in over a decade and led by a more gender-diverse leadership. By year’s end, about 200 will have earned a professional development certificate via our partnership with the University of Dallas and the University of Denver.
Prospanica has both broadened the community it serves and deepened its impact by growing its scholarship opportunities and providing industry-leading professional development. We can still make progress on all fronts. We believe we can further broaden and deepen our impact with continuous innovation and key partnerships with the organizations who identify the same opportunities and have the same convictions.
The theme of our upcoming conference, October 30 through November 1, in Orlando, is “Sin Fronteras.” How appropriate that some of our last constraints are being shed, as now is the time for our progress to surge!
Thomas Savino is the CEO of Prospanica, a nonprofit dedicated to developing Hispanic talent and growing the number of Hispanic professionals represented in industries of America to perpetuate economic growth and corporate competitiveness. As an expert consultant specializing in performance measurement analysis, knowledge management, and organizational structure, he has collaborated with corporations and national boards throughout the country.