Business

Report: Houston Lags Behind Nation In Corporate Leadership Diversity

Hispanics are especially underrepresented.

Houston is by many accounts the most diverse city in the country. But that diversity is not mirrored in its companies’ executive leadership and boards of directors, according to a report by the National Diversity Council, which looked at all Fortune 1000 firms headquartered in Texas.

It found that in those companies white men hold nearly 80 percent of board and leadership positions in the state.

In Harris County, women account for 12.3 percent of those positions, and minorities just 6.5 percent.

Angeles Valenciano, CEO of the National Diversity Council, said they sent the report to all the firms they researched.

“Our hope is that in seeing this report, organizations and senior leadership teams – board of directors, CEOs – take a look at it, really analyze the information that is presented, which is public for all to obtain, and that they provide us feedback of that information,” she said.

In a state where Hispanics make up almost 40 percent of the population, that group is especially underrepresented in corporate boards.

The report finds only 2.4 percent of board positions are held by Hispanics in Texas-based Fortune 1000 companies.

That compares to a little over 3 percent nationwide, where the proportion of the Hispanic population is less than half that of Texas.

Interestingly, the overall percentage of white men in leadership positions didn’t change significantly if a company had a diversity and inclusion statement.

Valenciano said if companies want to increase their leadership diversity, they’ll have to make a conscious effort.

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