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Written by Alida Valle
on April 12, 2021

Last year, the HACR Research Institute (HRI) published the Empow(h)er™: Understanding Workplace Barriers for Latinas report, which examined the barriers that limit the visibility and career progression of Latina professionals. This year, we have developed a supplementary white paper, Empow(h)er™ During Times of Crisis, which looks at corporate resource communication networks and lays out four essential actions companies can take to ensure they are building equitable systems that can withstand crisis.

More than 18 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic, with projections indicating that Latinas specifically will represent more than one-third of the U.S. female population by 2060. [1] [2] Latinas possess a number of uniquely valuable skills for today’s business market, including the ability to navigate between cultures, entrepreneurial drive, and, for many, bilingualism. Despite the competitive advantage Latinas bring to Corporate America, they account for just over one percent of executives and hold, on average, just two percent of all corporate board seats.[3]

The inequitable outcomes of the events of 2020 on women and people of color should compel companies to question their fundamental beliefs about the efficacy of their diversity and inclusion practices, especially when it comes to communicating the availability of valuable resources. In our recently released Empow(h)er™ During Times of Crisis white paper, we explore the inequitable access to corporate resource communication networks and lay out four essential actions companies can take to ensure they are building equitable systems that can withstand crisis. 

Empow(h)er™ During Times of Crisis Paper Announcement Banner

  1. Check Bias Behavior: Consistently educating employees on how unconscious bias and homophily may be affecting how they communicate and with whom they communicate is vital. Companies must not only make sure that employees at all levels are aware of biases, they must also put processes in place to actively check them when they occur.
  2. Middle Management Buy-In is Vital: The stagnation of diversity and inclusion practices that often occurs at this level is felt by many employees, as evidenced in the 2019 HACR STEM Report. Middle management must see that cultural differences are strengths that can positively impact business outcomes.
  3. Increase Access to Mentors & Sponsors: Companies too often place the responsibility of mentorship and sponsorship opportunities on high-potential employees and not on the executives. Executive leaders need to leverage their own clout to not just advocate for underrepresented groups, but to form meaningful relationships with them as peers.
  4. Take an Intersectional Approach to Data Analysis: Intersectionality matters because it spotlights the underlying mechanisms that form the basis for inequalities in power, resources, and opportunity. Companies must develop effective evaluation and tracking methods at every level of the professional pipeline with an intersectional lens in mind.


To learn more about how companies can improve the effectiveness of their resource
communication networks and build equitable systems, download a copy of the Empow(h)er™ During Times of Crisis white paper.

Empow(h)er Spread Mockup (Cropped)


[1] United States Census Bureau. 2017. 2017 National Population Projections Tables. Washington, DC: United States Census Bureau.

[2] White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. 2015. FULFILLING AMERICA’S FUTURE: LATINAS IN THE U.S., 2015. Washington, DC: White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

[3] Eric, Lopez, Minkel, Alida, and Roxana Vergara. 2020. 2020 HACR Corporate Inclusion Index. Washington, DC: Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.

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