Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hispanics are no longer tokens

In the 1980s, it was a huge source of pride for Hispanics that the CEO of Coca-Cola was one of their own. When the Cuban-born Roberto Goizueta was promoted to the helm of the world's best-known brand, it was an anomaly that made headlines as much for his ethnicity as for his business acumen.

Most Latino executives up to that point had been ``token Hispanics'' who managed after-thought multicultural divisions with tiny budgets. Although the landscape of U.S. Hispanic CEOs today is still significantly under-representative when compared to Hispanics' percentage of the total population, things are shifting in the right direction.

Hispanics can, and should, take comfort that the momentum is on our side, as companies are investing more heavily in the Latin marketplace, and Latinos are being promoted to the upper echelon of virtually every facet of American life.

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