When we started Hispanic Executive back in 2007, I remember sharing a fear of mine with one of our editorial researchers: that we were going to run out of Latinos to highlight in our fledgling publication. It became a cyclical fear, one that arose every year as we planned the editorial calendar—and not a completely unfounded one.
Apart from a few other publications, we felt alone in our field. LinkedIn wasn’t around, and Facebook was just starting to get off the ground, so our awareness of the Latino talent pool—and our understanding of its depth—was nothing more than a hunch. It had to be deep, we thought. Our population was too vast, too fast-growing, for that not to be the case.
As of today, we have worked with enough executives to fill more than sixty issues of this magazine. Ten of those issues focus on our Top 10 Líderes, a select group of leaders and trailblazers whose stories of impact reflect a paradigm of leadership that can serve as an inspiration for us all. As the title of the editorial section suggests, these leaders represent the best of the best in our community.
Suffice it to say, we never ran out of Latinos to highlight, and that fear has long since disappeared. Instead, a new challenge has appeared: how can we possibly highlight a pool of talent that is actually far deeper than we could have ever predicted? There are so many potential líderes out there—far more than just the hundred that we have featured thus far. We could conceivably publish a Top 10 Líderes issue every single week.
Which brings me to a quote and a conundrum.
In 2015, at The Alumni Society’s inaugural Leadership Summit, I heard Robert Sanchez, the CEO of Ryder, declare that “there is no better time to be a Latino.” He was right then, and his words are clearly still true today. The demand for diverse talent has increased exponentially in the past twenty-four months—and our community has the supply.
So why is it that people “cannot find” qualified talent when we are leading in plain sight? Is it willful ignorance? Laziness? Perhaps those who cannot find the talent need to subscribe to Hispanic Executive. Apologies for the plug (and the smugness).
To be frank, I am not concerned with the perceived inability to “move the needle” of Latino talent in the leadership ranks of corporate America. As the old saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” And while many of the leaders in this magazine are not waiting for anyone and are doing something about the matter now—which I wholeheartedly commend—I remain patient.
And it’s not because I am OK with the status quo. I’m not. I’m patient because I know deep down in the depths of my being what every other Latino in this country knows: there is a tsunami afoot. There is no shut-off valve for Latino talent. The ranks of that talent will continue to grow and grow until the dam breaks, and there will be no excuse for or any possibility of ignoring our impact. Our presence.
That is what I have learned through our work on this publication, and particularly through our work with our Top 10 Líderes. The world will shortly be inundated with talent that is Latino, and the full breadth of our impact will finally be felt by all.