LATINO LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE GAINS STRONG CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP SMU Cox Executive Education is joining eight corporate sponsors to create the Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) to help meet the nation’s growing need for corporate leaders as the economy improves and demographics evolve. The initiative grew out of research that shows a gap in talent at the country’s executive leadership level. AT&T took the first steps toward making the LLI a reality by signing on as lead sponsor, and Wal-Mart serves as the effort’s presenting sponsor. Additional founding sponsors committing to three-year sponsorships are Baylor Health Care System, Cash America, Kimberly-Clark, JCPenney, Shell Oil Company and State Farm. “The Latino Leadership Initiative offers a solution to the talent gap and provides career growth opportunities for Latino professionals, as well as opportunities for corporations to engage in the discussion around a more multicultural workplace and to help develop a research agenda to uncover new insights into the growing Hispanic workforce and marketplace,” said Frank Lloyd, associate dean of SMU Cox Executive Education. “Thanks to the generous support of our corporate sponsors, SMU Cox Executive Education is in an excellent position to effect positive change.” A study by the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility indicates that Latino managers are significantly underrepresented in executive and senior executive positions. Research shows that, although Latino managers reach mid-level management positions faster than their peers, they are traditionally slower to climb to higher levels within their companies.
“AT&T is proud to partner with SMU Cox and the other founding sponsors on the Latino Leadership Initiative,” said Debbie Storey, SVP of talent development and chief diversity officer at AT&T. “Our customers, suppliers and investors come from all walks of life — and we serve them best when our workforce and our leadership team connect with them where they are. This initiative advances those efforts.” Cox Executive Education first began working with the National Hispanic Corporate Council (NHCC) to offer the Corporate Executive Development Program in 2010. Through Cox Executive Education, and now under the responsibility of the LLI, the Corporate Executive Development Program offers leadership training and networking opportunities to highpotential Latino managers working in Fortune 1000 companies and seeking their first executive management roles. Opportunities will be expanded to include companies outside of the Fortune 1000. “This initiative could not have come at a better time in this country’s history or be in a better place than right here at SMU in Dallas, Texas,” said Dean Al Niemi. “The tremendous amount of support received from the corporate sector in such a short time frame serves to validate the importance of the Latino Leadership Initiative’s mission and vision.” The LLI Advisory Board, which consists of representatives from each of the effort’s founding corporate sponsors, held its inaugural meeting in July at the Cox School. Bill Diaz, State Farm director of property and casualty underwriting and an alumnus of the CEDP program, serves as executive-
Frank Lloyd and Bill Diaz
on-loan and the LLI launch executive director. Miguel Quiñones, the O. Paul Corley Distinguished Chair of Organizational Behavior at Cox, is the program’s academic director. A November launch event for the initiative will be held at SMU’s James M. Collins Executive Education Center. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available, and all sponsorships and gifts to the Latino Leadership Initiative are part of the SMU Second Century Campaign. Contact the SMU Cox Development Office for more information at 214.768.1595. n
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, U.S. Census Bureau and the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Latinos will be 70 percent of the labor force growth between 2010 and 2020, with 30 percent of the U.S. population projected to be Latino by 2050.
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