Latino Leadership Initiative

Latino Leadership Initiative

The Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) is a national center of excellence that assists participating companies recruit, develop, and retain high-performance Latino executives who will drive business growth and create a sustainable competitive advantage for their companies.

In November of 2013, along with 10 founding sponsors, SMU Cox Executive Education launched the Latino Leadership Initiative, which focuses on four interlinked areas:

  • Exclusive business insights through Latino-focused research;
  • Individual development for high-potential Latino managers;
  • Organizational development to build multicultural competence; and
  • Industry leadership initiatives in schools and communities.

Why the Latino Leadership Initiative?

As demographic changes are occurring in the U.S., companies who want to retain a competitive advantage in the market must invest in their Latino employees. By 2050, Latinos will represent 30% of the population, and more immediately, by 2015 the purchasing power of Latinos in the U.S. will amount to approximately $1.5 trillion. Despite this demographic and economic surge, Latinos are underrepresented in first/middle management and executive positions. This leadership gap is an unsustainable situation that jeopardizes a company’s future growth and success.

Winning in a global, high-tech industry requires exceptional people, diverse teams and an inclusive culture rooted in a deep understanding of the diverse market segments we serve,” says Debbie Storey, Senior Vice President – Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T. “That’s why for AT&T, hiring and developing talented employees from all backgrounds is as much a priority as deploying the latest technology – and it’s why we proudly sponsor the SMU Latino Leadership Initiative.”

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