By Melissa J. Anderson

Recently Latina Style released its list of the top 50 companies for Latinas – and at the topping the list was Deloitte. Praised for its scholarship and training programs, and dedication to Latina professionals in particular, the company has also sponsored Women of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting) program.

But corporate culture is more than the sum of programs and initiatives. According to Latina Style, Deloitte’s work to help develop and advance its employees, as well as vocal leadership support for diversity, are reasons the firm was named number one.

As Deloitte’s CEO Joe Echevarria recently wrote in Latina Style, “Businesses that take the initiative to address the changes reshaping our society now improve their chances of leading – and winning. Businesses that stand by and do nothing run the risk of being left behind.”

Business Case for Hispanic Diversity

The magazine cited Deloitte’s Emerging Leaders Development Program, which supports high performing minority talent get to the next level of their careers, as a significant reason it claimed the top spot on the list. According to Latina Style, “Since its founding in 2005, more than half of the participants have been promoted to senior managers, partners, principals, or directors.”

Echevarria explained that Deloitte’s support for diversity, and specifically Hispanic talent, in Latina Style. He said:

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half of the growth in the total U.S. population between 2000 and 2010 was because of the increase in the Hispanic population. By 2010, Hispanics comprised 16 percent of the total U.S. population, the largest single ethnic group in the U.S. That spells significant economic, social, and political change for our society and for companies that want to survive and prosper.”

It is crucial that corporate leaders start taking the business case for diversity seriously, he continued. “It’s not enough for businesses to think about diversifying their workforces and markets at some point in the future. To stay relevant, it needs to happen now. The rationale goes beyond moral or social motivations. There’s a clear business case.

He added:

“A diverse workforce can also respond more effectively to the needs of Hispanics and other minority groups – populations with rapidly-increasing purchasing power. And a diverse company, with reach into every part of society, can make better-informed and more responsible decisions. In short, diversity helps the bottom line.”

Companies that actively work to attract and retain diverse talent will be positioned for success as the marketplace grows and changes in the new normal.

Promoting Latinas

Latina Style’s Deanna G. Zapanta explained that the top fifty list looks at diversity support from a range of standpoints. She explained:

“For the past 14 years, the LATINA Style 50 Report has acknowledged companies, whose mission of diversity and inclusion has been reflected in the way they recruit, promote, provide benefits, and create programs for the betterment of their employees. Though the majority of the programs offered are available to all employees, the companies selected have shown an exceptional effort in their recruitment and advancement of Latina professionals.”

She also noted that this year, due to the national employment uncertainty, the list paid close attention to companies’ recruitment and retention practices. It also tracked leadership development, mentoring, paid internship, and fast track programs.

Other measures included numbers of Latinas in corporate leadership and various employee compensation, benefits, and work/life programs.

The top five companies were Deloitte, Marriott, Prudential, Aflac, and Kraft.

Additionally, the magazine noted, this year, it will be presenting an award to the top Employee Resource Group for Hispanic individuals. It said, “This recognition is designed to showcase best practices in corporate America where employee resource groups are making impact in career outcomes and overall diversity accomplishments for their respective companies.”

Finally it explained, business impact will be a key measure of success for the winning group.