Welcome to the very first episode of Wisconsin Latino News Opinion+ where we talk about major issues the Latinx and other underrepresented communities face in the state of Wisconsin. For this inaugural episode, we spoke with two Milwaukee Women inc (MWi) members about their efforts toward equitable leadership.
Milwaukee Women inc is an organization of professional women focused on changing the face and quality of leadership in the Wisconsin business community by increasing the number of women corporate directors. The group recently published their 2022 Research Report, “Celebrating 20 Years of Advancing Inclusive Leadership.”
The report found that MWi’s goal for women to fill 25 percent of director roles in Wisconsin was met early. 26.3 percent of director seats in Wisconsin’s top 50 public companies are currently held by women.
“With all the data and the numbers clearly demonstrating the overall value that diversity, equity and inclusion brings, I think [it] really helped MWi achieve its goal of 25 percent by 2025,” said Kim Stoll, Chair of MWi and Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Badger Meter.
The statistics were much lower for women of color. In fact, only 5.7 percent of these roles are held by women of color, equating to 26 women. This number increased from last year’s report, but still displays the disparities that exist for BIPOC.
“Of those 26 only three are Latinas,” explained Nancy Hernandez, MWi Steering Committee member and President of the Hispanic Collaborative. “But I think that we are seeing more women, Latinas especially, going through higher education, getting into different levels of managerial ranks and experiences and in the c-suite.”
Both Hernandez and Stoll remain optimistic that the continued efforts of MWi and other organizations, along with companies’ desires to be more inclusive, will lead to a continual increase of women in leadership roles.
“There are women out there. Boards and companies just have to make an intentional effort and cast, perhaps, a wider net to find those candidates,” said Stoll.
Full Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsI7pS_l8Fk&t=89s