story BY: GEORGE MCQUADE
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), or community outreach, is on the rise among Fortune 500 companies. So says Cid Wilson, who was named the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’s (HACR) President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2014. He brings more than 20 years of corporate finance and Wall Street equity research experience.
“While things have improved in diversity and CSR among Fortune 500 companies, we feel there’s still a long way to go to include Hispanics in corporate America,” he said.
Wilson also believes CSR is important because companies need to be good corporate citizens; particularly with the customers of diversity and in the areas they serve.
“For example, if you have an oil- or gas-based company is in Houston that employs a lot of Hispanics or is in a region of a large Latino population, that becomes very important. Hispanics have an estimated buying power of $1.5 to $1.7 trillion, the 13th economy in the world, with a growing 55 million population,” he said.
Managing a staff of talented and dedicated professionals and working closely with corporate board members, Hispanic organizations, and diverse corporate partners around the country, Wilson directs programs and initiatives aimed at encouraging Fortune 500 companies to include Hispanics in the areas of employment, procurement, philanthropy, and governance.
“Within all of these areas, we basically execute our mission first to our programs. In order to have more Hispanics included in corporate America, we recognize that we also want to be a developer of talent,” explained Wilson.
“We have various different programs that are geared towards developing Hispanic corporate talent, primarily within those Fortune 500 companies.”
Wilson offered an example: “Let’s say you’re a Hispanic employee who’s been at a company for five years. You would be identified as someone who has high potential, and could apply and qualify for the HACR ‘Young Hispanic Achievers Program’,” he said. “It’s a competitive program where we only pay 35 candidates per year. We bring them together for three days of very intense leadership development, with a primary goal of staying with that employee for several years,” he added.
As the public face of the organization, Wilson promotes HACR through speaking engagements, traditional media sources and outreach to organizations and employee resource groups that share HACR’s mission. His ease in communicating with the C-Suite of major U.S. corporations presents a unique advantage in creating new partnerships, as well as strengthening relationships with existing corporate members.
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