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New Jersey Democrat's Report On Fortune 100 Companies Finds Dismal Diversity Statistics

Sen. Bob Menendez sent companies a questionnaire on their diversity statistics and BuzzFeed News has the first look at the results. They're not good.

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Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez released on Tuesday a corporate diversity survey that finds women make up only 22.9% of board of directors for Fortune 100 companies and minorities make up only 18.3%.

The report, which took a year to develop, gather, and analyze, also finds that white men represent 63% of board members among the 69 out of 100 companies that did participate.

Menendez will speak about the report on Tuesday at a press conference, thanking the companies who participated and naming the 31 companies who chose not to answer the questions. (BuzzFeed News has the data he will present below.)

The report is not yearly and has been done in previous years with data from 2010 and 2011. The report based on 2011 data came out in 2013, for example.

Before the press conference, Menendez will hold a meeting with corporate stakeholders — CEOs, diversity officers, and officials with organizations who push outreach to minority communities.

Menendez was indicted in April on corruption charges after a federal investigation into his relationship with a campaign donor. He has argued the charges are politically motivated. His trial will begin this summer.

Javier Palomarez, the president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who will be one of the participants in the earlier meeting, says his is not a civil rights organization, it is focused on business. The report stresses this as well, making the case for diversity being an issue that makes financial sense to these companies.

Palomarez told BuzzFeed News that at the end of the day his organization expects the makeup of corporations to reflect their employees, stakeholders and customers and not just middle-aged white guys.

"We need to change that, that's not marketplace anymore," he said.

Only 9.2% of companies have specific targets for diversity and inclusion at the board of directors' level, the report finds. Nearly half of the companies do not have similar targets at the executive level and do not tie performance on meeting diversity goals to a portion of executive compensation. The report finds that only 14.5% of companies with a chief diversity officer have this person reporting directly to the CEO.

Palomarez said these numbers matter for the viability of businesses and highlighted women and Hispanics in particular. Only 10 Fortune 500 CEOs are Latino and corporate boards are only 3% Hispanic, he said. Women make up less than 15% of boards, women of color 7%, and Latinas less than 1%.

"When you look at those companies growth potential, it's the complete inverse of those numbers," he said. "The math doesn't work, you can't then expect this community to buy your services and products."

Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at adrian.carrasquillo@buzzfeed.com.

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