PODER25™ is the General Counsel talent pipeline initiative of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and HNBA VIA Fund. As the national voice of the Hispanic legal community, the HNBA is uniquely positioned to Hispanic talent pools, expand their range of professional networks and partner with corporate leaders to increase Hispanic representation at the highest levels of their legal departments.
PODER25’s mission is to increase the number of Hispanic attorneys occupying senior positions within corporate legal departments by developing a pipeline of legal talent and assisting with their collective advancement. Our immediate goal is to increase the number of Hispanic General Counsel in Fortune 500 companies to a minimum of 20 by the year 2025.
PODER25 aims to fulfill its mission by: (1) promoting Latino and Latina legal talent to key selection decision-makers through disciplined talent management practices; (2) developing Latino and Latina legal talent by increasing awareness of selection processes and honing skills critical to selection by hiring managers; (3) coaching Latino and Latina legal talent to strengthen their individual potential and performance, focusing on developing core competencies associated with selection criteria; and (4) expanding and managing a robust network of key decision-makers in selection processes.
As many of us are aware, the number of diverse board members, CEOs, General Counsel and other senior executives at leading companies is exceedingly low in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other measures. For example, Hispanics account for 18% of the population in the U.S. yet currently hold less than 3% of the sitting General Counsel roles at Fortune 500 companies. Yet the business case is undeniable: diverse teams have a better understanding of consumer preferences, a stronger mix of leadership skills, improved risk management and a greater ability to anticipate and respond to changes in an ever-changing marketplace.
PODER25 offers best-in-class programming and targeted coaching, guides leadership development, encourages cross-member connections through like-minded cohorts, creates career challenges and accountability, makes relevant introductions and fosters opportunities for key relationships with individuals who can serve as mentors, sponsors, validators, “personal board of advisor” members and other significant contacts in a robust General Counsel or GC-ready network.
PODER25 actively partners with leading and diversity-focused firms who regularly recruit for top General Counsel roles, including Major Lindsey & Africa, Barker Gilmore, Heidrick & Struggles, Hedley May, Korn Ferry and Spencer Stuart, and serves as a resource for companies seeking qualified Hispanic GCs.
Each of the PODER25 tracks is limited in number, and members are expected to collaborate with their fellow participants, lead or facilitate events and serve as mentors to grow the talent pipeline of Hispanic attorneys (including those who may be a good fit for the program in the future). PODER25 is designed as a multi-year endeavor, and participants who have exhibited the ideals and share the goals of the program may be invited to continue in the following year.
BUILDING LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS
Through recruiter introductions, speakers, and high-level mentorship and sponsorship.
PROGRAMMING AND COACHING
To increase participants’ gravitas, board-facing and team leadership, competencies, and overall readiness for top GC and senior executive roles.
Launched in 2018, PODER25™ is the General Counsel talent pipeline initiative of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and HNBAVIA (“Vision in Action”) Fund.
THE IMPORTANCE OF
DIVERSITY IN CORPORATE AMERICA
Organizations that promote minorities to executive leadership roles are more profitable and innovative, have higher morale, and can better problem-solve to address the needs of all their employees, clients, and other stakeholders than those lacking such diversity. In addition, Hispanic attorneys often offer cultural competencies, bilingual language skills, and significant cross-border professional experience. PODER25™ tracks are limited in the number of participants they can accommodate, and both new and current members are expected to demonstrate robust participation in the program. Senior members of the program also commit to serving as faculty and mentors to maintain a healthy PODER25™ pipeline.