The cultural demographic shift™ in the United States is about the workplace and marketplace telling us that it is becoming less about the business defining the individual and more about the individual defining the business. This is exactly why Hispanics – both entering the workplace in search of the right employer who will allow them to be their authentic selves as well as those professionals who have been battling the gulf between assimilation and authenticity – are now ready to advance as 21st century leaders by activating their immigrant perspective; that is, the influence their cultural values have on the natural ways they think, act and are motivated to perform at work.

According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia, Hispanics will represent 74% of labor force growth by 2020. However, according to CHL Academy research, Hispanic professionals are only delivering 40% of their full potential at work. With the growing purchasing power of Hispanic consumers estimated to reach $1.7T by 2019 (according to the Selig Center), there is an urgency to employ and advance more Hispanics into influential leadership roles – where they can help guide brands to most authentically create strategies to not only attract and develop top Hispanic talent, but capture the growing Hispanic marketplace.

Talent and business development represent two sides of the same coin and are interdependent on one another.

The rapid growth of the U.S. Hispanic population that is at the forefront of the cultural shift is quickly changing how corporations and their leaders – across all industries – think differently about how they authentically engage with Hispanic employees and consumers. Thus there is a growing need for senior executives at all levels of leadership to be more culturally competent in an effort to awaken the full performance potential of their Hispanic workforce and purchasing power of Hispanic consumers – by building deeper, more meaningful and culturally sensitive relationships and embracing the immigrant perspective that defines 21st century leadership.

Healthcare, STEM educators, financial & insurance service providers, automotive, telecommunications, real estate, media & entertainment, retail and consumer brands – all must not only be actively involved in the conversation, but must invest to solve for the growing “opportunity gaps” they have unknowingly perpetuated. As such, Hispanics have not historically felt fully engaged in their work and brands have not been authentic in their approach and intention to relate with and serve their unique needs. This has become clearly evident in the manner in which many corporations do not reflect the importance of solving for the “opportunity gaps” in their vision, mission, value proposition and business model.

The premise of the CHL Academy is to serve as a talent development platform for high-performance leadership -- to ready America’s corporations for the cultural demographic shift. The Academy encourages corporations and their brands that can influence the advancement of Hispanic professionals – and their immigrant perspective that represents 21st century leadership – to become more culturally proficient in how, together, we can authentically lead, innovate, engage with and embrace todays fastest growing workforce and consumer segment. Influenced by the cultural demographic shift™, we must support the right business models to best serve Hispanics and all diverse populations that will represent the new mainstream in America by 2050.

This effort will make us all better equipped and prepared to lead in the global marketplace, as it organically stimulates economic growth by most effectively developing American-bred talent.