As the Mexican economy is easing out of an economic slowdown, this is a critical moment for boards to make a strategic shift from protection measures and cost efficiency into a growth mindset.
Many large Mexican companies are at a tipping point: they need to conduct a strategic review and consider expanding into other markets—for growth, greater capital access, and risk diversification—primarily the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Going global, however, will also require companies to rethink their approaches far beyond business strategy and into areas such as talent, culture, and risks including cybersecurity, geopolitics, and sustainability.
Mexico is gradually developing reforms in corporate governance, focusing on independence and diversity of board members, though at a slower pace compared to other regions. We have seen more organizations opening up their boards to independent directors with no family or other close ties to company leadership, a clear sign of professionalization.
We also noted a steep increase in the share of seats going to first-time public board directors and a decline in the share of seats going to directors with CEO experience; boards are more open to complementing existing broad executive acumen with direct experience navigating digitally driven transformations and emerging risks.
When it comes to diversity, gender representation has been the main focus of DE&I initiatives in Mexico because the country is at a different level when it comes to the diversity of the talent pool: in 2022, the labor force participation rate among females in Mexico was only 45.7%, compared to 50.9% in Colombia and 53.6% in Brazil.
But Mexican businesses should also consider how to expand DE&I goals beyond gender diversity on boards and the workforce. Thus far we have only seen a few early signs of companies considering a broader definition of diversity.
Source: Heidrick & Struggles