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Apple appoints first Latina ever to board of directors

Apple announced this month that Monica Lozano, president and CEO of College Futures Foundation, has been appointed as the eighth member to Apple’s board of directors. Lozano, of Mexican origin, is the first Latina to hold such a position at the global tech giant—a major first step toward greater diversity and inclusion in higher-level positions.

She brings with her a broad range of leadership experience, as well as a long track record as a champion for equity, opportunity, and representation.

Photo by Armand Valendez from Pexels

“A true leader and trailblazer” joins Apple’s Board of Directors

Monica Lozano, Apple

Monica Lozano, Latino Corporate Directors Association and Rockefeller Foundation Board of Directors (Photo credit Rockefeller Foundation)

Prior to joining College Futures Foundation, Lozano spent 30 years in media as editor and publisher of La Opinión, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the US, helping shine a light on issues from infant mortality to the AIDS epidemic. She went on to become chairman and CEO of La Opinión’s parent company, ImpreMedia. Lozano continues to serve on the boards of Target Corporation and Bank of America Corporation.

She has been recognized for her leadership with awards from organizations like The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally, in her role as CEO of College Futures Foundation, Lozano has been a tireless advocate for expanding access to higher education, partnering with philanthropic organizations, state and local governments, and local communities to improve opportunities for low-income students and students of color. 

A co-founder of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, and a former chair of both the University of California Board of Regents and the board of directors of the Weingart Foundation, a private philanthropic organization, Lozano is also a former board member of The Walt Disney Company. 

“Monica has been a true leader and trailblazer in business, media, and an ever-widening circle of philanthropic efforts to realize a more equitable future — in our schools and in the lives of all people,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Her values and breadth of experience will help Apple continue to grow, to innovate, and to be a force for good in the lives of our teams, customers, and communities.”

As a business leader, public servant, and philanthropist, Lozano has made an indelible impact on companies and communities in the US and around the world,  and is sure to do the same at Apple. 

diversity and inclusion

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

A major step in the campaign for corporate diversity & inclusion

Lozano’s appointment to Apple’s board of directors comes after much work was done in 2020 by Latino Corporate Directors Associations’ (LCDA) and other organizations to push for more diversity in higher level positions at major companies. 

Lozano herself is also a LCDA member and the organization’s goal has been to increase the number of Latinos on corporate boards. According to LCDA’s Latino Board Tracker, currently 77% of Fortune 1000 companies lack a single Latino director on their board.

Other findings of LCDA and corporate data provider Equilar state that in California, where Latinos make up almost 40% of the population, they hold only 2.1% of board positions. 

To improve these indicators, the state of California passed Bill 979 in September 2020. This bill now requires public companies to include executives from underrepresented communities on their boards until December 2021.  

Since September, LCDA—along with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and UnidosUS—also launched the Latino Voices for Boardroom Equity campaign. The goal is for Latinos to hold 20% of board seats—roughly their share of the U.S. population.

You might be interested: Corporate executive Beth Marmolejos shares insights on being a Latina leader

“There is an enormous number of talented Latino candidates who can bring a lot of value [to the companies,” says Esther Aguilar, chief executive officer of the Latino Corporate Directors Association. 

Lozano’s appointment to Apple’s board of directors is a major step in diversity and inclusion, especially for Latinas in technology. Hopefully more corporations will look to the tech giant and follow their example. 

On joining Apple’s board, Lozano said: “I’ve always admired Apple’s commitment to the notion that technology, at its best, should empower all people to improve their lives and build a better world. I look forward to working with Tim, Art, and the other board members to help Apple carry those values forward and build on a rich and productive history.”

 

brand

How to improve brand perception

Did you ever wonder why a brand like Apple or Nike is so massive and easily recognized in different corners of the world? Well, your immediate answer could be that they offer high-quality products to their customers. However, many other companies offer equally or even better-quality products.

Then why is it that only these companies are so popular?

brand

The real reason is that these aren’t just companies but rather companies that understand branding really well. They have worked hard to create unique identities in the industry and appeal to select demographics with the help of different entities like brand voice, logo, mission statement, etc. This instils a feeling of pride and admiration in the consumers.

You may have built a business, and it might be doing well too. However, if you really want to take your game to the next level, then you should review your current brand. This will help you understand what you need to do to make it better, i.e. by changing brand perception. The following are some of the things that you can do in that regard:

Make your website look more premium and professional

Believe it or not, but a large number of people judge brands based on their websites. There are many great businesses in this world but they lose consumer trust and market reach just because they don’t have highly functional and appealing websites. This is largely because business websites are often seen as virtual stores.

So, just like you set up an attractive brick-and-mortar store with features like good air conditioning, comfortable seating, and elegant showcases for your merchandise, you need an attractive website that aptly captures your mission statement and vision. If you fail to understand how website design affects business, then you may fail in the business itself; there is always a possibility.

brand

Improve engagement on social media

In this day and age, it’s become nearly impossible for a brand to achieve its revenue targets and a high customer acquisition rate unless it becomes active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In fact, for small businesses, social media is a must-do or die.

Online social media communities can help companies in various ways to create a certain image in the public, attract a target demographic with content that the people love, and open doors to two-way communication through direct messages, comments, and fun contests/giveaways.

Social media is also a great channel to get a sense of sentiment in your target customers. So, you can use social listening tools to get an idea of what people are saying about your brand. This can offer you more insights than you can imagine.

For instance, you may learn that your customer service quality isn’t as good as you think, or that your latest product isn’t performing well due to one small flaw that can be removed rather easily. There are tools like Buffer and BuzzSumo that can help you in acquiring these details easily.

Set SMART Goals

It’s foolish to run a business without goals. In fact, you can’t possibly run it to begin with. However, if you want to stay ahead of your competition and be prepared for a myriad of challenges that you may have to face, then it’s better to create not just goals, but rather SMART goals. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

If your goals are SMART, then you can get in the driver’s seat as far as branding is concerned. This is because then you control how your business performs and how its image looks to the public. When you start achieving these goals, and you will most like do, then you can improve your reputation and gain trust of your fans/followers. This can lead to a snowball effect, and before you know it, you have completely redefined your brand!

Conclusion

In a world where consumers are spoilt for choice, brands can’t take any chances with their market perception. Their target demographic has to know exactly what makes them special and better than others. They must convey their mission statement and mission clearly, and with impact. The information above can help you in more ways than you can imagine in that area. The question is- when will you take the initiative?

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