40 Diverse Companies


Twenty years ago, you may have been hard pressed to find a company that employed women or minorities in senior management positions, if at all. Today, you'd be less likely to find otherwise: 28 percent of employers have more than five women in senior management positions and 18 percent of employers have more than five people of an ethnic minority in senior management positions, according to a 2008 CareerBuilder.com diversity survey. Diversity can have a considerable influence on how your organization is perceived by others and, as a result, more and more companies are making diversity a core value or a business imperative.

Including diversity programs can help increase an organization's success, have a positive impact on workplace culture and help improve relationships with clients and customers. On his company's Web site, Kenneth D. Lewis, chief executive officer at Bank of America says, "Our commitment to diversity is a commitment to individuals and to the team. It's about creating an environment in which all associates can fulfill their potential without artificial barriers, and in which the team is made stronger by the diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of individuals. It's about giving all of us -- individually and together -- the best possible chance to succeed."

To help promote diversity within the workplace, organizations are offering a variety of programs and events, according to the CareerBuilder.com survey:

  • Diversity training for employees (31 percent)
  • Surveys and focus groups to see how employees perceive diversity in the company and solutions to enhance that perception (15 percent)
  • Various support and mentoring groups for diverse segments of the work force (14 percent)
  • Diversity council to promote diversity within the workplace (14 percent)
  • Diversity Day or other events celebrating diversity (12 percent)
  • Employee incentives to promote diversity (7 percent)

To recognize the companies who go above and beyond in their efforts to incorporate diversity into their workplace culture, Black Enterprise magazine annually identifies 40 companies that surpass others in one or more categories: supplier diversity, senior management, board involvement and employee base. In 2008, BE also focused its report on companies that have retained and developed diverse executive talent. Here are the 40 Best Companies for Diversity in 2008, according to BE magazine*:

1. Aetna,Inc., Hartford, Conn.

Business: Insurance

Diversity fact**: As of March 2008, approximately 31 percent of Aetna's 35,000 employees were people of color and 76 percent were women.

2. Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga.

Business: Insurance

Diversity fact: Women account for nearly 70 percent of Aflac's entire work force.

3. American Express Co., New York

Business: Financial services

Diversity fact: American Express offers employee networks for different minorities, genders and sexualities. Participants engage in educational activities including job fairs and cultural events; they also act as liaisons to management and to the community.

4. ARAMARK Corp, Philadelphia

Business: Food and facilities management services

Diversity fact: ARAMARK has a diversity component called Kaleidoscope, which focuses on retaining, developing and recruiting a diverse, high-performing team to meet the needs of clients and customers.

5. AT&T

Business: Telecommunications provider

Diversity fact: Today, AT&T's 50-state work force is 44 percent female and 39 percent people of color.

6. Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C.

Business: Financial services

Diversity fact: In 2007, 49 percent of Bank of America officials and managers were women and 25 percent were a minority.

7. Burger King Holdings, Miami

Business: Food services

Diversity fact: African-American entrepreneurs conduct more than $100 million in business with the Burger King system.

8. Chrysler LLC, Auburn Hills, Mich.

Business: Automotive

Diversity fact: Kim Harris Jones was recently named Chrysler's first female officer and senior vice president, corporate controller and auditor. She is the company's second African-American officer as well as its highest-ranking African-American female.

9. Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta

Business: Beverages

Diversity fact: Coca-Cola ranked No. 4 on the 2007 DiversityInc.'s "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" and performed well in two categories: Top 10 Companies for Recruitment and Retention (No. 5) and Top 10 Companies for Asian-Americans (No. 6).

10. Comcast Corp., Philadelphia

Business: Cable and communications

Diversity fact: Comcast has been named to BE's diversity list two years in a row; it's also been recognized by other publications such as Diversity MBA Magazine's "Top 50 Companies for Diverse Managers" (2008).

11. Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y.

Business: Imaging

Diversity fact: Kodak got a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index because of its policies that support gay employees.

12. Exelon Corp., Chicago

Business: Utilities

Diversity fact: Exelon was voted the best company for diverse graduates by Diversity Edge Magazine. The list provides diverse undergraduate and graduate students direction as they decided where they want to launch their careers.

13. Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C.

Business: Financial services

Diversity fact: In 2008, Fannie Mae received many awards for its diversity commitment. Recognitions included the No. 12 "Best Company to Work For in America" by Latina Style magazine and a ranking as one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine.

14. FedEx Corp., Memphis, Tenn.

Business: Package delivery

Diversity fact: FedEx has been recognized by Fortune as one of the "50 Best Companies for Minorities."

15. General Mills Inc., Minneapolis

Business: Consumer packaged goods

Diversity fact: General Mills is approaching half a billion dollars in purchases from minority and women-owned businesses, with more than 50 percent growth from fiscal year 2005 to 2007.

16. General Motors Corp. Detroit

Business: Automotive

Diversity fact: GM works with more than 200 certified minority and female-owned companies.

17. IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y.

Business: Computer hardware and software company

Diversity fact: In 2008, 25 percent of IBM's total work force consisted of minorities, including 18.4 percent of officials and management.

18. Johnson Controls Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.

Business: Automotive systems and building control>

Diversity fact: Johnson Controls sponsored two recent national conventions for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

19. Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich.

Business: Consumer packaged goods

Diversity fact: To develop its recruiting efforts, Kellogg has partnerships with the Society of Women Engineers, Network of Executive Women, Black MBA, Hispanic MBA and the National Sales Network.

20. Marriott International Inc., Washington, D.C.

Business: Lodging

Diversity fact: Of the college students Marriott recruited in 2007, more than 32 percent were minorities. Of the new managers hired that year, 30 percent were minorities and 52 percent were women.

21. McDonald's Corp., Oak Brook, Ill.

Business: Food services

Diversity fact: McDonald's has many employee networks, including but not limited to McDonald's African American Council, Women's Leadership Network, and Gays, Lesbians and Allies at McDonald's.

22. MGM MIRAGE, Las Vegas

Business: Hotels, casinos and resorts

Diversity fact: In 2007, the MIRAGE introduced a diversity best practices series, which sponsors guest speakers and talks among company diversity councils and leaders.

23. Pepco Holdings, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Business: Utilities

Diversity fact: Pepco's supplier diversity has been recognized by DiversityInc., Veterans Business Journal, Women's Enterprise USA Magazine, Fortune, AARP, and by the Asian American Business Roundtable.

24. Pepsi Bottling Group Inc., Somers, N.Y.

Business: Beverage distribution

Diversity fact: PBG employees have completed more than 300,000 hours of diversity training in the past 20 years to learn about the importance diversity at every level of the company.

25. PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y.

Business: Convenience foods and beverages

Diversity fact: PepsiCo UK and Ireland have been named to the Top 50 "Where Women Want To Work" list in conjunction with The Times newspaper for the third year in a row.

26. PG&E Corp., San Francisco

Business: Utilities

Diversity fact: PG&E achieved its highest level of diversity spending at $598.8 million in 2007.

27. Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford, Conn.

Business: Business communications

Diversity fact: Pitney Bowes trains its employees on diversity through mediums like new employee orientations, an annual diversity festival, diversity communications and an online diversity training curriculum.

28. Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati

Business: Consumer packaged goods

Diversity fact: P&G has one of the oldest supplier diversity programs in the United States, spending more than $1.5 billion across nearly 2,000 minority- and women-owned suppliers.

29. Ryder System Inc., Miami

Business: Transportation

Diversity fact: Ryder has consistently been included in Hispanic magazine's list of 100 companies that provide the most opportunities for Hispanics in areas of recruitment, scholarships and minority supplier programs.

30. Sempra Energy, San Diego

Business: Utilities

Diversity fact: Sempra has been listed among the top five of Fortune magazine's "America's 50 Best Companies for Minorities" since 1998.

31. Sodexo USA, Gaithersburg, Md.

Business: Food and facilities management services

Diversity fact: Dr. Rohini Anand, senior vice president and chief diversity officer of Sodexho was named to Diversity Edge Magazine's 2007 Top 20 Diversity Champions List.

32. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.<, White Plains, N.Y.

Business: Lodging

Diversity fact: Starwood has established a diversity council made up of senior leaders to improve the diversity.

33. State Farm Insurance Co., Bloomington, Ill.

Business: Insurance

Diversity fact: Since LATINA Style 50 magazine began its diversity survey 11 years ago, State Farm has been recognized as one of the "Top 50 Best Companies for Latinas to Work."

34. TIAA-CREF, New York

Business: Financial services

Diversity fact: TIAA-CREF's commitment to workplace diversity has been recognized consistently in studies published by Fortune, Working Mother and Hispanic magazine.

35. Toyota Motor North America Inc., New York

Business: Automotive

Diversity fact: The total number of ethnic minority-owned Toyota dealerships has increased by 30 percent, since 2001.

36. United Parcel Service Inc., Atlanta

Business: Packaging

Diversity fact: African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Pacific Americans and other minorities make up 35 percent of UPS´s 348,400 employees in the United States.

37. Verizon Communications Inc., Washington, D.C.

Business: Telecommunications

Diversity fact: Verizon's work force is 59 percent women and 35 percent minorities; the top management positions are 30 percent female and 17 percent minorities.

38. WGL Holdings Inc., Washington, D.C.

Business: Public utility holding

Diversity fact: WGL Holdings has been named in BE's Best Companies for Diversity for the past two consecutive years.

39. Xerox Corp., Stamford, Conn.

Business: Computer and office equipment

Diversity fact: Xerox placed fifth in "Best of the Best for Women & Diversity," a special report produced by Diversity Best Practices and the Business Women's Network.

40. Yum! Brands Inc., Louisville, Ky.

Business: Food service

Diversity fact: Yum! makes up such brands as KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silver's. About 70 percent of the associates at Yum! are Hispanic, African American and/or Asian. Minorities; women made up 64 percent of its external management hires and 41 percent of internal management promotions in 2007.

Next:Older Workers Embrace Career Change >>

* The magazine examined 1,000 publicly traded companies and 50 leading global companies with major U.S. operations. As with the previous survey, four key areas: suppliers, senior management, work force and corporate board diversity factored into the measurement of each company's diversity practices.

**All diversity facts are according to each company's Web site or press releases.

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues

Copyright 2009 CareerBuilder.com.

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