Top 50 Companies for Diversity 2011

job interview If you're looking for companies that have plenty of professional opportunities for everyone, regardless of ethnicity or gender, you might check out the recently released Diversity Inc. 11th annual Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. You may or may not be surprised to see that the number one company, based on CEO commitment, human capital, corporate and organizational communications and supplier diversity is none other than mega health-services conglomerate Kaiser Permanente. Food services and facilities management giant Sodexo came in second.

"Diversity" these days means so much more than hiring minorities. These honors also take into consideration opportunities for diversity in management and upper level positions, and how much effort is made to seek out diverse suppliers, among other factors. To determine the list, Diversity Inc. sends out surveys to all interested companies with at least 1,000 employees. 535 of the major corporations in America chose to participate.

It's interesting to note that many of the nation's major accounting companies made the list. They are PwC (formerly PriceWaterhouse Coopers) (3), Deloitte (8), Ernst and Young (5) and KPMG (29). Ernst and Young received special recognition as "Top Company for Executive Development" and Deloitte received "Top Company for General Communications" honors.

It's also interesting to note that JCPenney was the only actual retail company to make the list, at number 35. The major retailer also received a special award for "Top Company for Diversity-Management Progress."

Below you'll find some of the reasons the top companies made the list, as well as the full rankings.


The company has structured their incentive program so that 25 percent of executive bonuses are linked directly to diversity objectives. These bonuses are paid out regardless of whether the company meets any of its business goals.


PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers) has several programs aimed at diversity development. Among these programs are its Diamond Program aimed at mentoring the company's top minority employees, and Project Bold, designed to provide leadership development training to high-performing female partners.


AT&T's diversity development programs extend beyond its board, management, and employees. The company's Project Aspire is designed to stem high school dropout rates among Black and Latino students.

Ernst & Young

Compensation among partners, principals, and executives is based partially on the company's Gender inclusiveness Snapshots, which target over 20 metrics relating to the hiring, retention, and development of female and minority employees.


All of IBM's managers, including the CEO, participate in at least one of the companies mentoring programs. While many companies have instituted a mentoring program, IBM has a host of such programs. All mentors and mentees at IBM must complete a cross-cultural training course before beginning the program.

Kraft Foods

Kraft currently hosts 10 employee resource groups (ERGs). These groups focus primarily on recruitment, mentoring, and marketing. Based on their most recent figures, the company has 60 percent of its employees, and 70 percent of their managers, participating in their mentoring program.


In addition to its use of ERGs to meet their diversity goals, the company actively supports a variety of local and multicultural nonprofits, and the company's Aetna Foundation, works towards ending healthcare disparities.


Last year the company spent 15 percent of its gross revenue on philanthropy, with 43 percent going towards ethic, LGBT, and disability nonprofits. Additionally, 3 percent of the company's senior executives are board members of multicultural nonprofits.


Of the company's 13 total board members, two are female, one is a Latino, and three are Black. Additionally, 56 percent of their philanthropic budget is spent on multicultural, LGBT, and disability nonprofits.


The company is a leader on supplier diversity, with more than 20 percent of their direct contractor procurement spending, going to minority-owned businesses. Additionally, the company monitors metrics related to its diversity goals in order to improve the effectiveness of their ERGs.


The company ties success in meeting diversity to goals to their executive performance reviews, and links a percentage of their executive's bonuses to these goals as well. The company has expressed their continuing commitment to encourage diversity at all levels of company management.


The company currently has 21 ERGs and has mandatory diversity training for their entire workforce. The training is held once a month and runs for a full day! The company's work/ life benefits (such as flexible house, telecommuting, and adoption assistance) are designed to encourage a diverse workforce.

Top 50 Companies for Diversity 2011

1. Kaiser Permanente
2. Sodexo
3. PricewaterhouseCoopers
4. AT&T
5. Ernst & Young
6. Johnson & Johnson
7. IBM Corp.
8. Deloitte
9. Kraft Foods
10. Colgate-Palmolive Co.
11. Bank of America
12. The Coca-Cola Co.
13. American Express Co.
14. Marriott International
15. Merck & Co.
16. Prudential Financial
17. CSX Corp.
18. Cummins
19. Aetna
20. Cox Communications
21. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
22. Verizon Communications
23. Accenture
24. Abbott
25. Procter & Gamble

26. Health Care Service Corp.
27. General Mills
28. Time Warner
29. KPMG
30. Dell
31. MasterCard Worldwide
32. Booz Allen Hamilton
33. SC Johnson
34. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
35. JCPenney
36. WellPoint
37. Northrop Grumman Corp.
38. Automatic Data Processing
39. Eli Lilly and Co.
40. Wells Fargo & Co.
41. Monsanto Co.
42. Rockwell Collins
43. Allstate Insurance Co.
44. Target Corp.
45. Time Warner Cable
46. Toyota Motor North America
47. Ford Motor Co.
48. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co.
49. Whirlpool Corp.
50. Chrysler Group

Next:Top 50 Companies for Executive Women 2011

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