2012 Best Companies for Diversity

Thompson is part of McDonald’s expanding diverse supply chain network. In 2011, McDonald’s purchased nearly $817 million in goods and services from companies owned by African Americans. In the past five years, the fast food giant’s overall purchases from African American suppliers have increased 24.3%. The McDonald’s U.S. system annually purchases more than 50% of its total food, distribution, and paper from minority- and women-owned suppliers. “One of the things I’m most proud of is how our team continues to make diversity a priority,” says Pat Harris, the company’s global chief diversity officer. “They demonstrate every day that at McDonald’s, D and I [diversity and inclusion] is everyone’s business.”

View the 2012 Best Companies for Diversity here.

McDonald’s exemplifies what it means for a corporation to truly value supplier diversity and demonstrates that commitment by expanding contracting opportunities and development programs with minority vendors. Such efforts are critical at a time when corporations are restructuring and consolidating their supplier base. As may be expected, those corporations with the largest minority procurement spend can be found on our list of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity. Other criteria for being on our list are expansion of senior management, composition of corporate directors, and employee recruitment and retention. In each area, some companies performed better than others. (See “How We Compiled the 40 Best Companies for Diversity.”)

Although several companies are expanding their diversity initiatives, B.E. Research found hundreds that aren’t. Scores failed to complete surveys or return calls from our researchers.

This year BE focused on supplier diversity, because winning contracts to provide products and services is the lifeblood of most businesses. Corporations spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year purchasing an array of goods and services from suppliers. Although diversity among suppliers has come a long way, it still has a long way to go.

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