40 Best Companies For Diversity

In our third annual survey, we focus on supplier diversity and senior management representation -- how much companies spend with black suppliers and who they let into the corporate suite

with minority businesses. Last year, nine of its 23 minority suppliers were African American. ; 2006; Advertising Diversity Rating: 1; Strengths: Supplier Diversity, Senior Management, Employee Base, Board of Directors

Exelon Corp.; Chicago; Utilities; Peggy Davis, Vice President, Diversity & Staffing; Exelon Corp. is one of the country’s largest utility companies, and its diversity efforts shine brightly. Minorities represent 20.4% of Exelon’s U.S. employee base (11.5% are black). Through its supplier diversity program, Exelon has cultivated relationships with minority- and women-owned suppliers; it also requires majority suppliers to report their volume of contracts with second-tier minority- and women-owned businesses. It has promoted several minorities to the top ranks, most notably, Frank M. Clark, Chairman & CEO of ComEd, listed among BE’s 75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America. ; N/A; Advertising Diversity Rating: 1; Strengths: Senior Management

Starbucks Coffee Co.; Seattle ; Food services ; Laura Swapp, Director, Diversity and Inclusion; By partnering with the largest black-owned business in America, World Wide Technology (No. 1 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $2.1 billion in sales), and the likes of Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Starbucks demonstrates that it values diversity in business. In 1998 Johnson’s company, Johnson Development Corp., entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Starbucks under the name Urban Coffee Opportunities. Johnson now owns more than 100 Starbucks coffee shops, which adds considerably to his sizable net worth, an estimated $1 billion.

But more importantly, Starbucks employs thousands of African Americans in urban areas through its venture with Johnson. In a prepared statement on Starbucks’ Website, Johnson says, “The goal of the UCO joint venture is to broaden the retail selection and provide quality products and services to minority communities. We hope that our entry into these communities will help reinforce Starbucks as a positive place to work.”

Starbucks is committed to supplier diversity as well: Of the coffee retailer’s 348 suppliers, 37.3% are ethnic minorities.

The numbers are also impressive within the company’s senior management ranks: Of the 30 senior managers, 23% are ethnic minorities; of the 28 corporate officers, 25% are ethnic minorities. And the 11-member Starbucks board includes two African Americans, one of whom is Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Capital Management L.L.C. (No. 2 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $16 billion in assets under management). ; N/A; Advertising Diversity Rating: 2; Strengths: Senior Management, Board of Directors

Fannie Mae; Washington, DC; Financial services; Kristy Williams, VP, Human Resources; Last year, Fannie Mae spent more than $355 million with minority suppliers. Of the 186 minority suppliers the company had contracts with, 41% were black. The company is also strong in the areas of workforce diversity and senior management representation. Of its 6,450 employees, 47% are minorities, with African Americans comprising 24% of the workforce. More than 200 members of Fannie Mae’s senior management team are minorities. Gabrielle Barry, spokeswoman for Fannie Mae, says “In order to serve America and carry out our mission, we understand we must be a company that represents all Americans.” ; 2006, 2005; Advertising Diversity Rating: 1; Strengths: Supplier Diversity,

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