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

Senior Management, Employee Base, Board of Directors

General Mills; Minneapolis; Food products; Kelly Baker, Vice President of Diversity; General Mills has had diversity on its menu for years. Roughly 15 years ago, the company created a Corporate Diversity Department, which included a full-time manager of supplier diversity. Two of General Mills’ 11 board members are black. About 21% of U.S. employees are minorities; 7% are black. Two executives, Marc Belton, executive vice president, Worldwide Health, Brand and New Business Development; and Kim Nelson, president, Snacks Division. Belton and Nelson have appeared on BE’s 75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America and 50 Most Powerful Women in Business rosters, respectively. ; N/A; Advertising Diversity Rating: 3; Strengths: Supplier Diversity, Board of Directors

Fedex Corp.; Memphis; Package delivery; William Cahill, Corporate Vice President, Human Resources; Through its diverse workforce, supplier base, and corporate culture, FedEx Corp. has become a dynamic force in the global marketplace. In 2006, it spent nearly $200 million with ethnic minority suppliers; 9.5% was spent with black vendors. FedEx is also committed to the hiring and promotion of minorities and women. Minorities make up more than 40% of its staff of more than 219,000; 27% are black. Its highest-ranking black executives include Senior Vice President and CFO Cathy D. Ross and Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations Matthew Thornton. ; 2006, 2005; Advertising Diversity Rating: 2; Strengths: Employee Base

General Motors; Detroit; Automotive; Roderick D. Gillum, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility & Diversity; In the U.S., almost 21% of General Motors’ 128,000-plus employees are African American. And it is one of the nation’s first companies to implement a formal supplier diversity program. GM has spent $5 billion of its $47 billion in total procurement dollars with minority vendors. Among its leading African American suppliers are Bridgewater Interiors L.L.C. (No. 4 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $751 million in sales). Out of 49, eight corporate officers are ethnic minorities and five are black. ; 2006, 2005; Advertising Diversity Rating: 5; Strengths: Senior Management

Ford Motor Co.; Dearborn, MI; Automotive; Joe Laymon, Group Vice President, Corporate Human Resources and Labor Affairs; Ford Motor Co. made headlines when it awarded a $500 million annual contract to Bridgewater Interiors L.L.C. (No. 4 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $751 million in sales) to supply automotive seat systems, the largest contract awarded to a minority-owned firm in Ford’s 104-year history. Moreover, 8% of the $44 billion the automaker spent in corporate procurement in 2006 went to minority-owned firms. Within the company, African Americans represent 9% of senior management, including Thomas K. “Tony” Brown, senior vice president of Global Purchasing. ; 2006; Advertising Diversity Rating: 5; Strengths: Senior Management

IBM; Armonk, NY; Information technology; Ron Glover, Vice President of Global Workforce Diversity; IBM applies a laser-like focus to creating an inclusive environment for its employees and vendors. The company continues to get high marks in the area of board representation. Four minorities, two of whom are African American, serve on IBM’s 13-member board of directors. In terms of its

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