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

2005; Advertising Diversity Rating: 1; Strengths: Supplier Diversity, Senior Management, Employee Base

McDonald’s Corp.; Oak Brook, IL; Food Services; Chere L. Nabor, Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion; McDonald’s encourages workforce diversity by hiring, promoting, and retaining minorities, who comprise about 26% of its managers and more than 25% of its corporate officers. Among them is Don Thompson, one of BE’s 75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America, who was promoted from executive vice president and chief operating officer to president of McDonald’s USA last August. Furthermore, McDonald’s provides diversity education to its executives. Last year, the company spent more than $4 billion with minority suppliers. ; 2006, 2005 ; Advertising Diversity Rating: 5; Strengths: Supplier Diversity, Senior Management, Employee Base, Board of Directors

Pepsi Bottling Group Inc.; Somers, NY; Beverage distribution; John Berisford, Sr. Vice President, Human Resources; With a U.S. employee base of 33,000 (blacks comprise 18.2% of the staff), the world’s largest bottler of Pepsi-Cola beverages says that it values and celebrates the diversity of all its employees and consumers. The $12.7 billion company spends more than 40% of its total marketing dollars targeting ethnic minorities, including 17% marketing to African Americans. That philosophy of diversity extends to the company’s corporate spending with vendors and suppliers as well-with 5.4% of Pepsi Bottling Group’s total procurement, $156 million, going to ethnic minority suppliers. ; 2005; Advertising Diversity Rating: 1; Strengths: Supplier Diversity, Employee Base, Board of Directors

State Farm Insurance; Bloomington, IL ; Insurance ; Laura Hass, Assistant Vice President Diversity/Human Resources; “I know better than to argue with Pam,” jokes State Farm Chairman and CEO Edward B. Rust Jr. about how fervent Vice President of Marketing Pamela K. El is about pushing the diversity agenda. One of several State Farm diversity advocates who understand not only its importance but its business case, Rust says, “Our strength is being very receptive to different ideas. As an organization, it’s critical to long-term success.”

Diversity drives innovation, Rust asserts, which makes for a more progressive and competitive company. That progress, in turn, will create broader opportunities for everyone in an organization. Started in 1922, State Farm covers more than 74 million fire, auto, health, and life insurance policies, and its workforce reflects the diversity of its policyholders. Some 14% of State Farm’s senior management positions and about 13% of the company’s more than 66,000 U.S. employees are African American. About 8% of the company’s total procurement was spent with ethnic minority suppliers.

Last year, while attending the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, El engaged what would appear to be an unlikely supplier-Dr. Ian Smith. In April, the two launched the 50 Million Pound Challenge. Sponsored by State Farm, the Challenge is an effort to reverse the morbid obesity trends faced by African Americans. All levels of the company have embraced the program. “We’ve got 17,000 agents and 12,000 of them have signed on,” says Mike Davidson, vice chairman and chief agency and marketing officer. “For us to get that kind of buy-in speaks very well.” (See “The Battle for Minimum

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