The 30 Best Companies For Diversity

When it comes to minority representation, these corporations mean business

in place to strategically plan and implement diversity activities and to accumulate and monitor quantitative and qualitative data on the result of those activities. Thus, these companies were able to measure the effectiveness of their programs, participate meaningfully in our corporate diversity survey, and effectively demonstrate their qualifications as the standard-bearers for diversity initiatives in corporate America.

Companies were surveyed on a secondary category, marketing and outreach. BE‘s corporate diversity survey focused primarily on activities related to the participation, in each category, of African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the term “ethnic minority” applies to people from the following backgrounds: black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian-Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino. Information provided by companies on diversity efforts on behalf of other groups, such as women, gays/lesbians/transexuals, and the disabled, was used as a secondary, supporting criterion for inclusion on the list.

The first primary survey category, supplier diversity, focuses on the percentage of total procurement spending allocated to African Americans and other ethnic groups. The second primary category, board representation, examines the diversity of board members, while the senior management category evaluates the percentage of ethnic and black managers as a percentage of all senior management positions. The fourth category, workforce, assesses the percentage of ethnic and black employees in an organization as a percentage of all employees.

The marketing and outreach category was utilized as a secondary, supporting category and included marketing, advertising, promotions, community outreach, and scholarships. A large number of corporations would not provide full marketing information because of the sensitivity of marketing investments and competitive concerns. BE determined the leading marketing organizations and used the assessment to complement the scoring in the four primary categories.

Upon receipt of all surveys, BE performed a quantitative assessment of all corporate respondents in each survey category. Based on the analysis, each company was provided a score per category, which was compiled into a final survey score. In addition, the editorial staff reviewed all surveys and performed follow-up validation including contacting corporate diversity officers, senior managers, minority suppliers, and third party experts. The final scores, along with the results of reporting and research conducted by the BE editorial staff, were used to determine the 30 Best Companies for Diversity. –THE EDITORS

HOW WE CHOSE THE 30 BEST COMPANIES FOR DIVERSITY
The 2005 BLACK ENTERPRISE 30 Best Companies for Diversity were determined by an analysis of the resp
onses to a survey of major corporations to determine investments in key diversity activities. BE engaged in a comprehensive outreach effort to both the CEO and the diversity executive for the top 1,000 publicly traded companies and the diversity executive for the 50 leading global companies with strong U.S. operations. Following initial contact, additional rounds of contact were undertaken to ensure that all companies were apprised of the opportunity to participate in this year’s survey.

The companies that made the list outperformed other corporations in their peer group in four key areas:

  1. The percentage of total procurement dollars spent with companies owned by African
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