The 40 Best Companies For Diversity

Our second annual listing reveals the top performers in supplier, workforce, management, andboard diversity. A bonus: We identify the leaders in marketing spending to reach black consumers.

Global Workforce Diversity. Big Blue is at the forefront of the diversity effort. The $1 billion it spent with minority suppliers in 2005 is a testament to its commitment. Temporary employment services firm Act-1 Group (No. 4 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $718 million in sales) is one of the black-owned enterprises that continue to gain substantial contracts with IBM. The company also focuses on diversity in the marketplace through its Market Development Team; in the workforce, through Project View, a program that recruits minority graduates; and in corporate governance, with two African American directors on its 13-member board.
Advertising Diversity Rating: 2 Stars
STRENGTHS: Board of Directors

KELLOGG CO. Location: Battle Creek, MI. Type of business: Packaged Goods. Diversity Contact: VeLois Bowers, VP, Diversity & Inclusion. Kellogg is one of the most famous brands in the country, with a diverse line of ready-to-eat cereals and convenience foods. Founded in 1906, its workforce is composed of 30% minorities (20% African American). This commitment to diversity is found throughout the company, even in the procurement area. The company spent $60.7 million of its $165 million budget with black suppliers. Kellogg has 11 minorities in senior management, seven of whom are black. The company also has two black corporate officers and one African American on its 12-member board of directors.
Advertising Diversity Rating: 3 Stars
STRENGTHS: Supplier Diversity

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL INC. Location: Washington, DC. Type of Business: Lodging. Diversity Contact: Dave Sampson, Sr. VP, Diversity Initiatives. It took decades for Marriott International Inc. to become one of the nation’s diversity leaders. In fact, the company has pushed for greater African American presence within the industry — including developing black general managers and hotel owners — for close to 20 years. Today, the hotel giant continues to walk the walk.
Through its diversity initiative, Marriott has increased the number of minority employees to nearly 75,000 of its 125,000-member workforce. That effort extends to the corporate boardroom, where two of the company’s 11 directors are black. “Diversity has become a real business issue for us,” explains Dave Sampson, senior vice president of diversity initiatives. “Having diverse members on the board brings an additional perspective to the decision making process.”
That new perspective led to the creation of a board subcommittee composed of four board members and six senior executives who discuss inclusion issues related to ownership, workforce, markets and customers, and supplier diversity. Dubbed the Committee for Excellence, the group oversees Marriott’s Diversity Ownership Initiative, an effort launched in 2004 to increase the number of minority- and women-owned franchises from 300 to 500 within the next five years. In fact, Robert L. Johnson, BET founder and CEO of RLJ Development L.L.C. (No. 25 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $168 million in sales), will increase the number of Marriott hotels he owns from 40 to 130 over the next few months. — N.M.R.
Advertising Diversity Rating: 2 Stars
STRENGTHS: Employee Base, Board of Directors

MCDONALD’S CORP. Location: Oak Brook, IL. Type of Business: Fast-food Services. Diversity Contact: Pat Harris, Chief Diversity Officer. McDonald’s is

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