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.

II. Later, it became the first publicly traded corporation to promote an African American to the position of vice president. Since it began tracking information in 1982, the $32 billion food and beverage leader has spent nearly $7 billion with women and minority businesses. Between 2002 and 2004, corporate purchasing through minority businesses increased by nearly 37%. It has developed External Diversity Advisory Boards to counsel senior management on various issues related to multicultural audiences.
Advertising Diversity Rating: 5 Stars
STRENGTHS: Supplier Diversity, Senior Management

PITNEY BOWES INC. Location: Stamford, CT. Type of Business: Computer, office equipment. Diversity Contact: Susan Johnson, VP, Strategic Talent Management & Diversity Leadership. In the 1940s, then-chairman Walter Wheeler wrote: “Pitney Bowes’ worksites will reflect the communities in which we operate.” A few years later, he boycotted a hotel when it refused to register a African American Pitney Bowes salesman. That philosophy and practice has continued throughout the years with each succeeding chief executive. Pitney Bowes provides integrated mail and document management for organizations worldwide with a U.S. workforce of 27,627 — roughly 24% African American. Thirteen of the company’s 148 senior managers and one member of its board of directors is black.
Advertising Diversity Rating: 1 Star
STRENGTHS: Senior Management, Employee Base

AFLAC INC. Location: Columbus, GA. Type of Business: Accident & Health Insurance. Diversity Contact: Brenda Mullins, 2nd VP, Human Resources/Diversity. When Aflac was established 51 years ago, its founders promoted an operating philosophy that all workers would be treated with care, dignity, and fairness. That’s a tall order for such an expansive and diverse environment. Roughly 1,780 of Aflac’s 4,207 employees are minorities (African Americans represent nearly 1,480 of that number), and minorities constitute 24% of corporate managers. Moreover, women make up 69% of employees.
In an effort to ensure companywide diversity, Aflac implemented diversity training in 1996 and expanded the program in 2001. “We did some research to develop a framework,” says Brenda Mullins, second vice president of Human Resources/Diversity. “I call it my five R’s: recruitment, retention, relationships, recognition or rewards, and reinforcement.”
Aflac has also developed relationships with professional associations such as Inroads and Students in Free Enterprise in an effort to recruit African Americans. To retain employees, Mullins says, the company promotes understanding through forums that allow employees to share specific ethnic customs with co-workers. The company has also developed a mentoring program for minority agents as a means to diversify the pipeline to upper echelons of management. — N.M.R.
Advertising Diversity Rating: 1 Star
STRENGTHS: Senior Management, Employee Base

PG&E CORP. Location: San Francisco. Type of Business: Utilities. Diversity Contact: Jean Brennan,Senior Director, HR Planning and Development. Much of PG&E’s strength is a result of innovative ideas and the contributions of 7,000 minority employees. With a focus on recruitment, management participation, supplier diversity, and community relations, PG&E — a $11.7 billion company — knows that hiring individuals from varied backgrounds enhances its products and services. PG&E’s ability to create a diverse work environment is a mission-critical element in being successful. Procurement dollars spent with black suppliers total more than $77 million.

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