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.

are ways to strengthen our position. All say that corporations have to play a bigger role in changing the attitudes of the industry. “If corporations would say to these ad agencies, ‘we’re going to look and see how well you’re doing diversity in terms of what minority agencies you use and the ranks of your own organization [as] a significant part of our evaluation,’ you would see a seismic shift,” says Metzler.

African American marketers also have to do a stronger job of presenting the strength of the market. Kemp concurs: “When I go to multicultural conferences, where a lot of young people go to get an understanding of the marketing, the black marketers are not present. The black advertising agencies are not present. They are not talking about the advantages of the African American market. They’ve abdicated that responsibility to [other ethnic market segments]. We have to be more aggressive in terms of providing the data, providing the reason why — in analytical terms — this market is important. We have to let corporate America know that we cannot be taken for granted. We’re large and growing and influential.”

B.E.’s ADVERTISING DIVERSITY RATING
Using data provided by TNS Media Intelligence, as well as information shared by respondents to our diversity survey, each company on the 40 Best Companies for Diversity list has been assigned an Advertising Diversity Rating, based on an assessment of advertising dollars purchased through media targeting black and minority audiences.

  • Five stars: $2 million or more spent with ethnic media or at least 5% — of total spending of at least $10 million — spent with black media
  • Four stars: $1 million or more spent with ethnic media or at least 3% — of total spending of at least $10 million — spent with black media
  • Three stars: $750,000 or more spent with ethnic media
  • Two stars: $500,000 or more spent with ethnic media and/or significant marketing efforts — outside of direct advertising — appealing to black and other ethnic minority consumer groups
  • One star: Less than $500,000 in total spend with black and ethnic media

Source: TNS Media Intelligence, for time period from Jan. 1, 2005 to Dec. 31, 2005

HOW WE CHOSE THE 40 BEST COMPANIES FOR DIVERSITY
The companies that made the list outperformed other corporations in their peer group in four key catagories:

  • The percentage of total procurement dollars spent with companies owned by African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups
  • The percentage of African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups represented on their corporate boards
  • The percentage of senior management positions held by African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups
  • The percentage of African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups represented in the total workforce

The 2006 BLACK ENTERPRISE 40 Best Companies for Diversity were determined by analyzing the responses to a survey of major corporations to determine investments in key diversity activities. BE engaged in a comprehensive outreach effort to the CEOs and diversity executives of the top 1,000 publicly traded companies and the diversity executive for the 50 leading global companies with strong U.S.

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