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.

priority was to interface with 70,000 demoralized workers who had largely been considered guilty of racism by association.

“How do you eat an elephant?” asks Hood. “One bite at a time.” The company’s first goal was to get rid of employees at all levels who failed to embrace its diversity initiative. Next, Hood’s cadre developed a system that evaluated and reported the initiative’s progress quarterly. The CEO and board of directors, as well as representatives of the NAACP, were involved in the monitoring system.

Moreover, Denny’s chairman instituted a 25% discretionary bonus for all senior managers who significantly improved their record of hiring and promoting minority workers.

Today, Denny’s has cleaned up its act. As a result of these initiatives, only 10% of African Americans now equate the Denny’s name with discrimination. Two of eight senior managers and three of 19 corporate officers are black, including Chief Marketing Officer Margaret Jenkins, who oversees a budget of $50 million and spends nearly $16 million on marketing to minorities. — Nicole Marie Richardson
Advertising Diversity Rating: 1 Star

DENNY’S CORP. Location: Spartanburg, SC. Type of Business: Food Services. Diversity Contact: Rachelle Hood, Chief Diversity Officer. STRENGTHS: Supplier Diversity, Senior Management, Employee Base, Board of Directors

AETNA Location: Hartford, CT. Type of Business: Healthcare Services. Diversity Contact: Doreen Mouzakes, Senior Diversity Consultant. Under the direction of Ronald Williams, the recently appointed African American president and CEO, Aetna fosters an environment of inclusion that attracts a multicultural talent pool. Of its 27,162 employees, 7,222 are minorities (4,494 are African American). The company’s commitment to diversity can also be found in the healthcare behemoth’s 12-member board, which includes two African Americans. Minorities hold three of 42 positions as corporate officers and four of 23 positions as senior managers at Aetna, one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare and long-term benefits. Approximately $5.8 million in marketing is targeted to minorities.
Advertising Diversity Rating: 1 Star
Strengths: Senior Management

AMERICAN AIRLINES INC. Location: Fort Worth, TX . Type of Business: Travel & Tourism. Diversity Contact: Debra Hunter Johnson, VP, Human Resources Operations Support. American Airlines scores points in the executive suite, with African Americans representing about 8.5% of all corporate officers. The company’s pledge to diversity is mirrored in procurement dollars as well. AA spent about $189 million with minority suppliers and vendors in 2005. The airline also spent $10 million on marketing and minority outreach, $4 million of which was earmarked for African American programs and charitable organizations.
Advertising Diversity Rating: 5 Stars
STRENGTHS: Senior Management, Board of Directors

AMERICAN EXPRESS CO. Location: New York. Type of Business: Credit Services & Travel. Diversity Contact: Henry Hernandez, Chief Diversity Officer. At American Express, diversity starts at the top. With one of the most powerful African Americans in corporate America at the helm — Chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault — the $24.2 billion company has proven its commitment to diversity. Among senior management positions, 26% are filled by minorities, with African Americans holding 7.2% of executive positions and representing 14.3% of all U.S. employees. Of the 13 board seats, African Americans

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