of our corporations have job openings where they’re actively seeking diverse talent. They realize that they will be rewarded by a pool of employees of different races, genders, and sexual preferences that can offer a range of perspectives, experiences, skills, and strategies. In a business environment that has become increasingly multicultural and global, companies like those on our list that invest in the development and expansion of such human capital will emerge as today’s winners and tomorrow’s leaders.
Choosing Our Best Companies for Diversity
To select our 2010 Best Companies for Diversity, our editors and BE Research sent surveys to the top 1,000 publicly traded companies as well as the 100 leading global companies with strong U.S. operations. BE’s survey focused on activities related to the participation of African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the term “ethnic minority” applies to individuals from the following backgrounds: black/African American, American Indian/Alaska native, Asian, native Hawaiian, and Hispanic/Latino. Information provided by companies on diversity efforts on behalf of other groups, such as women, gays/lesbians/bisexuals/transgender, and the disabled, was used as a secondary, supporting criterion for inclusion on the list.
BE performed a quantitative assessment of all corporate respondents in each survey category. Based on the analysis, each company was given a score per category, which was compiled into a final survey score. Because of the high number of job losses since the recession, a heavier weighting was applied to scores in the senior management and supplier diversity categories. The final scores, along with the results of reporting and research conducted by the BE editorial staff, were used to determine the 40 Best Companies for Diversity. (See the 2009 Best Companies for Diversity article and list.)
Our survey measured companies against four key categories:
Employee Base: the percentage of African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups represented in a given company’s total workforce.
Senior Management: The percentage of senior management positions held by African Americans and members of other ethnic groups.
Board of Directors: The percentage of African Americans and other ethnic minorities represented on corporate boards.
Supplier Diversity: the percentage of total procurement dollars spent with companies owned by African Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups.
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