The 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity®

Also read: diversity management, DiversityInc Top 50DiversityInc events, best practices

The 10th annual DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity® list demonstrates increased participation from large and small organizations in 14 very different industries, with a wide variety of skill sets.

The 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list was announced at a sold-out dinner in Washington, D.C., at DiversityInc’s two-day event. For information on DiversityInc’s November 8–9 event in D.C. focusing on employee engagement, click here

This year, 449 companies participated in the DiversityInc Top 50 competition, up 12 percent from last year and up 75 percent in the past four years. The list is very diverse in its own right:

  • There are 14 different industries represented on the list: financial services, 17.3 percent; consumer products, 13.5 percent; healthcare/insurance, 11.5 percent; professional services, 9.6 percent; telecommunications/media, 9.6 percent; pharmaceuticals, 7.7 percent; hospitality, 7.7 percent; technology, 7.7 percent; retail, 3.8 percent; auto, 3.8 percent; defense contractors, 1.9 percent; business software, 1.9 percent; heavy manufacturing, 1.9 percent; agriculture 1.9 percent
  • Forty percent of the companies had knowledge-based work forces, while 31 percent were in labor-intensive industries
  • There is a wide range in the size of companies on the list. The largest company, in terms of employee size, is Target, with more than 334,000 employees. The smallest is SC Johnson, with 3,192 employees

Applicants fill out a survey divided into four parts: CEO Commitment, Human Capital, Corporate and Organizational Communications, and Supplier Diversity. The same application is used to determine placement on the 12 specialty lists: The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Recruitment & Retention; The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity; The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Blacks; The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Latinos; The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Asian Americans; The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Executive Women; The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees; The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for People With Disabilities; DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies; The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity; The DiversityInc Top 5 Regional Utility Companies; and The DiversityInc Top 5 Hospital Systems.

DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies list is the only one in which editorial discretion is used. Our staff chooses companies for this list that have potential to make the DiversityInc Top 50 next year because their diversity-management initiatives show significant improvement.

New this year is The DiversityInc Top 5 Hospital Systems. Like The DiversityInc Top 5 Regional Utilities, which started two years ago, the hospital-systems list recognizes organizations with specific regional focuses.

There has been significant movement on the list this year:

  • Ten percent of the 449 participants competed for the first time
  • Six companies made the DiversityInc Top 50 for the first time this year. One, Northrop Grumman, was participating for the first time
  • Thirty companies moved up in rank; 19 fell. An additional eight fell off DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy list this year

To show the progress of companies invested in diversity management, consider this: The average points for all participants in the DiversityInc Top 50 have increased fivefold in the last four years and the average points for companies at the top of the list have almost tripled.

There are several companies that have made significant increases this year. Sodexo, ranked No. 1, has been steadily moving up the list because of its strong leadership commitment and metrics-based focus on diversity-management results. Kaiser Permanente moves up three spots to No. 4. This healthcare organization has the most diverse top leadership of any company. KPMG moved up 14 spots as its diversity-management focus intensified, especially around talent development. And Southern Company made it onto the 25 Noteworthy list, becoming eligible because it now offers same-sex domestic-partner benefits, a requirement to be on any DiversityInc list.

Key Findings

Aggregate data from the 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 shows a sharp escalation in diversity initiatives. For example:

  • An average of 22 percent of employees were members of employee-resource groups, compared with 19 percent last year and 5 percent five years ago
  • Ninety percent have cross-cultural mentoring programs, compared with 82 percent last year and 42 percent five years ago
  • An average of 39 percent of philanthropy went to multicultural charities, compared with 22 percent last year and 5 percent five years ago


How is the DiversityInc Top 50 determined? Surveys are sent out in October to all interested companies that have at least 1,000 employees, with a due date for an online submission in early February. There is no fee to enter and companies that have business relationships with DiversityInc get no preference. Every company that fills out the survey receives a free report card assessing performance in those four areas measured: CEO Commitment, Human Capital, Corporate and Organizational Communications, and Supplier Diversity.

The survey consists of more than 200 empirical questions (no subjective or qualitative information), which have predetermined weightings. Ratios between key factors, such as demographics of managers compared with managers who received promotions, play a significant factor in determining point scores. Companies must score above average in all four areas to earn a spot on the list. CEO Commitment is the most heavily weighted area because if a company lacks visible leadership, its diversity-management efforts will fail to be a priority. Companies are measured within their industry classifications.

The surveys are spot-checked by our staff and companies can resubmit their surveys if errors are found. We cannot enter data for companies. The final list is reviewed by our editorial leadership without the names of the companies attached, so no favoritism can occur.

Any company that does not offer same-sex domestic-partner benefits is automatically disqualified from the DiversityInc Top 50 or any of the 12 specialty lists. 


  • your work continues to speak volumes! thank you for your contributions!

  • Anonymous

    Encouraging. I have the Powerful Women Behind A Powerful Brand article at my desk because it’s motivating & the women being noted are inspirations to me. As an african-american woman; knowing Verizon ranked No. 7 in The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for our people enhances my appreciation for the company overall. I’m glad my employer recognizes the greatness in diversity.

  • Chris Sayers

    I am so proud to be part of the Taget family. They have always recognised talent in team members. Celebrate wins with opportunity, understand the value of diversity in the work place , Give everyone a fair chance to grow, and be part of the best company ever! In my fourteen years here, I have been given many opprotunities, ( started as truck thrower, now an executive). I doubt this would have been afforded me elsewhere. Viva la differance! To another fourteen years!

Leave a Reply