DiversityInc Top 50 Methodology

With increased utilization  of SAS software to evaluate our data, the accuracy of The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list has been significantly improved.

The quantitative analysis now includes 183 separate factors, some nested. We now consider Black women, Black men, Latinas, Latinos, Asian women, Asian men and all women as separate categories. Tier II (subcontractor) supplier-diversity spend is an increasing priority as is each best practice’s relationship to measurable outcome.

To enhance accountability, we require every company to send a notarized form that the information is correct, signed either by the CEO, the CHRO or a corporate officer.

We also give extra credit for accountability to companies that voluntarily share their EEO-1 data with us. This data is not being publicized but is being used to verify DiversityInc data submissions.

The same application is used to determine our speciality lists—the Top 10 for Recruitment, Supplier Diversity, Employee Resource Groups, Executive Diversity Councils, Mentoring,  LGBT Employees, Global Diversity, Hospitals and Health Systems and Regional Companies, and the Top 7 Utilities. In determining the Top 10 Companies for People With Disabilities this year, we will significantly factor in the National Organization on Disability’s corporate self-assessment tool, the Disability Employment Tracker. The 25 Noteworthy Companies list uses editorial discretion to determine companies that have potential to make the DiversityInc Top 50 list.

About the Survey

The Top 50 list is based entirely on empirical data obtained in our survey. Participation in the survey is free and companies that do business with DiversityInc receive no preferential treatment.

In order to participate, an organization must have at least 1,000 employees and fill out our detailed, 300-question survey, which is divided into four equally weighted areas. The areas were redesigned this year and the new report cards, which every participating company received, reflect these areas: Talent Pipeline (workforce breakdown, recruitment, diameter of existing talent, structures); Equitable Talent Development (employee resource groups, mentoring, philanthropy, movement, fairness); CEO/Leadership Commitment (accountability for results, personal communications, visibility) and Supplier Diversity.

The data are entirely confidential and are kept on three secure, dedicated servers. Data are retained to allow for year-to-year comparisons. For more information on data security, see www.DiversityInc.com/data-security.

Here Are the Four Areas We Measure

Talent Pipeline: This area assesses the company’s ability to recruit people of all races, ethnicities, genders and ages. It includes:

  • Workforce Age (breakdown by race, ethnicity and gender)
  • Recruitment (with ratios of new hires vs. workforce demographics; new hires into top three levels of management vs. existing demographics of those levels; recruitment vs. involuntary turnover)
  • Diameter of Existing Talent (with ratios of demographics of top three levels vs. all managers; first promotions into management vs. all managers; promotions within management vs. all managers)
  • Structures (such as executive involvement in formal, cross-cultural mentoring; percentage of managers in mentoring; mentee/mentor demographics; percentage of CEO’s direct reports who are executive sponsors of resource groups; percentage of employees participating in resource groups)

Equitable Talent Development: This area assesses retain, engage and promote people from all demographics fairly. It includes:

  • Effective talent-development programs (such as employee resource groups used for mentoring, recruiting, marketing and diversity training; measurement of promotions, retention and engagement of resource-group members; and whether the diversity council establishes goals and metrics)
  • Movement (including ratios of first promotions into management vs. workforce demographics; promotions into and within management; percentages of managers promoted; promotions within top three levels)
  • Fairness (demonstrated by ratios of management promotions vs. voluntary turnover and recruitment vs. involuntary turnover)

CEO/Upper-Management Commitment: This area measures the visible and accountable involvement of top leadership as well as representation at senior levels and on boards of directors. It includes:

  • Quality of Accountability (such as diversity goals being part of performance reviews; executive compensation being linked to diversity metrics, including supplier diversity; whether top executives have senior-advisory positions at ethnic, LGBT and disability nonprofits; percentage of revenue spent on philanthropy; percentage of philanthropy spent on ethnic, LGBT or disability nonprofits)
  • Executive Involvement (such as diversity goals being part of performance reviews; executive compensation being linked to diversity metrics, including supplier diversity; whether top executives have senior-advisory positions at ethnic, LGBT and disability nonprofits; percentage of revenue spent on philanthropy; percentage of philanthropy spent on ethnic, LGBT or disability nonprofits)
  • Representation (includes demographics of top three levels, board of directors and executive diversity council)

Supplier Diversity: This section assesses the effectiveness of supplier development. It includes:

  • Quality of Program (such as procurement-management compensation tied to supplier-diversity results; supplier diversity included in requests for proposals [RFPs] and vendor contracts—includes Tier I [direct contractor] percentages with suppliers owned by people from underrepresented groups)
  • Developing Suppliers (such as Tier II [subcontractor] percentage with suppliers owned by people from underrepresented groups; training, mentoring and incentives for suppliers; providing financial education and assistance to suppliers)
  • Effective Strategies (such as presenting results to board of directors; auditing supplier-diversity numbers; working with corporate communications; sponsoring scholarships or education; and working with supplier-diversity organizations)

How to Apply, Free Report Card and Reporting Period

Click here to participate in the 2015 survey. You may use any one-year reporting period ending after June as the basis for your data submission. This means you may fill in your survey well before the end of the previous year. There is no fee to enter. Every company that fills out the survey receives a free report card assessing performance overall and in those four areas measured.

The survey is accompanied by FAQs that answer common concerns about each question, but our staff is also available to help with questions about technical issues and the meaning/intent of the questions. Please contact top50@DiversityInc.com for staff assistance.

DiversityInc also annually recognizes companies with Special Awards that go beyond the empirical data and show substantive ways they connect diversity management to business results. The 2014 winners will receive their awards at our Oct. 21 event. For previous Special Award winners, click here.

More on the DiversityInc Top 50