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DiversityInc's 2016 Top 50 Announcement Dinner & Learning Sessions

April 19 | Cipriani Wall Street | New York City



No.6 | MasterCard | DiversityInc Top 50


MasterCard’s President and CEO, Ajay Banga, makes very clear the importance of an inclusive environment: “Our culture of inclusion has established us as a global company of empowered employees who use their diversity of thought, experience and background to advance innovation and MasterCard’s contributions to society.”

In this video, in which Ajay accepts DiversityInc’s award as Top Company for Inclusive Culture last year, he said: “If you don’t have a diverse company, if you don’t have people around you who don’t think like you, don’t walk like you, don’t talk like you, didn’t have the same experiences as you, how will you ever make sure that you are not blinded to the same mistakes that you can otherwise make because you can only see things through one prism.”

MasterCard does not hesitate to ensure that its inclusive culture covers every group. Earlier this year, as the “Religious Freedom Acts” threatened LGBT equality in Indiana, Arkansas and other states, MasterCard issued this statement: “At MasterCard, we want to express our concern for the recent legislation that has potential impact on the LGBT community.

“We are firmly committed to eliminating discrimination of the LGBT community – through, among other initiatives, our robust diversity program that fosters a sense of inclusion for all employees, providing benefits to same-sex couples, and supporting and participating in PRIDE events in the communities in which we live and work.

“For us, diversity is the foundation of who we are and what we do. It drives our collaboration, our talent development and our innovation. We are committed to supporting LGBT equality, and we oppose any laws or actions that encourage or enable discrimination of any kind.”

That commitment to equality has helped MasterCard earn a spot in the DiversityInc Top 10 for the third year in a row despite a 31% increase in survey participation and a Top 10 that has constantly improving results. Those results include 16% more women and 18.5% more Blacks, Latinos and Asians in management than the Top 50.

MasterCard has very diverse senior leadership. In the succession-planning levels 2 and 3 (direct reports to C-Suite and the next level down), MasterCard has triple the percentage of Asians, 59% more women and 9% more Latinos than the Top 50 average.

Ajay chairs the Global Diversity and Inclusion Council (GDIC) and meets quarterly with MasterCard’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs). The council, based at corporate headquarters in Purchase, N.Y., has representatives from all the company’s business regions and sets policy and strategy, such as expanding traditional definitions of diversity to include diversity of thought, experience and function.

Chief Diversity Officer Donna Johnson—“a tireless, passionate campaigner” in Ajay’s words—leads the efforts, which include the eight BRGs. The groups are heavily involved in talent development, mentoring and diversity training.

55% of the C-suite level executives are sponsors of the BRGs, compared with a Top 50 average of 41%. “These leaders are glad to have the opportunity to find the jewels in their employee base,” Johnson says.

MasterCard’s Business Resource Groups have strong employee participation, going from 40% last year to 60% this year, more than double the DiversityInc Top 50 average.


Ajay Banga
President and CEO

“Our culture of inclusion has established us as a global company of empowered employees who use their diversity of thought, experience and background to advance innovation and MasterCard’s contributions to society.”
Donna Johnson
Chief Diversity Officer

“We’ve built a culture that develops our employees professionally and personally, making MasterCard a fantastic place to work. We distinguish ourselves as an employer of choice by encouraging employees to lead change through their skills and passions.”


U.S. Headquarters: Purchase, N.Y.
Global Employees: 10,300
U.S. Employees: 4,600
Last Year’s DiversityInc Top 50 Ranking: No. 6


  • No. 6 Top 10 Companies for Recruitment
  • No. 9 Top 10 Companies for Employee Resource Groups
  • No. 10 Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity


VIDEO: Top Company for Inclusive Culture: MasterCard Engaging Middle Management in Diversity and Inclusion Top Companies for Women: What 3 Best Practices Do They All Have? What Sets the DiversityInc Top 10 Apart?