Why Companies Rise & Fall in the DiversityInc Top 50

The contrast between companies whose rankings keep improving and those on a steady decline is in their human-capital results. Our data demonstrates that results are tied to top-down attention to the numbers and the process, as well as best practices that broaden knowledge about talent development, such as mentoring and resource groups.


We look at four companies in industries that have been mainstays on the DiversityInc Top 50 two in an engineering-based industry and two in consumer products. In both industries, there is increasing recognition of the need for an increasingly diverse workforce to relate to the U.S. market. Yet in these case studies, we see one company in each industry capitalizing on diversity-management best practices to diversify its employee and leadership base, while the other does not.

We see similarities in the two companies that went up very committed CEOs who lead metrics-driven executive diversity councils, and increasing use of employee-resource groups to understand the workplace and the marketplace.

In the companies that declined, we see a lack of well-communicated support and, in both cases, abandonment of formal, cross-cultural mentoring.

Case Study No. 1

Engineering-Based Company That Rose

Led by a CEO who personally created and leads the executive diversity council, the deep-rooted diversity initiative at this large company spans many dimensions.

An early leader in supplier diversity, the company has maintained its emphasis on mentoring and growing its suppliers while mandating that its direct (Tier I) contractors also use diverse suppliers (Tier II).

Its workforce D&I efforts have improved dramatically in the past five years, causing the company to climb on the list. By focusing on increasing the talent pipeline for people from under-represented groups, the company has dramatically improved its management representation of Blacks, Latinos and Asians.

The diversity effort here includes much more than race/ethnicity and demographics. This company has had an increasing focus on people with disabilities, veterans and the LGBT community, and has proved itself an innovative thought-leader in all three areas.

Its emphasis in the past two years has been on increasing participation in cross-cultural mentoring and employee-resource group membership, with double-digit gains in both areas. Its resource groups in particular show significant progress. One factor that has greatly contributed is its annual resource-group conference, which is attended by its CEO and senior leaders.

Contributing Factors

Visible CEO commitment

Emphasis on increasing ERG participation

Outreach to LGBT, disability, veterans communities

Recommendations for This Company

Make D&I commitment a significant factor in CEO succession planning

Set higher goals (and hire more externally) for women in top levels

Case Study No. 2

Engineering-Based Company That Fell

This company, which once was a leader on the DiversityInc Top 50 list, has fallen steadily over the past few years.

Both the former and the current CEO have said they are supporters of diversity and inclusion but from data submitted, it appears the D&I staffing and resource group funding has not remained competitive. That said, the company this year reinstated its executive diversity council, which is a step in the right direction.

We hope the new council will push the company to ramp up the two best practices that have the most impact on human-capital results formal, cross-cultural mentoring and employee-resource groups.

While this company has long-standing employee-resource groups available to all employees, including hourly workers, its percentage of participation is less than 4 percent and most of those employees are at corporate headquarters. That’s a wasted opportunity.

Mentoring, which both our data and numerous studies show is extremely effective at building a diverse talent pipeline, isn’t a factor at this company. A previous effort at formal, cross-cultural mentoring has been dropped and current, loose efforts don’t include cultural awareness training, measurable goals or follow-up.

Contributing Factors

Not competitive in war for diverse talent

Abandonment of cross-cultural mentoring

Poor employee-resource group participation

Recommendations for This Company

Expand new diversity council to include

employee-resource group leaders and establish

business-unit councils

Reinstate formal cross-cultural mentoring and

mandate executive involvement (with

cultural-awareness training)

Focus on expanding employee-resource group

participation

Case Study No. 3

Consumer-Products Company That Rose

Under the guidance of a CEO who has made D&I a priority since he stepped into the role four years ago, this company has made strong progress with its employee-resource groups and supplier diversity.

An emphasis on metrics has helped its very committed chief diversity officer implement new initiatives. Executive compensation is linked to diversity goals and are part of executive performance reviews.

The executive diversity council at this company is a model for others, including rotating representatives of all its employee-resource groups. All council members are formal mentors and most are executive sponsors of resource

groups.

This year, the company has emphasized its resource group contributions to recruitment, engagement, talent development and community activities, with strong results.

It also has ratcheted up its supplier-diversity efforts and made an effort to help it sustain and grow its suppliers. This includes efforts with LGBT- and service-disabled-owned suppliers.

This company also has learned to communicate its diversity efforts effectively, both in a focused and metrics-based annual diversity report and on its website. Its marketing material for consumers often includes a multicultural emphasis.

Contributing Factors

Strong CEO commitment

Effective executive diversity council with rotating

ERG members

Solid supplier diversity

Recommendations for This Company

Continue to emphasize cultural-competence training for

recruiters

Probe even deeper into resource groups to address

some pipeline issues, especially for Latinos and Asians

Case Study No. 4

Consumer-Products Company That Fell

A mainstay on this list for several years, this company doesn’t have much diversity at the top and doesn’t appear to have made it a priority.

Its top level has no Blacks or Asians and few women and Latinos. There were two internal promotions into this top level last year both white men.

The company has talent-development initiatives in place but they don’t include mentoring. Only 1 percent of U.S. employees participate in mentoring and none of those pairings are cross-cultural. Virtually none of the top three levels of executives are formal mentors.

In addition, this company’s website has a diversity section that doesn’t tell you much (it is full of platitudes) and doesn’t feature either LGBT people or people with disabilities as desirable employees and customers.

Contributing Factors

Lack of diversity at top level

No cross-cultural and little formal mentoring

Ineffective diversity communications

Recommendations for This Company

Put in place (start with pilot) formal, cross-cultural mentoring

and require top leaders to participate

Hire effective diversity communicators to emphasize the

importance to ALL communities internally and externally

Require top executives to sponsor cross-cultural high

potential of their choice

Latest News

Black Lives Matter face mask for preventing spread of COVID-19

BLM T-shirts and Trump Masks Cause Uproar at Early Polling Locations; New Credit Cards Allow Trans Individuals to Use Preferred Name; and More

BLM T-shirts and Trump masks cause uproar at early polling locations. Voters’ choice of clothing when heading to the polls in Florida and Tennessee has begun making headlines across the country. The Washington Post reported that Miami police officer Daniel Ubeda has come under fire for wearing a Trump-endorsing face…

Close-up image of COVID-19 virus

Black and Latinx Individuals Increasingly Worried About Impact of COVID-19 on Career; Potential Spike in New Disabilities Due to Pandemic; and More

More than 50% of Blacks and Latinx individuals significantly worried about finances and career prospects due to pandemic. COVID-19 continues to be top of mind for most of the country, especially as cases appear to be worsening in our current third wave of the illness. But a new survey of…

Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.)

Rep. Jahana Hayes Attacked in Racist Campaign Town Hall; 1 in 4 Americans Unemployed According to New Data from Axios; and More

Racist trolls interrupt Zoom town hall hosted by Jahana Hayes, Connecticut’s first Black congresswoman. “I am not OK,” wrote Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) in a moving post describing a violent attack that took place at one of her recent campaign events. Ten minutes into the Zoom town hall for one…

reproductive, benefits, workplace

The Importance of Reproductive Benefits in the Workplace

With President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to take the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, the issue of reproductive rights has again become a hot button topic. While Ginsburg repeatedly voted against restrictions on birth control and abortion access, the historically conservative Barrett is expected to tip the…

International African American Museum Receives New Markets Tax Credits from TD Community Development Corporation

Originally published on newscenter.td.com. TD’s investment will help the non-profit create 186 new jobs, exhibit space TD Community Development Corporation (TDCDC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TD Bank, N.A., announced today its allocation of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, to assist…

TIAA Survey Reveals Saving for Retirement is the No. 1 Contributor to Feeling Financially Resilient for Working Individuals, but 60% of People are Falling Behind Goals

Originally published on TIAA.com. The global COVID-19 pandemic not only presents a tremendous threat to people’s health and lives, but is also challenging the financial security of families across the nation. According to new research released today by TIAA, a leading financial services provider, nearly 60 percent of adults say…

domestic, violence, awareness

October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resources

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month takes place in October to raise awareness about this critical social and public health issue. One out of every four women and one out of every 10 men will experience sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime according to…