Archived: Why Top 50 Companies Beat Fortune 500 in Diversity Recruiting, Promotions

By Barbara Frankel


There’s a reason DiversityInc Top 50 companies have more diversity in their management, CEOs, senior levels and boards of directors than Fortune 500 companies. They use established diversity-management best practices to build and retain a pipeline of diverse talent.

Thirty-two of the DiversityInc Top 50 companies are members of the Fortune 500, ranging from AT&T (No. 7 on the Top 50 [BF1]and No. 11 on the Fortune 500) to MasterCard Worldwide (No. 6 on the Top 50[BF2] and No. 326 on the Fortune 500).

The impact of the DiversityInc Top 50 companies in reputation and results is far greater. They lead the way in diversity-management initiatives and benefits. They develop reputations as inclusive employers and, therefore, they are able to hire, retain, engage and promote more people from under-represented groups as well as younger workers (many of whom have stated they prefer to work for inclusive employers).

Best Practices

DiversityInc research has shown a connection between formal mentoring, especially cross-cultural mentoring, and talent development. We also see a correlation between employee-resource group participation and promotions into first management jobs, as well as retention and engagement. DiversityInc Top 50 companies also have more flexible workplaces, which is a key factor cited by Millennials, women and people with disabilities in deciding where to work. Other progressive benefits, such as paid paternity leave and transgender health benefits, are also perceived as signs of inclusive employers.

Consider these best practices of 2015 DiversityInc Top 50 vs. national averages of Fortune 500 companies (data supplied by Society of Human Resource Management and the Human Rights Campaign):

Diversity-Management Best Practices

DI Top 50

US/Fortune 500

Formal Mentoring

100%

18%

Telecommuting/Flexible Hours

100%

59%

Paid Paternity Leave

74%

12%

Transgender Health Benefits

92%

28%

There are no national averages for employee-resource group participation for the Fortune 500 but DiversityInc Top 50 participation has increased from 15.8 percent in 2008 to 25.3 percent last year to 44.1 percent this year.

Demographic Results

While DiversityInc Top 50 and Fortune 500 companies have similar workforce compositions, the difference becomes apparent as you look at management, senior management, and boards of directors.

Board of Directors (Source: Alliance for Board Diversity, Catalyst)

Women

Blacks

Latinos

Asians

Top 50

25.1%

9.7%

6.5%

4.7%

Fortune 500

16.9%

7.4%

3.3%

2.6%

CEOs

Women

Blacks, Latinos & Asians

Top 50

8%

10%

Fortune 500

5%

5%

Senior Management (EEOC)

Women

Blacks, Latinos & Asians

Top 50

31.1%

15.7%

Fortune 500

29.2%

11.2%

Management

Women

Blacks, Latinos & Asians

Top 50

43.7%

24.3%

Fortune 500

38.8%

20.4%

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