We’ve been told that certain corporate
people have said in semi-public forums
that “Everyone knows diversity lists are
We’ve taken the time to talk to the people who
have made or facilitated those comments, and
each has attempted to dissemble by apologizing
and saying, “Well, not your list, of course.” Since
our friends came to us with their concern, we
know how the audience received the message.
The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for
Diversity® is the longest continuously running,
most publicized and most transparent “diversity”
list. It is the most comprehensive competition
and, in terms of corporate participation, the most
successful diversity list of all time. It’s not a “once
a year and never mention it again” list—the list
and the data we collect to determine it are the
center of our existence. We publicize the list in
every issue of DiversityInc magazine, every day on
DiversityInc.com, and in most articles. Therefore,
if someone says “diversity lists,” they’re directly
and materially impacting DiversityInc. As far as
the apologies go, a public slander is not mitigated
by a private apology.
We’ve repeatedly written, presented and discussed that we’re not “pay-to-play,” but once
again, for the record:
• There is no correlation or link between
ranking on The DiversityInc Top 50
Companies for Diversity list and
advertising (or any other business
conducted with our company).
• There is no fee to enter the Top 50
competition, and all competitors receive a
report card at no charge.
• Our sales department does not get
advance notification of who is on the list.
They learn of the rankings when we release
them to the public, not before. This way,
every company knows it’s on the list
without feeling pressured to buy a page
• Many of the top companies on our list do
almost no business with us at all.
Cumulatively, the top five companies on our
list are responsible for less than 1 percent of
our total revenue.
• Our methodology is published in the
magazine and available at all times on the
web site. We report how many companies
participate in the competition (317 this
year). No other diversity list competition
is as transparent.
We also want to say that Black Enterprise,
Working Woman and Hispanic Business all have their
own type of diversity lists. We don’t think those
publishers are “pay-to-play” either. They all have
their perspective and we welcome the promotion of
diversity as a business-management imperative.
So why would people think that it’s OK to spread
a malicious rumor? There could be several reasons,
but we see one as being dominant: People in certain
companies would rather smear “diversity lists” than
do what they need to in order to be competitive.
Partners and Cofounders
P.S. We reserve the right to legally pursue slanderers
and the true pay-to-play venues in which the slander
(and libel, in the case of e-mail) is facilitated.