The Growth of
The DiversityInc Top 50
Welcome to our seventh annual DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity® list. This issue
documents the results of the most vigorous, credible and popular competition on diversity
management in existence.
The Top 50 process allows us to collect more data on diversity management than any other
entity, including the federal government. This year we had 317 companies send us their data—
up 24 percent from last year and more than 160
percent from 2003. The data we collect determines what best practices actually are—and that
knowledge is reflected in every article we produce.
We are so data-focused that we almost never write
about companies that do not participate in
our Top 50 competition. Our methodology is
discussed in-depth in this issue, and it’s worth
repeating that business conducted with this company has no influence or involvement of any sort
in our Top 50 rankings.
We’ve seen actual accomplishments of Top 50
companies increase dramatically, especially in the
past three years. The two strongest areas of growth
are CEO commitment and organizational/corporate
communications. Progressive CEOs are much more
personally involved, holding their subordinates
accountable and tying accomplishment to bonuses.
Although the competition among companies
that “get it” is increasing, we see most companies
in the Fortune 1000 as having no real diversity
We don’t think that this unusual—there will
always be companies that miss sea changes in
business. What is unusual with this subject is the
insidious nature of how destructive and costly bad
diversity management is. The real cost isn’t in lawsuits; poor diversity practices prevent organizations
from forging strong relationships across race/cul-ture, gender, orientation, disability and age. This
in turn costs margin—through poor customer
relationships, loyalty, turnover and disaffected
investors and suppliers.
Like the proverbial boiling frog, most businesses
cannot pinpoint the reason for their pain.
However, we see that diversity in our marketplace
has reached a tipping point. What makes people
diverse now can be described in sizable enough
markets to make a difference. Further, the global-ization of business has made respect for differences
a more profound benefit. People around the globe
don’t care to be in our “melting pot,” they prefer
a pluralistic respect. What smart companies have
found is that the domestic market reacts better to
a pluralistic approach too.
Unlike most companies, the Top 50 companies
are operating in a manner primed to pay increasing
dividends. White people will soon be in the
minority in our country, and most businesses will
have a global aspect. A study of the data we collect
shows us what goals are attainable, which best
practices work and how leadership, communications and accountability create the environment
that is successful.
We intend to extend the Top 50 process to
governmental agencies and colleges and universities
in 2008. Stay tuned to this space for further
information. In closing, we would like to thank
the companies that participated in this year’s Top
50 competition. Without your data, we could not
advance the knowledge of this subject.
Partners and Cofounders