Anybody can put photos of cheerful, diverse employees on a Careers page. A true dedication to diversity goes beyond appearances and anti-discrimination laws.
Committed companies recruit and develop diverse employees everywhere in the organization, from the boiler room to the boardroom. Their policies and culture are fully inclusive of people with all backgrounds, making it comfortable not only to join but also to stay and thrive. They’re also inclusive of diverse customers, business partners, and other stakeholders.
Fortunately, many organizations can help you assess whether a company is making a good-faith commitment to diversity and equal opportunity.
The Power of Transparency
Big companies need diversity and equal opportunity (D&EO) policies to ensure that everyone understands the organization’s desire to treat everyone fairly in hiring, training, pay, and advancement. It’s even better if a company discloses measurable diversity targets, because they give everyone in the company something to work toward.
Of the 890 large, publicly traded U.S. companies JUST Capital ranked in 2018, 86% disclosed their diversity and equal opportunity policies. But only 11% disclosed measurable targets or objectives in this area. When evaluating whether companies commit to equal opportunity in the workplace, we look at their policies, targets, as well as any outplacement services for departing employees.
In addition to these policies and programs, we gauge whether a company is fulfilling its basic obligation to follow laws forbidding employment discrimination:
- We look at EEOC Violations and Worker Grievance Fines over the past three years from the federal government’s civil rights and equal opportunity enforcers.
- We review Legal Convictions in Employment Discrimination as Reported in the Media – severe controversies that pertain to employment discrimination.
All of these issues – policies, fines, and legal convictions – add up to help us evaluate how the companies we rank adhere to equal opportunity workplace policies.
We also track whether companies make efforts to not discriminate in pay, examining whether a company has completed a gender pay equity analysis and/or made the results public.
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Reducing Discrimination Is Only the Beginning
Reducing discrimination isn’t the only way for companies to develop a diverse workforce. To stay and thrive at their companies, underrepresented minorities need support to work through personal and professional roadblocks, which we track by looking at whether companies:
- Pay a fair wage for industry and job level, to ensure that diverse employees can “catch up” to peers with historical advantages.
- Promote work-life balance, because flexible work arrangements help fill the gap for people with less ability to pay for family care.
- Provide training and career development opportunities, because people with fewer resources have less ability to pay for their own education and training.
- Create a responsive and transparent workplace culture, because diversity can foster interpersonal challenges that are best resolved through open communication.
You can also explore our interactive Rankings – and the individual metrics and data points we track – here. Use the drop-down menu on the right to find out how companies perform on all the issues we track – from worker pay and well-being to environmental impact to community support.
Want to Learn More? Check Out These Resources
Several other organizations publish corporate rankings. Some of them dig deep on policies and practices such as mentoring and sponsorship of affiliate groups.
DiversityInc, for example, ranks the top 50 employers for diversity based on a self-reported survey. This nonprofit reviews the gender and racial/ethnic composition of the companies’ workforce (including its leadership) as well as its talent programs, philanthropy aimed at underrepresented groups, and supplier diversity (spending on minority- and women-owned businesses).
Other helpful resources include:
- The Corporate Equality Index rates companies on policies and practices affecting LGBTQ employees.
- The Disability Equality Index focuses on inclusion of disabled employees.
- Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies reviews criteria such as flexible work, paid leave, and talent development.
For a deep dive into any one company’s diversity performance, check out the sustainability report (also known as corporate social responsibility report) on its website. Some companies even have separate annual reports focused on diversity and equal opportunity. For example, the diversity and inclusion report of telecommunications company AT&T describes its efforts not only for workers but also for communities, suppliers, and even customers through programs showing on HBO and the WB.
The bottom line: If you want to find out if a company really cares about diversity, there are a number of reputable resources to help. And if you are a corporation, especially one in the Russell 1000, and haven’t yet engaged with JUST Capital, please reach out to our corporate engagement team to learn more. We’re eager to help you on your journey to justness and create a more inclusive economy for all Americans.