50 Out Front Companies: Best Places for Women & Diverse Managers to Work


Scope of Problem Definition

During the past decade we have intentionally worked on developing practical insights for talent management and diversity and inclusion strategies. Today we have achieved providing Fortune 500 companies as well as mid market companies with comprehensive information on current trends that allow leaders to make decisions today.

The first five years were focused on corporate recruitment process and programs of how diverse talent and women were recruited in the workplace. We also focused on the basic developmental programs for managers and diversity inclusion programs. Our 2008 study further defined how we viewed the CEO’s commitment, intentional recruitment of women and diverse managers, representation among diverse managers and women as well as the overall strategic effort to implement accountability for diversity efforts that fosters development into the executive ranks. In 2009, we enhanced our index by exploring information on retention, inclusion practices, accountability and recruitment from a performance perspective. We used representation to validate the diversity within the organization. In 2010-11 we examined actual results of how early and diversity and inclusion programs were performing by attaching the metrics to all of our categories to ensure what is getting measured.

In 2012 – 2014, we determined the following processes for the best evaluation for our survey. The Representation category is inclusive of 4 areas; women, executives, managers, employee population and board diversity. The Recruitment category expanded beyond recruiting from professional associations and to be more inclusive of how companies recruit their pipeline; recruitment efforts among all diverse groups including but not limited to; veterans, LGBT, and persons with disabilities to ensure a holistic approach. In 2014 we added questions to understand recruitment structure, training and overall development of recruiters. The Workplace Inclusion and Retention category includes inclusion programs as well as actual retention ratios to determine sustainability. The Succession category will continue to evolve as we learn what are the most impactful methods and practices used to develop women and people of color; however, we now include specific measurements on the use of high potential pipeline, executive sponsorships and other intentional programs. The Accountability category is most comprehensive including CEO & board commitment, diversity measurements, reward systems for diversity performance; diversity reporting structure, and how external influences impact leadership development.

In 2014 we expanded the research beyond metrics to determine impact. It has become critical for Diversity MBA Inclusive Leadership Index to understand which companies are leading and innovative practices and systems that are proving to be highly successful. We also gathered new qualitative input and quantitative data to understand new categories; which include: generational conflict; recruiting resources (staffing and budget); diversity staffing and budget; advancement and succession strategies for women and people of color.

With the continued emphasis on workplace sustainability, in 2015 and 2016 Diversity MBA went deeper to examine how companies are handling bias and cultural competency within their cultures. We needed to understand how white men are engaged and supported. This qualitative data will be collected for two more years before best practices are identified. Today we have a good grasp on the practices employed.

In 2015 Diversity MBA Benchmarking renamed our survey process to Inclusive Leadership Index (ILI). This was important to do based on the extensive data we have collected over the past decade. This data allows us to report on trends and practices for all groups. We are able to deliver white papers, robust presentations, meaningful scorecards, blogs, and soon a series of benchmarking toolkit books.

And finally, in 2016 and beyond we expanded to gather data and provide insights on how companies are managing generations, inclusive behavior and how accountability with metrics is cascaded throughout the enterprise.

The most noted business publications currently publish lists on top companies for people of color and women to work, Diversity MBA Magazine uncovers a more specific area of diversity as it relates to women and diverse managers of different cultural backgrounds and post secondary education. The majority of today’s statistics report on all categories of diversity (African American, Latinos, Asians and/or Pacific Islanders, Indians and, because Diversity MBA Magazine’s readership has rich diverse, cultural and professional backgrounds, it is important for us to have broaden our study to be more inclusive and focused.

Research Objectives:

  1. Establish metrics for benchmarking best and leading practices to develop recruit, retain women and people of color into leadership roles of F1000 companies, average employee base (30,000) regional companies with an average employee base (5,000).
  2. Identify U.S. based companies that seek to hire people of color and women managers because of the value they bring to the business with the intent to develop them into the executive positions.
  3. Uncover which U.S. based companies that actively and intentionally develop programs for advancement and leadership for women and people of color.
  4. Understand whether U.S. based companies hire and/or promote women and minority MBAs into senior management positions.
  5. Examine whether U.S. based companies have an intentional succession plan and the impact of it.
  6. Identify companies that have consistent results for representation among people of color and women within management at all levels.
  7. Evolve to establish metrics that will compare global inclusion and gender in management roles and inclusion activities.