Ranks 3-10 of the Diversity MBA Magazine 50 Out of Front

#3 Credit Suisse

Zurich, Switzerland

47,800 employees


Credit Suisse operates in more than 50 countries around the world, providing an array of financial services including private banking, investment banking, and asset management.  Its 10,000-employee Americas operation is headquartered in New York City, and includes a shared service support site in Raleigh, NC.

The financial giant demonstrates its commitment to diversity at all its locations through its Global Diversity & Inclusion policy.  It seeks to motivate employees by establishing an open and diverse workplace, adding value to the company through identifying and training expertise, and demonstrating a commitment to supporting diversity beyond the corporate walls through sponsorships and partnerships.  As part of this policy, the company also promotes talent development through the Credit Suisse Leadership Institute, which offers workshops and cross-divisional projects on building a diverse team, understanding what the corporate diversity policy means, and personal career development.  Befitting its status as a global company, the Institute also offers workshops at the Zurich headquarters on relating to partners from other cultures.

In each of its operating regions, Credit Suisse supports Global Employee Networks as venues from networking, informal mentoring and education.  In the Americas operation, networks have been established for women, LGBT and multicultural employees, plus a Family Forum to support employees as parents and caregivers (the company has been recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation for its support of employees during the adoption process).

Credit Suisse partners with several diversity-related organizations, including the Consortium, the Leadership Education and Development Program in Business, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, and the Robert Toigo Foundation (which provides support and helps create opportunities for diverse business students).  It also offers introductory programs for diverse students considering a career in investment banking.  Each summer, the MBA Explorer program offers women entering business school in the fall a two-day immersion experience at the New York headquarters (applicants are drawn from a select pool of top business schools).  The company also awards Douglas L. Paul scholarships to college sophomores of African, Latino and Native American descent.  In addition to the cash award, the scholarship includes a ten-week internship with stipend.

Under the theme “Innovate, Educate, Participate,” the company divides its social responsibility activities among four areas: microfinance (the provision of financial services in impoverished regions); education; humanitarian aid; and climate protection.  Its Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative trains thousands of microfinance employees around the world. The company also works directly with leading international microfinance organizations to provide services through targeted programs. Additionally, Credit Suisse is a founding sponsor of the Center for Financial Inclusion, a Washington, DC-based microfinance research center.

In the Americas, 40percent of Credit Suisse employees participated in a volunteer activity, according to the company’s 2008 Corporate Citizenship Report.  Among the organizations served were the Red Cross, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), and City Year New York.

#4 Accenture

New York, NY

181,000 employees


With an advertising campaign featuring Tiger Woods and the tagline “we know what it takes to be a Tiger,” it probably shouldn’t be too surprising that Accenture is widely recognized for embedding diversity within its core corporate values.  Indeed, the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm refers to one aspect or another of diversity in heralding its commitment to developing people everywhere, training and retaining the best people, respecting the individual, and working as a global team to achieve high-quality results.

Accenture operates in 49 countries, and maintains 13 network groups in each country.  The groups provide employees informal settings to discuss issues pertaining to age, gender, sexuality, race and faith.  The company has made a special commitment to providing opportunities for women to succeed and advance.  Mentoring programs pair women executives with senior mentors, and offer virtual workshops and networking information.  For women juggling family responsibilities, Accenture offers flexible work arrangements, and a program to help new parents return to their work roles and responsibilities after starting their families.

Accenture also marks International Women’s Day every March 8 with programming recognizing the advances women have made throughout the world.  The company also uses the occasion to release an annual survey on the state of working and professional women.  The 2009 study, “Untapped Potential: Stretching towards the Future,” found that 46percent of women surveyed (and 49percent of men surveyed) said that they were not being sufficiently challenged by their jobs.  That level of challenge can help determine future success; nearly half of the women in the survey who said they were very successful in their careers said that their jobs required them to go beyond their normal responsibilities.

Accenture is in the fifth year of its American Indian Scholarship Fund, which recognizes talented American Indian and Alaska native students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The company also offers the Commitment to Empower Successful Students, a three-year mentoring program that includes a Student Leadership Conference at the end of the second year.

Accenture also makes a strong commitment to the communities where it operates.  It provides internships to aboriginal students in Canada,  IT training to impoverished Brazilian youth, and pro bono services to a cancer center in India. It has also supported the work of an Italian technology firm in developing websites for people with cognitive disabilities.

Accenture has made a noteworthy commitment to advancing economic development in the new South Africa.  In 2005, Accenture sold 30 percent of ordinary shares in its South African operations to a black-owned trust, the majority of whose trustees are black directors of Accenture. The trust will use the income generated to fund initiatives to advancc South Africa’s economic transformation. Accenture remains committed to creating an environment that allows black South Africans every chance to succeed on their own merits.  Currently, black professionals make up 56 percent of both the workplace and the subsidiary’s board.

#5 American Express

New York, NY

66,000 employees


It’s one thing to deduce a commitment to diversity when the chairman/CEO declares, “We strive to create an environment where our employees are respected, feel fulfilled professionally and personally and look forward to coming to work.”  But when that person is an African-American leader, as is the case with American Express’ Kenneth I. Chenault, the level of commitment becomes much more evident.

As of September 2007, 27percent of the global payments company’s executive and senior leaders were women, and 21percent represented diverse groups.  Drilling down further, 56percent of entry- and mid-level managers were women, and 29percent were of color.  Numbers like those indicate that Amex’s efforts to develop diverse talent for future responsibilities are having a positive impact.

The company’s overall diversity strategy is guided by Blue Box Diversity Councils, one each for American and international operations.  The councils are composed of senior leaders from across the company, and focus on areas including development and environment, supplier diversity and selection and hiring.  In addition, Amex maintains 11 employee networks with 49 global chapters, which sponsor job fairs, enhance marketing efforts to targeted communities, and support employee recruitment and retention efforts.

American Express provides opportunities for employees who need flexible working solutions.  Project Resource Teams are staffed by employees who work as internal consultants for short-term periods. Another approach finding favor in Australia and Singapore is the institution of “Sunshine Fridays,” when no meetings are scheduled after 3 pm on Fridays.

Leadership development is also a theme of Amex’s philanthropic efforts.  The company is currently interested in reviewing proposals for fostering leadership development in the non-profit sector (specifically, the arts, environment, higher education and social services), as well as programs for developing emerging leaders of world-class institutions.  UNCF is among the organizations supported in this push.  The company is also providing support to the current season of New York’s Signature Theater Company, which is mounting a year-long tribute to the groundbreaking work of the Negro Ensemble Company.

American Express has an extensive program for promoting supplier diversity. Beyond its program for seeking out diverse suppliers of equipment, supplies and support services, the company also has a Second Tier program, in which primary subcontractors must provide quarterly documentation of their own efforts to buy goods and services from minority suppliers. In addition, diverse companies who accept American Express products are flagged in the company’s business-to-business directory.

Amex has been honored not only by American publications including Diversity MBA Magazine, but also magazines in France, Germany, Spain and Hong Kong, for its commitment to diversity.

#6 Comcast

Philadelphia, PA

100,000 employees


Long before Comcast was a multi-platform provider of digital communications services (including cable, telephone and Internet), it was a champion of diversity. Company founder Ralph Roberts was a leading voice in several diversity-minded organizations including the National Conference for Community and Justice and the National Liberty Museum.  His son, Brian, has not only taken the reins of the company, he’s also continued its tradition of diversity stewardship.

“Our company culture is enriched with a diverse environment for employees and suppliers reflecting the individuality of all our local communities,” he says. “We also believe that a workplace for employees and suppliers free from discrimination and harassment is not enough – we are committed to setting an example, actively providing full opportunities for all in order to reach our full potential.”

Comcast achieves those goals with a broad-based commitment to demonstrating diversity in its supply chain, recruitment and career development, community investment, and programming.  It begins the process with a diversity council composed of the COO, executive vice-president, and ten other senior leaders.

The commitment continues by ensuring that diverse populations are represented in the workforce.  Comcast representatives go to more than 100 diversity recruiting fairs and expos annually.  The company has forged valuable contacts with an extensive roster of organizations to help identify talent: the Emma L. Bowen Foundation; HBCUConnect; iHispano; National Association for Minorities in Cable; Women in Cable and Television; and many others.  It also works with groups including INROADS, the Betsy Magress Leadership Institute, and the T. Howard Foundation to support talent and leadership development.

Comcast demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting diverse businesses.  It has an active supplier diversity program, and features rotating MBE/WBE vendors on its website. It established a $50 million 364-day credit facility with black-owned United Bank of Philadelphia as lead arranger. It reaches out to diverse communities through partnerships with the Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Council of La Raza, and other similar groups. And it works with the National Urban League and local chapters in support of training and entrepreneurship initiatives; many Comcast employees sit on local Urban League boards.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance recognized Roberts’ commitment to supporting tolerance and acceptance with their 2004 Humanitarian Award. In turn, the Comcast Foundation established the Diversity Fund in 2004 to support local non-profit organizations encouraging tolerance, acceptance, and understanding of different perspectives among young people.

#7 Verizon Communications

New York, NY

223, 880 employees


Diversity is a bottom-line value at the broadband and wireless communications provider.  Verizon believes that not only its employees, but also its suppliers, community partners and philanthropic partners, must reflect the diversity of its customer base, in order to sustain customer loyalty and continued growth.

Accountability is at the heart of Verizon’s corporate diversity strategy.  It measures how employees feel about the climate for diversity by extracting data from the broader employee opinion survey.  And it tracks the demographics of each line of business against specific goals, in addition to the numbers of diverse candidates hired and promoted.  Senior leaders are rewarded for meeting their goals through performance incentives tied to short-term compensation.

Currently, 35percent of Verizon’s workforce represents a diverse population, and 59percent are women.  At the management level, 17percent are diverse, and 30percent are women.  The company’s senior leadership is the truest reflection of its commitment to diversity: women and diverse professionals occupy several decision-making slots, both within the various product lines and at the top corporate level of the company.

Verizon sponsors employee resource groups for 10 distinct populations, including GLBT, veterans, people with disabilities, and a panel for telecommunications industry leaders.  Each group provides mentoring support to its members, as well as arranging conferences and seminars.  In addition, group members represent Verizon in their respective communities, and provide the company feedback and insight on their communities’ needs and concerns.

Training and development are an important part of the company’s long-term vision.  Advanced programs include the Black Managers Workshop, the Asian Professional Development Workshop, the Hispanic Professional Development Workshop and the Women’s Leadership Workshop.  There’s also the Duke Corporate Education Executing for Results program, a series of small group discussions with senior leaders and guided exercises helping participants get a feel for Verizon’s broader strategy and how they can add value in a leadership capacity.

Verizon also has an aggressive plan for driving supplier diversity.  “Building a strong base of diverse suppliers is critical to our mission,” says CEO Ivan Seidenberg. “These relationships contribute to customer loyalty, stimulate economic development and tap into the innovation and entrepreneurship we need to win in a competitive marketplace.”

That adds up to $3 billion in goods and services purchased from diverse suppliers annually.  The company has a supplier diversity team dedicated to creating positive relationships with qualified minority-, woman-, person with disability-, or service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises (MWDVBEs) within the procurement process.  Verizon also has a strong 2nd tier program, with the expectation that prime suppliers will bring in qualified MWDVBEs as subcontractors on Verizon procurements, partner with Verizon to host information fairs, and file reports on 2nd Tier activity.  The company has been honored by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council for four consecutive years.

The company’s desire to reflect the makeup of its customer base is clearly evident in its customer service operation. Verizon has 1,100 call center employees who can speak in a customer’s non-English native language, be it Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, Cantonese or Vietnamese.  It mails out 420,000 bills each month in Spanish.

It also has two centers for customers with disabilities, which serve nearly 5 million customers who have hearing, vision, speech and mobility impairments. Specially trained service representatives recommend communications solutions that involve telephone services, directory assistance, discounts for customers who use text telephones, and phone bills in large print or Braille. The centers have distributed over 75,000 pieces of special telecommunications equipment including teletypewriters, or TTYs, for the deaf; large-number telephones for the vision-impaired; and equipment that operates hands-free.

#8 Bank of America

Charlotte, NC

243,000 employees


Bank of America, the #1 company on the Diversity MBA Magazine Top 50 Companies for Diverse Managers to Work list in 2008, retains its high marks after a busy year.  The financial services leader acquired Merrill Lynch & Co. and Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2008, and posted a record $36.1 billion in the first quarter of 2009.  None of those headlines lessened the bank’s commitment to recognizing and developing talent across the board.

Currently, 60percent of BOA employees, and 46percent of its managers, are women, with diverse groups represented by 45percent of the workforce and 26percent of the managerial team.  There are seven affinity groups, for Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino, women, and GLBT employees, military veterans, and employees with disabilities.  The groups provide networking opportunities and company-sanctioned support systems.

At BOA, there is a company-wide structure to oversee diversity at every level of the organization.  At the top, the executive Global Diversity and Inclusion Council sets the corporate tone, establishing the direction and overseeing the implementation of the bank’s diversity policy.  The group is headed by the former leader of the Disablity Affinity group.  The bank also has diversity councils across each of its business lines, and in each of its operating regions domestically and internationally.  They identify issues and help develop strategies to maximize the effectiveness of all employees in their respective business groups and regions.

Managers are held responsible for promoting diversity initiatives, including hiring and promotion, through incentive pay tied to their performance in reaching annual diversity targets.  As a result, the company’s senior management team is well represented by women and diverse leaders.

Diversity is also a part of Team Bank of America, the worldwide network of current and retired BOA employees.  The team gets hands-on in the communities BOA serves, while providing members (and their families) opportunities to network, develop leadership skills, and build a stronger sense of team.  The Diversity Network, one of five under the Team BOA umbrella, helps all BOA employees appreciate the role diversity plays within the company.  It sponsors regular meetings and events, including roundtables with senior managers, career development workshops, and intra-company career fairs.

Bank of America is active in recruiting new talent for its ranks.  It partners with national multicultural professional organizations, such as the National Association of Black Accountants, to develop new business relationships.

Supplier diversity is another plank in the overall corporate vision.  BOA has spent more than $8 billion dollars with diverse companies since launching its supplier diversity program in 1990. It supports the Dorothy B. Brothers Executive Management Scholarship Fund, which helps women and minority business leaders learn how to break through traditional barriers – opening doors to new opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The company has been recognized for its supplier diversity efforts by several groups, including supplier diversity councils in Michigan, Florida and the Carolinas.  It is a two-time winner of the national Minority Supplier Development Council’s Corporation of the Year award, and received the best score ever for any company (3.45 out of 4) in the NAACP’s Economic Reciprocity Initiative Report, which rates companies on employment, marketing/communications expenditures, supplier diversity, charitable/philanthropic giving and community service and reinvestment.

The accolades and results both speak to the vision articulated by chairman and CEO Kenneth D. Lewis.  “Our commitment to diversity is a commitment to individuals and to the team, Lewis says.  “It’s about creating an environment in which all associates can fulfill their potential without artificial barriers, and in which the team is made stronger by the diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of individuals. It’s about giving all of us — individually and together – the best possible chance to succeed.”

#9 JP Morgan Chase & Co.

New York, NY

200,000 employees


“We need to constantly remind ourselves that the most important thing we can do for

employees is to build a healthy, vibrant company that treats people with respect and creates opportunity,” JP Morgan Chase says in laying out its business principles.  “Everyone counts, and we have to remember that we all support one another. Above all, it means doing what is right for the company and the customer, even if we have to make unpopular decisions and forgo near-term rewards.

The statement continues, “We strive to create a more inclusive work environment that draws on and develops the best talent. We want individuals of any race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or physical ability to have the opportunity to excel based on their performance and contribution to the firm. Building a diverse and inclusive work environment requires effort and perseverance, which is why we will make inclusiveness and diversity an integral part of how we manage the company.”

The $2.2 trillion global financial services firm takes an expansive view of what diversity means.  The company considers not only commonly used distinctions (race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, etc.), but also a broader secondary level, including factors such as economic status, communication and work styles, language/accent, family status, and geographic location.  This definition of diversity indicates the bank’s commitment to maximizing the unique perspectives and contributions of every employee towards boosting the bottom line.

JP Morgan Chase’s general diversity policy has six key cornerstones: linking management compensation to progress in achieving diversity; identifying and developing top talent; ensuring a diverse pool of candidates for all key job openings; establishing a pipeline for future talent through educational institutions and professional organizations; creating opportunities for employees to be involved in information sharing, diverse marketing efforts, and community activities; and having in place policies, programs and benefits to meet the needs of a diverse workforce.

The numbers show that JP Morgan Chase has put its policies into action. 40percent of the workforce is diverse, including 10percent of top managers and 27percent of mid-level managers.  58percent of the employees are women, including 24percent of senior managers and 51percent of mid-level managers.

Like many other companies in the Top 50 Companies for Diverse Managers, JP Morgan Chase offers employee resource groups for women and diverse populations.  But just as the company defines diversity broadly, it offers additional employee networking groups for women of color, working families, and administrative staff.  More than 20,000 employees worldwide take part in one of more of the networking groups.

The bank’s recruitment efforts are active in the undergraduate and MBA fields, and include a chairman’s reception for HBCU grads and the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Student Conference.  It also networks with diverse professional associations, and offers internships in conjunction with the UNCF Corporate Sponsors Program, the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, and other organizations.

One example of JP Morgan Chase’s support for diverse professional organizations was CFO Paul Compton’s participation in a panel discussion on diversity leadership in corporate America at the 2008 national conference of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA). “It’s critical for us to demonstrate responsibility for diversity at the highest levels in the firm, by actively supporting organizations like ALPFA,” Compton said. “Such workplace diversity initiatives are leveraging the power of difference for a competitive advantage. Our partnership with ALPFA is a clear demonstration of our strong commitment to this shared mission.”

“For us, the business case is simple: JPMorgan Chase is a place for talented people from all backgrounds and nationalities,” chairman/CEO Jaimie Dixon explains. “Gender, race, sexual orientation, age and physical ability are just some of the kinds of differences that make people unique, and give us the diversity of perspective that will set us apart. We’re committed to ensuring that diversity remains a key priority. Our collective diversity is our strength.”

#10 PepsiCo

Purchase, NY

198,000 employees


Diversity is hardly a new concept at the food and beverage giant (18 of the company’s mega-brands have annual retail sales of more than $1 billion).  Stephanie Capparell’s The Real Pepsi Challenege: The Inspirational Story of Breaking the Color Barrier in American Business (Free Press, 2008) told the story of how visionary managers at Pepsi in the 1930s and 1940s created the first Black sales force, promoted Blacks into senior management positions, and opened new areas of opportunity for black achievement (and, in the process, gained loyal market share among black consumers).

That vision is still intact, as the current PepsiCo can boast of one of the most diverse boards of directors in all of corporate America.  On the body’s 12 members, four are women and three are people of color.  The commitment is evident at all levels of the company, with 4 women senior managers and 12 of color (out of 30), women occupying 27percent of all managerial slots, and people of color serving as 28percent of the management team.

“We embrace people with diverse backgrounds, traits and ways of thinking,” the company states in its guiding principles.  “Our diversity brings new perspectives into the workplace and encourages innovation, as well as the ability to identify new market opportunities.”

A Global Diversity and Inclusion Governance Council sets the tone for PepsiCo’s diversity efforts.  The council is co-chaired by the chairman and chief diversity officer, and includes members from both within and beyond the company’s ranks.  It is charged with advancing the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts with the goal of using diversity to drive bottom-line achievement.  There are separate councils for each of PepsiCo’s international regions, which deal with the diversity issues specific to their areas.

PepsiCo has made a special commitment to developing and promoting talented women in all areas.  The number of female executives in international operations increased by 62percent from 2003 to 2007, and in 2008 the company launched a Female Talent Development Program.

PepsiCo’s United States operations include several Diversity and Inclusion Networks, including a Women of Color Multicultural Network and a White Male Inclusion Group.

Diversity is also a line-item commitment in each operating division, with a dedicated executive overseeing diversity initiatives.  Each division has multi-year diversity strategic plans, with goals including diverse recruitment, improved retention, and fostering a more inclusive climate.  Measuring the progress towards meeting diversity goals is part of each manager’s performance review.  The company also undergoes an annual affirmative action planning process, and includes questions about diversity in its bi-annual organizational health survey (again, each manager is held accountable for his/her department’s results).  There is also a program to train employees in working and managing in an inclusive environment.

PepsiCo made a $1 million gift to the United Negro College Fund in 2007, as part of its work in helping develop future leaders.

Among the company’s many diversity honors, the U.S. Department of Labor named PepsiCo one of seven business winners of the New Freedom Initiative award in 2008.  The award is part of a federal effort to speed the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of mainstream life.  PepsiCo ‘s inclusion efforts have also been recognized by Out & Equal Workplace Summit, which supports workplace equality for the GLBT population, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce (for its enABLE network of disabled employees and their families), and Catalyst, for the Women of Color Multicultural Network.

PepsiCo uses the moniker “talent sustainability” to explain the philosophy behind its diversity and inclusion program.  It defines the concept as “developing our employees by creating a diverse and inclusive culture and making certain our company is an attractive destination for the world’s best people. The people behind PepsiCo’s brands are working hard to address these sustainability challenges, while partnering with key stakeholders to effect real change. While we have taken significant strides on this journey, there is still more to learn and do. It is our intent to lead the way.”

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