What Differentiates the DiversityInc Top 10 From the Rest of the Top 50 in One Chart

This is the first article in a three-part series.

Every year, companies on the DiversityInc Top 50 work to make progress so they can stay in the Top 10 or move into it. The Top 10 is truly the best of the best for diversity and inclusion management. All of the Top 10 companies have been managing D&I for decades, striving to evolve their strategies and initiatives every year. It is an ultra-competitive group of companies.

Is it impossible to break into the Top 10? No, it is not. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) did not participate in the Top 50 competition this year because the company is restructuring its workforce. But, the company ranked No. 31 on the Top 50 in 2008 and worked its way up the list to No. 1 in 2014 and 2015. NPC is the only company to have ranked No. 1 in consecutive years.

EY ranked No. 17 in 2008 but steadily worked its way up to No. 1 this year. The firm is in the Top 50 for the fifth consecutive year. There are plenty of other examples.

Is it hard to break into the Top 10? Yes, of course it is, and the companies there now can attest to that. So if it can be done, how? Not so fast; you’ll need DiversityInc Benchmarking for that. But, we can share with you the attributes of the Top 10 and what differentiates them from all other companies.

To set the stage, we will compare the Top 10 to the remainder of the Top 50 (companies ranked 11-50). Our reason is simple — we want to see how the Top 10 stacks up against a very competitive group of companies. Next, because we have a myriad of questions we factor into the Top 50 analysis, I’ll focus on the four key areas the questions are housed under.

• Talent Pipeline – includes workforce and management representation, hires into

• Talent Development – includes best practices such as employee resource groups (ERGs), mentoring, promotions, fairness

• Leadership Accountability – includes responsibility for results, communications, visibility

• Supplier Diversity – includes tiers 1 and 2 spend with minority-, women-, LGBT-, disability- and veteran-owned businesses

We found that, on average, the Top 10 ranked 30 spots higher in each of the four key areas than companies ranked 11-50. This represents significant gaps between the Top 10’s performances in each area and that of the remainder of the Top 50’s.

These gaps are illustrated in the chart at the beginning. The darker green bar represents the Top 10’s average ranking in each area. The closer it is the 1, the better. The number next to the gray arrow represents the difference between the Top 10 average ranking and that of companies ranked 11-50.

The area where the Top 10 is outperforming the rest of the Top 50 the greatest is Talent Pipeline. In this area, the Top 10 excels in representation of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and women in the workforce and management. The Top 10 has 21 percent more Blacks, Latinos and Asian in the workforce than the rest of the Top 50, and 11.2 percent more women.

In management, the contrast is sharper. The Top 10 has 25.3 percent more Black, Latino and Asian managers than the rest of the Top 50, and 15.2 percent more women managers.

Another barometer of a strong talent pipeline is 10 percent highest paid. If a company has racial and gender equity in 10 percent highest paid, odds are it is doing a good job in retaining and building its talent pipeline. The Top 10 has 22.6 percent more Blacks, Latinos and Asians and 38.1 percent more women in this category than the rest of the Top 50.

All of these factors demonstrate the Top 10’s drive to keep one of its most important competitive advantages, a diverse pipeline, in tact. For companies looking to make it back or break into the Top 10, take note.

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