DiversityInc Names Top 50 Companies for Diversity

DiversityInc, a publication that covers diversity in the workplace, has released its 14th annual list of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity. The list ranks 893 companies based on four key areas of diversity management: CEO Commitment, Human Capital, Corporate and Organization Communications, and Supplier Diversity.

Topping the list this year was Sodexo, a leading food services and facilities management company. With 380,000 employees representing 130 nationalities, the French multinational has received the top spot on DiversityInc's list twice in the last four years.

DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti, who writes a column for the magazine called "Ask the White Guy," lauded Sodexo's "unparalleled success as a diversity leader - number one for the second time in four years and the only company to ever be in the top two four years in a row."

Sodexo's top level management boasts nearly 30 percent more racial diversity and 38 percent more gender diversity than the average company on the Top 50 list.

Visconti attributed Sodexo's success in promoting workplace diversity to "the mutually supportive relationship" between the company's Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Rohini Anand, and George Chavel, the president and CEO for Sodexo North America.

Chavel, who also serves as Chief Operating Officer for Sodexo Group and chairs the company's Diversity Leadership Council, said that diversity was increasingly central to the company's business strategy.

"Each year our commitment to diversity and inclusion becomes stronger and is embedded deeper within our organization and our business strategy," said Chavel. "We recognize the opportunity and responsibility we have to share our best practices to improve the quality of life of the clients we serve and their customers."

Coming in at number three on the list was Kaiser Permanente, the only health care company to rank among the top ten. Visconti said that progressive diversity policies will be especially important at health care companies as the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, takes effect.

"As the Affordable Care Act becomes reality, the decades-long legacy of inclusion at Kaiser Permanente, both internally and externally, gives it a unique ability to reach members and patients in all demographics," said Visconti.

Kaiser Permanante, which has made the top ten every year since 2009, also ranked number one in the DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Latinos, number three in the Top 10 Companies for Blacks, and number seven in the Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities.

"We are honored to receive recognition from DiversityInc and believe it is important to celebrate our achievements in the continuous pursuit of excellence; however, the genuine value of benchmarking is discovering additional opportunities to improve our performance," said Dr. Ronald Copeland, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Kaiser Permanente.

DiversityInc also released a list of 25 Noteworthy Companies, comprised of companies that the senior editorial staff believes have the potential to make The 2014 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.

Included on that list was Chrysler Group LLC, which produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat vehicles. The auto company has purchased more than $45 billion from minority-owned suppliers since 1983 and has been recognized six times by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as one of the country's leading companies supporting diversity and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

"Chrysler Group remains as committed as ever to creating a diverse and sustainable supply base that directly reflects our customers," said Scott Kunselman, senior vice president for purchasing and supplier quality for Chrysler. "We will continue to create opportunities for minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses because we believe that a diverse supply chain leads to better, more innovative products for our customers."

The entire DiversityInc Top 50 List can be found on the publication's website.