April 18, 2007

Top Companies for African Americans

I do some consulting work for a growing number of BDPA chapters in Austin, Charlotte, Dallas and New York. BDPA is a national organization that works for the career advancement of African Americans in the IT industry 'from the classroom to the boardroom'. The work that my company does with BDPA involves corporate sales, membership growth and fundraising. As such, I was interested in the Top 10 Companies for African Americans as determined by Diversity Inc.

The list was compiled after looking at demographics including work force, new hires, management in total and broken down by three levels—CEO and direct reports, direct reports to those direct reports, and all other managers—management promotions, and top 10 percent highest-paid employees. Other factors included retention rates for African Americans compared with other groups. Finally, supplier diversity and the percentage of procurement budget going to minority-owned companies, as well as mentoring programs and financial assistance for diverse suppliers were rolled into the mix.

It turns out that these 10 companies are in seven different industries (telecommunications, banking, insurance, hospitality, auto, consumer products and media). A few of them have done business with the non-profits that I'm working with:

  • No. 2: Wachovia - This company is very active with our BDPA Charlotte chapter. The company CIO is a well-connected brother. Thirty percent of its new hires are African American and 19 percent of management promotions went to African Americans.
  • No. 3: Verizon - This company supports our BDPA Greater Tampa Bay chapter. The company reports that 20% of its board of directors are Black, as well as 20 percent of its total management.
  • No. 4: JPMorgan Chase - Last year was the first time that BDPA actively engaged with JPMC. Strong presence in Columbus, New Jersey and Philadelphia. This banking giant has a work force that is 18.5 percent African American and a female work force that is 23 percent African American. Twenty-two percent of new hires are Black.
  • No. 8: Cox Communications - Last year was the first time that BDPA engaged with Cox Communications. I'm hopeful to see them more engaged with our BDPA Atlanta chapter. Anyhow, the media company notes that 33 percent of its female new hires are African American and 17 percent of promotions in management went to African Americans.
  • No. 10: Allstate - Frankly, this company has invested more in BDPA over the past decade than any other in the country. The largest BDPA chapter in the nation is led by an Allstate executive. The company has a work force that's 17 percent Black and reports 21 percent of new hires are African American. In addition, 15 percent of promotions in management went to Blacks.
I haven't had any success with the other five companies that make up the Top 10 Companies for African Americans. These companies are AT&T (#1), General Motors (#5), PNC Financial Services Group (#6), Pepsi Bottling Group (#7) and Sodexho (#9). I guess that I'll figure out a way to talk with 'em since they are evidently amenable to supporting Black folks.

I get a kick out of these Top 10 lists whenever they are published. When I was growing up in Los Angeles the local paper (LA Times) used to have a weekly featured called the Bottom 10 in the sports page. I wonder what companies would make the list as the Bottom 10 for African Americans?

1 comment:

James said...

I never had the chance to work for one of the top companies for blacks on this years list. The company I retired from was on a similar list a while back and those of us on the inside could never figure out why.Thanks for sharing