DE&I: The Benefits of Championing Diversity

by: Taryn Siegele

There is a continuous accumulation of data being collected on how DEI improves a company’s performance. Employees who feel seen and heard are more productive than those who do not get that reassurance from their employer. Fortune partnered with Refinitiv to create a list of the top 20 most D&I companies in the Fortune 500 by using data and figures sourced from public disclosures and were able to see “which companies were the best at addressing 14 key metrics, including the percentage of minorities on the board, the percentage of employees that are women, and the percentage of employees with disabilities, among others.” The data found was from 2020 when available or earliest 2019.

Here are the top 10 companies that understand the importance of diversity & inclusion:

  1. Microsoft
  2. Centene​
  3. Target
  4. Gap
  5. Biogen
  6. Intel
  7. Verizon Communications
  8. Allstate
  9. PVH
  10. Bank of America

Ranked #1 in diversity & inclusion, Microsoft has implemented many initiatives to increase diversity and ensure their employees feel valued and heard. According to Forbes, “When it comes to racial and gender diversity, Microsoft also tops the list. According to data from 2020, 39.7% of the company’s board was made up of racial and ethnic minorities, and its workforce as a whole was 49.8% racial or ethnic majorities. Based on the same data, Microsoft’s managers also consisted of 41.3% racial or ethnic minorities.” Microsoft also provides daycare services and implemented an employees resource group. They went a step further to construct a program that hires people who are autistic called the Neurodiversity Hiring Program.

Neil Barnett, Director of Inclusive Hiring & Accessibility at Microsoft stated, “Our employees with disabilities bring unique perspectives and knowledge that has transformed our workplace and brought new ideas to life.” More diverse talent within Microsoft has led to some major company breakthroughs such as Eye Control in Windows 10, Seeing AI, Learning Tools for OneNote, and Xbox Adaptive Controllers.

Companies that implement DEI strategies gain a competitive advantage over their peers. According to a report by Scouted, “Companies that prioritize diverse leadership are more profitable than their less diverse counterparts. In fact, according to a 2019 McKinsey report, the top companies outperformed the least diverse companies by 36 percent. But, despite this clear success, still, only a fraction of executive teams (13 percent) have minority representation.”

Racial and ethnic diversity in particular is directly related to financial performance. Companies making a consistent effort for inclusivity in hiring, promoting workers, managing teams, and leadership roles generate up to 30 percent higher revenue per employee, according to Deloitte’s DEI study.

DEI clearly matters. Companies that implement these measures vastly outperform their competitors. An overwhelming amount of data continues to prove that DEI initiatives are instrumental in getting a leg up on your competitors. As we see more companies taking this seriously, one must ask, is your company ahead or falling behind?

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DE&I: The Benefits of Championing Diversity