Best Companies for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion FAQ - Black Enterprise

The Best Companies for Diversity & Inclusion FAQ

Best Companies for Diversity & Inclusion Methodology:

BLACK ENTERPRISE’s editorial research team sent surveys to the nation’s Fortune 500 companies to get an in-depth look at the ethnic and gender composition of these corporations, as well as understand various programs designed to foster and maintain an inclusive working environment. The annual survey is centered around efforts focused on African Americans but also includes other ethnic minority groups as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Any information provided by companies on diversity efforts targeted toward women, LGBT, the disabled, and veterans was used as secondary, supporting data for inclusion on the list.

B.E. performed a quantitative and editorial assessment of all corporate respondents and measured each company’s diversity efforts using the following criteria:

1 B.E. will measure companies against each other using data from five key categories: employee base, senior management, board of directors, procurement, and corporate racial equity pledges. Based on quantitative and editorial analysis, each company received a score. Senior management and board of directors’ categories are given a higher weighting based on company impact. Procurement is also a significant factor, while employee base is given a lower weighting.

2 We will also review public racial equity pledges.

3 We also considered companies where the CEO takes an active role in diversity practices.

Do we have to pay to participate?

No. Completing the survey is all that is required for consideration.

How does B.E. plan to promote the report/rankings? 

Black Enterprise will have an extensive report on, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms. In addition to promoting the list through our platforms, including our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), we inform the most prominent business media who have regularly reported on our findings.

Will each ranked company get a write-up? 

No. We will do an overview of our findings when the list is unveiled. We will do follow-up profiles of select companies on the list throughout the year.

Is there an event tied to the list? 

Yes. We will hold an event in April to acknowledge those companies who have made the list and fully engage in DEI best practices. Information on our event will be forthcoming.

Who will be a part of the review panel?

As we have done in the past, the Black Enterprise Editorial Board will determine who will be among the Best Companies listing, heavily relying on the information we receive from the surveys.

Are you partnering with The Executive Leadership Council for this list?

The Executive Leadership Council continues to be a partner on all of our initiatives engaged in measuring corporate excellence, especially DEI. As such, they have sent surveys to all their members.

Can we still participate even though we aren’t publicly traded?

Yes, if you are part of the Fortune 500, which represents the universe of companies in which we seek participation and will ultimately list among our Best Companies rosters.

Would our data be made public if we score low? 

We do not release the data. It is for scoring purposes. However, we are willing to discuss with companies why they did not make the list or scored low in certain areas. That conversation would not be a part of any report or made public.

When would the scores be public if we score well/make the list? 

The score will be used internally for scoring purposes and will not be made public. Our report will share the areas in which companies scored high as an aggregate.

Do we receive a benchmark report on how we fared against other companies? 

No. We would not share the scores of other companies. However, we will provide the median and average scores of companies that have provided surveys.

Responses are confidential unless they have already been made public by the companies that have provided surveys.

Do you show the winner’s responses or information in aggregate across winners? Basically, how do you report on the winners?

We share all corporations that have made our Best Companies list on in an alphabetical listing and as part of our report. We will also share those companies that have made the listing on our social media channels and at our event.

Do we have to answer every question to participate?

We prefer that you answer all questions. You can leave blank or note those questions that cannot be answered due to proprietary purposes. If fiscal year numbers are unavailable for 2022, please provide 2021 figures.

Is there a reason why these results haven’t been published since 2018?

In 2019, we shifted focus as we transitioned to an all-digital platform. In 2020-2022, we didn’t publish the list during the height of the pandemic.

Will the top companies show up the same way as in the 2017/2018 surveys (i.e., mentioned vs. ranked)?

Yes. No companies will be ranked. We do not know the top companies until we thoroughly review all surveys.  

Are there plans to promote the survey results on social?

Yes. We will promote the list and any aggregate analysis on our social media channels.

Is there a link to last year’s results that I can view?

We can provide a link to our last Best Companies listing and report from 2017 and 2018.

Do you plan to include companies whether or not they fill out the survey?

We will share the percentage of companies that did not make the list overall and identify specific sectors. However, we will mention companies that have made specific equity pledges since 2020.

Will there be an extension on the survey deadline?


Can you share other companies that participate?

We will not share the companies that participated. We will reveal the companies that have made our Best Companies list.

Are the survey and profile of our Chief Diversity Officer independent of one another?