The 15 most diverse employers—and the universities that made the list

As study after study concludes that more-diverse teams outperform their less-diverse counterparts, many organizations have worked to diversify their employees in recent years.

The issue is particularly top-of-mind for higher ed leaders, as recent waves of student protests highlighted the need to diversify the staff and faculty and to build more inclusive cultures.

To honor highly diverse organizations, Forbes partnered with Statista to identify the 250 most diverse employers in the United States. To create the ranking, researchers asked 30,000 U.S. workers at organizations with at least 1,000 employees about several indicators of inclusive culture. Researchers also analyzed publicly available data for each employer.

According to Forbes, the top 15 most diverse and inclusive organizations (with more than 1,000 employees) are:

  1. Northern Trust
  2. Smithsonian Institution
  3. Levy
  4. Intuit
  5. Harvard University
  6. Principal Financial Group
  7. Emory University
  8. Wegmans Food Markets
  9. Keller Williams Realty
  10. AbbVie
  11. Stanford University
  12. SAP
  13. Consumers Energy
  14. Health Care Services Corporation
  15. YMCA of the USA

Aside from the three universities listed above, several others made it into the top 100, including:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University (#40)
  • New York University (#49)
  • Medical University of South Carolina (#53)
  • Michigan State University (#54)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (#65)
  • Johns Hopkins University (#84)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (#99)
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh (#100)

In his research on "superbosses," Sydney Finkelstein, professor of management at Dartmouth College, has found that these managers take steps to build more inclusive cultures.

Finkelstein found that superbosses start with nontraditional hiring models that emphasize personal traits like creativity instead of formal credentials. Then, they encourage employees to voice their suggestions to improve the team and strike a balance between competition and collaboration (Kauflin, Forbes, 1/23; Forbes, 1/23; Forbes list, accessed 2/1).

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