Printer Friendly

25 best places for blacks to work.

Affirmative action. Equal employment opportunity. Cultural diversity. Corporate buzzwords? Sure. However, these three powerful concepts-turned-corporate-policy have dramatically changed both the fabric and landscape of American business, especially for the companies listed on the BLACK ENTERPRISE 25 Best Places For Blacks To Work.

Although no one would argue about the tremendous impact that equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws have had on black representation in the private and public sector (i.e., a workforce increase of 50% in the past 25 years), African-Americans are still reeling from the anti-affirmative action punch dealt by the Reagan and Bush administrations.

But regaining our breath after a series of damaging court decisions over the last decade certainly hasn't been easy. A dragging economic recovery and a highly competitive business climate have many of the nation's multinational companies, such as American Telephone & Telegraph Co. and General Motors Corp., scrambling to streamline their operations and shed yet another layer of ancillary businesses and divisions.

Continual corporate restructuring coupled with plans for massive downsizing have jeopardized future black advancement at the top echelons of several corporate leaders on the EEO front. Some longtime EEO advocates have witnessed a retrenchment in their companies' once-aggressive affirmative-action policies. In addition, African-American managers in the pipeline are concerned that they will not be able to move up in a flattened management structure. This is especially true in firms that are hiring black professionals from the military and corporate competitors for senior-level jobs, bypassing blacks already in the companies' pipelines. Nevertheless, many companies are publicly reaffirming their EEO commitment despite a troubled bottom line. Says AT&T spokesman Burke Stinson: "In the '80s, there was a time when we were dropping more than 1,000 people a month from our payrolls. Even then we maintained our percentages of women and minorities. We would expect no less in the future."

Last year, IBM (International Business Machines Corp.) announced that it would eliminate 20,000 positions, and restructure its business into a series of semi-independent operations. "I see the IBM situation as an opportunity for black managers. Smaller profit centers have fewer rungs to the top," speculates Richard Clarke, a veteran executive recruiter in New York City. "Like BE has pointed out in the past, blacks fared quite well at the spun-off Baby Bells."

The Impact OF Demographics

Finally, American employers are slowly realizing that the changing demographics outlined in the 1987 Hudson Institute Workforce 2000 report are already a reality. (Workforce 2000 relates that by the end of the decade, women, minorities and immigrants will make up an increasingly important segment of the new entrants to the labor force.)

In keeping with the idea that a diverse work force makes good business sense in a competitive global market, more companies are offering diversity training programs to help white male managers better relate to a multicultural work force.

However, the experts are skeptical about putting too much faith in the idea that diversity training will enlighten corporate management to such an extent that affirmative-action and EEO initiatives and policies would no longer be necessary. "In many cases," says Richard Clarke, "we are experiencing more thunder than lightning."

A Pessimistic Black Work Force

Last year, BE readers expressed concern about their careers in light of the 1990-1991 recession. (See BE survey report "Is Your Job On The Line?," August 1991) More than half of the respondents (55%) were concerned that their jobs may be eliminated; over 78% rated their companies no better than fair when it came to providing advancement opportunities for black managers; and 77.6% of executives, earning more than $50,000 per annum, said they had faced racial discrimination at some time in their present job. Almost 63% of the respondents felt they would never be promoted to senior management.

It was with these concerns in mind, that we began the fourth "Best Places For Blacks To Work" survey last August.

Since 1982, when BE identified 10 "Best Places For Blacks To Work," the survey has served as a report card on the CEO's vision of equal opportunity and his ability to push it down the ranks and assist management in implementing that vision, explains Herbert C. Smith, Ph.D., and principal of a Shaker Heights, Ohio-based recruiting firm that bears his name.

To integrate affirmative-action policies into the corporate culture, many visionary CEOs like David Kearns, formerly of Xerox Corp., included EEO activities in the performance appraisals and compensation packages of their managers. To that, Price Cobbs, M.D., a San Francisco management consultant and principal of Pacific Management Systems adds: "Innovative CEOs like Coy Eklund, formerly of Equitable, also created an environment that allowed all people to feel that they could achieve their fullest potential. When special programs are only implemented for minorities and women to move up the career ladder, these programs become targets for backlash."

As the corporate EEO commitment increased throughout the country, the list was expanded to 25 companies in 1986 and from 25 to 50 in 1989. The 1989 list included 15 "companies to watch," whose efforts were headed in the right direction, but had not reached the success of those featured in the section "the best of the best." This year the BE Editorial Board identified only 25 companies that exemplified the commitment and success potential of strong affirmative-action policies. (BE 100s companies were not included since they will be evaluated in our "20th Annual Report On Black Business" in June 1992.) Interestingly, only six companies have made all four lists: American Telephone & Telegraph Co., Equitable Cos., Gannett Co., General Motors Corp., IBM Corp. and Xerox Corp.

In addition, the majority of these companies and those on the 1992 Best Places are well-represented on BE's prestigious corporate elite rosters: "The 25 Hottest Black Managers In Corporate America" (February 1988) and "21 Women Of Power And Influence In Corporate America" (August 1991). The CEOs in these organizations believe in the bottom-line value of work-force diversity. But even more importantly, these enlightened leaders are willing to take the bold initiatives to enable African-Americans to break through the concrete (not glass) ceiling and integrate the ranks of senior management. Smith explains: "These men gave very talented black managers the authority to run businesses, make mistakes and grow." Oakland-based diversity consultant Ben Harrison agrees, adding: "How blacks are used in decision-making teams throughout the organization and their level of task assignments (with significant revenue responsibility and exposure) are the most revealing indicators of the best places for blacks to work."

It is because of this point that we also included a sidebar on the military focusing on the U.S. Army. The Army's successful deployment of African-American officers in strategic leadership positions has exemplified the true value of diversity in management.

The 1992 Best Places Survey

To develop the 1992 Best Places list, BLACK ENTERPRISE mailed out 270 surveys last September to Fortune 1000 corporations that have demonstrated a sustained interest in recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting minorities (specifically African-Americans). In addition to requesting statistics on African-American employees, managers and senior managers, we requested information about the companies' minority recruitment programs, total dollar value of minority contracts and minority participation in management training, development and fast-track programs. Many companies refused to participate in the survey, citing embarrassing statistics regarding black employees and/or legal restrictions. Several admitted that although they provide substantial support to black community-service preparations, minorities are not well-represented on their payrolls.

Jeffalyn Johnson, Ph.D., a management consultant at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville recommended carefully looking at companies that invest in all its people with training and development programs designed to improve productivity and quality. "These companies respect and encourage innovation," Johnson says, "and they will be the ones destined for growth."

Based on these statistics and a review of the companies affirmative-action/EEO and cultural diversity policies, survey respondents were whittled down into a working list of 50 companies. Black executives and employee network presidents at these companies were then interviewed to get a better understanding of how black employees are really faring at these organizations. Based on this research and recommendations from leading black executive recruiters, management consultants and national black professional associations, the Editorial Board of BLACK ENTERPRISE selected the 25 best companies and compiled a second list of five "Companies To Watch." These predominantly engineering and technology-driven organizations are run by CEOs who are bent on skimming off the top talent in the country-regardless of ethnic origin.

And that says quite a lot in a nation where a July 8, 1991, BusinessWeek article titled "Race In The Workplace: Is Affirmative Action Working?" confirmed the disturbing fact that white Americans are very angry about affirmative action, insisting that it is really preferential treatment for minorities.

The study also reported that a whopping 65% of the respondents in a BusinessWeek/Harris Executive Poll believe that demographics, not affirmative-action laws, will drive corporations to open up their hiring and promotion practices to minorities. Additionally, 88% of the executives responded that their companies do not lower hiring standards for minorities.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission statistics in 1990 revealed that 5.9% of all managers in the United States are black, and blacks make up 3% of corporate management. On average, African-Americans represent about 8% of management at the 25 Best Places.

A big part of this commitment can easily be credited to the activities of black employee associations. Although some of these networks continue to represent African-American concerns to senior management and conduct career development seminars, management consultants are concerned that other groups have shifted their priorities to community projects and student mentorships at a time when companies are reviewing the value of EEO and diversity in the workplace.


Ameritech believes that its equal employment opportunity/affirmative-action (EEO/AA) principles have a direct connection with the telecommunication company's competitive performance in the marketplace. Equal employment opportunity is considered the responsibility of all employees and the performance of each manager is evaluated on the basis of his or her efforts to support EEO/AA goals. The Baby Bell has more than 1,000 employee development programs, which range from career development workshops to counseling and educational programs. The company's management track programs have a 17.2% minority enrollment. One such program, the Ameritech Development and Appraisal program, rewards employees for measurable performance at every step of their career path.

Within Ameritech's corporate melting pot, 14,850 (19.7%) of its 75,395 employees are black. Blacks make up 14.4% of the company's management. Roger L. Plummer, president of Ameritech Information Systems, was included in BE's ranking of the hottest black managers in corporate America.

The company has internal organizations that mentor minorities, including the Ameritech Regional Minority Advisory Panel, as well as a tuition aid program. In addition, Ameritech's Minority and Women Business Enterprise program purchased $127 million in goods and services from minority vendors in 1990.

AT&T New York

AT&T is ringing up a new corporate conscience and corporate commitment to diversity. Since the breakup of AT&T, there has been some concern that blacks working at the communications company have become concentrated at the lower end of middle management and disproportionately affected by recent downsizing. To address these concerns, AT&T has developed diversity initiatives, which include sensitivity training and Heritage Month observances. There is a company-wide effort to "tie diversity into business planning and traditional development programs." Business Unit/Division Diversity Teams and other groups aid in this process. AT&T's Bell Laboratories has been actively recruiting, training and molding black engineers and scientists to lead major divisions.

Of its 249,087 employees, blacks make up 15% of the work force and 8.7% of its management team. Federal Government Affairs Vice President Martina L. Bradford and Micro Electronics division vice president Curtis J. Crawford rank among BE's most powerful black executives and are included among AT&T's 3.5% black senior managers. Donald F. McHenry, president of IRC Group Inc. and Franklin A. Thomas, president of the Ford Foundation, serve on the board of directors.

In addition, the company's Minority and Women's Business Enterprise program awarded $208.2 million in contracts to minority-and female-owned firms.

AVON New York

Avon Products Inc., the $2 billion cosmetics company, made its efforts to achieve a "diversity make-over" with an emphasis on equal employment opportunity.

Avon has a middle-management development program, where employees receive management, leadership and diversity training at Morehouse College and the Institute for Managing Diversity in Atlanta. Employees can also excel in the Avon Career Enhancement program, which allows representatives to advance by compensating them for recruiting, training and managing other representatives.

The Black Professionals At Avon is a self-help group that encourages and facilitates minority recruitment and career development. Group members sit on a diversity task force with members of Hispanic and Asian support groups. They meet regularly with CEO James E. Preston.

Avon has 30,000 employees worldwide. Of its 6,824 employees in the United States, 13% are black. The management ranks of the firm are 90% female and 7% black. One of the firm's top managers, Joyce M. Roche, vice president, brand marketing, was honored as one of BE's most powerful women executives last August. Ernesta G. Procope, CEO of E.G. Bowman Co. Inc., serves on the company's board of directors.

Through its supplier development program, Avon awarded $44 million in contracts to minority-owned businesses in 1990.

* CHRYSLER Highland Park, Mich.

Demonstrating its commitment to affirmative action and equal opportunity, Chrysler Corp. has set a target to double the growth rate of women and minorities in the company's executive, managerial, supervisory and top technical job categories over five years. Chrysler's Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee advises senior management on diversity initiatives and responsibilities. The company also evaluates employees on their efforts in fostering equal opportunity in hiring and development. All this is part of fulfilling the "Fair Share Agreement" the company signed with the NAACP, which established commitments in work-force diversity, dealership development, and philanthropic contributions. Unfortunately, the automaker's financial weakness may affect the success of some of these initiatives.

Of the three major auto manufacturers, Chrysler Corp. has the highest percentage of black employees. Of its 86,579 employees, 22.7% are black, and blacks represent 9.1% of the company's management team. Leroy Richie, vice president, general automotive legal affairs and Forest Farmer, president of Chrysler's Acustar Inc. are among the company's 4% senior managers who are black. The firm has 86 black auto dealers. Earl G. Graves, publisher of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine serves on the board of directors. Additionally, the company's Special Supplier Program awarded $211 million in contracts to black vendors in 1990.

* COCA-COLA Atlanta

At the Coca-Cola Co., a long-standing commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action is "The Real Thing." The company is steadfast in its efforts to recruit women and minorities and in encouraging the upward mobility of employees. All company managers are evaluated on placement results and how well EEO goals are accomplished.

Blacks represent 10.9% (2,038) of the company's 10,250 domestic employees and account for 3.6% of all senior managers. African-Americans make up 5.5% of Coca-Cola's corporate officers. The appointment of Carl Ware, deputy group president, NE Europe/Africa group and Carolyn H. Baldwin, president of the Coca-Cola Financial Corp., are encouraging signs in a company that has been criticized for not giving blacks such authority. Baldwin was honored as one of BE's most powerful women executives last year. Donald F. McHenry sits on the Board of Directors.

Coca-Cola has a number of external and internal training and development programs to hone workers' skills to help the company to promote from within. To foster a multicultural environment, the soft-drink giant has implemented a "Diversity Module" in its management training program and has created a "Diversity Task Force."

In 1990, Coca-Cola awarded more than $110 million in purchasing contracts to minority and female suppliers.

* CORNING Corning, N.Y.

Corning Inc. has put its commitment to mesh the corporate bottom line with social responsibility to the ultimate test. CEO James R. Houghton set the tone for the consumer products/high-tech manufacturing company to attempt what has been heralded as one of the "most ambitious experiments in cultural engineering." The company will try to reach its corporate diversity targets for recruitment, hiring and promotion by mandating racial- and gender-awareness training for all salaried employees. These sessions are designed to break through racist and sexist stereotypes.

To ensure opportunities for advancement, Corning uses employee "coaches" to help minority and female workers develop their potential. Financial support for advanced degrees is also available. The company's Society of Black Professionals acts as a forum for information-sharing and its members serve as mentors for new employees.

Of the company's 11,000 employees, 872 (7.9%) are black. At Corning, 7.1% of its management ranks is black. Executives, such as James G. Kaiser, senior vice president and general manager for technical products are part of the 3.8% of blacks in senior management positions. Vernon E. Jordan Jr., former head of the National Urban League, serves on Corning's board of directors. In 1990, the company awarded $3.7 million in contracts to minority suppliers.

* E.I. DU PONT Wilmington, Del.

CEO Edgar S. Woolard Jr.'s top-down approach has helped E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. take great strides toward incorporating equal opportunity into the corporate structure of the chemicals, energy and specialty products manufacturing company. The Black Leadership Resource Team held its first National Black Leadership and Development Conference where African-American employees discussed career development and advancement issues. The group also meets with du Pont's top executives to discuss black advancement at the company, and the reluctance of some middle managers to totally embrace affirmative action. A du Pont ombudsman, who tracks black and female employee career advancement, acts as another safeguard to equal employment opportunity.

Du Pont employs 95,000 employees in the United States. Approximately 10,000 (11%) are black. Blacks account for 6% of the company's managerial staff. The company went from one to five black corporate vice presidents last year, one of whom is Delbert Glover, vice president, general manager, electronics. Dr. Hazle Jeffries Shorter, worldwide director of medical communications for the du Pont/Merck Pharmaceutical Co., ranks as one of BE's most powerful female executives. BE Board of Economist member Andrew F. Brimmer serves on the company's board of directors. In 1990, du Pont awarded $220 million in contracts to minorities.


The Equitable Life Assurance Society has a commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative-action employment that its CEO Richard H. Jenrette believes is not only socially conscious, but essential to the company's efforts to hire the best people. Despite such declarations, blacks at the company are wary that The Equitable's sterling reputation may be tarnishing under the harsh conditions of corporate restructuring caused by the economic downturn.

Still, the nation's third-largest life insurance company's hiring record has been exceptional in its industry. Equitable has 6,270 employees, of which 913 (14.6%) are African-American. Minority representation in management positions is 13.5%. African-Americans make up 7.2% of Equitable's total managerial pool and 5.9% of its senior managers. Vicki Fuller, managing director of the Equitable Capital Management Corp. and Darwin Davis, senior vice president in charge of the external relations department have placed among BE's rankings of top black executives.

The company has a career-development track that encourages women and minorities to participate in numerous training programs.

However, since Equitable's Black Officer's Council no longer meets periodically with the CEO and top executives of the company, blacks are concerned about advancement at Equitable.


Federal Express Corp.'s commitment to affirmative action did not spring up overnight. For years, EEO goals have been implemented through the Federal Express' Affirmative Action Plan (AAP). The AAP ensures that all management personnel are responsive to recruiting, hiring, training and promoting people to all company jobs in accordance with the EEO policy. The enforcement of affirmative-action principles is included in the senior managers' performance reviews and management by objectives (MBOs), which is part of the company's management incentive and compensation plan.

Federal Express' Leadership Effectiveness and Awareness program (LEAP) helps employees advance to middle-management positions. All management employees are trained through the company's Leadership Institute, which offers programs in Managing Diversity and Race Relations.

The overnight-delivery company's efforts in diversity make good business sense, given that blacks account for 24.6% (17,728) of the company's 72,048 employees. Of some 4,928 managers, 13.03% are African-Americans. Blacks make up 5.2% of senior management. Joshua I. Smith, CEO and Chairman of Maxima Corp. (No. 14 on the BE 100s) sits on the board.

Federal Express supports a minority suppliers development program and has awarded approximately $30 million annually to minority vendors.

* FORD Dearborn, Mich.

While "quality is job one" at Ford Motor Co., the nation's second-largest automaker realizes that quality stems from a positive work environment. To create a culturally sensitive workplace, Ford uses awareness films and brings in outside consultants to give diversity seminars. To create a culturally diverse work force, merit increases are tied to the performance of managers who have affirmative-action responsibilities. Coaching and counseling are also offered to managers who have difficulty adjusting. Although blacks are concentrated in manufacturing jobs at Ford, the company is committed to putting more blacks into the management pipeline. Ford's management-track training program has a 17% minority enrollment.

Of Ford's 180,900 employees in the United States, 17% are black; blacks make up 8.2% of management. Ronald E. Goldsberry, executive director, sales and service strategies, and one of BE's hottest black managers, is among Ford's senior managers. Ford's Management Review Council (directors, executive directors and vice presidents) is 12% black, and Dr. Clifton R. Wharton Jr., CEO of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund, serves on the board of directors.

Ford has intensified its efforts to increase its nearly 300 minority car dealerships. In addition, its minority supplier development program awarded $440 million in contracts to black vendors.

* GANNETT CO. Arlington, Va.

The Gannett Co. Inc.'s record as an equal opportunity employer is growing stronger. The company not only recruits and hires a diverse work force, but it provides management training and promotional opportunities to women and minorities through its Partners in Progress program. This partly explains why total minority employment has progressed from 12% to 21% since 1980. Of Gannett's 37,000 employees, blacks represent 13%. As part of the company's management-by-objective program, the head of each operating unit is responsible for targeting positions for qualified minorities and women.

Thanks to the company's internal and outside seminars and executive development programs, such as EEO: The Competitive Edge, blacks have been able to advance from within. Of all managers, 6% are black, and 6% of the company's highest echelon of management (publishers and general managers) are African-Americans. Ronald Townsend is president of Gannett Television.

The nation's largest newspaper chain, with 82 dailies including USA Today, has five black publishers: Pam Johnson (The Ithaca Journal, N.Y.), W. Curtis Riddle (The Lansing State Journal, Mich.), Monte I. Trammer (The Saratogian, N.Y.), Orage Quarles III (The Stockton Record, Calif.) and Ariel Mechior Jr. (The Virgin Islands Daily News). Three of the 25 Gannett board of directors are black: Andrew F. Brimmer, Carl T. Rowan and Dolores D. Wharton.

* GENERAL MILLS Minneapolis

General Mills Inc. enforces equal employment opportunity by incorporating EEO/affirmative-action policies into its managers' goals and objectives. Performance appraisals and compensation are linked to affirmative-action achievements. The policy is then strengthened by aggressive minority recruitment and training. The consumer foods and restaurant conglomerate has a management-track program that has a 10% minority enrollment. The company also offers a Managing a Diverse Workforce training program, which provides executives with techniques to handle interviewing, hiring and work appraisals for a multicultural work force.

Blacks account for 13,734 (14%) of the company's 96,488 employees. Reatha Clark King, vice president, president and executive director, General Mills Foundation; Cyrus E. Johnson, vice president, director of General Mills' Minneapolis general offices facilities and services; and Y. Marc Belton, vice president, general manager of grain snacks are among the 4% of the company's senior managers who are black. Seven percent of all General Mills' managers are black.

General Mills' record of giving to black causes is excellent. Grants to minority programs and organizations exceeded $1.6 million in 1990. Also, General Mills' supplier development program has sponsored a successful series of luncheons that match prospective minority vendors with appropriate General Mills buyers.


General Motors seems to be on the right road to increasing the presence of minorities within its ranks. GM's corporate policy, which mandates that managers meet equal employment opportunity goals, is part of all job descriptions. The nation's largest automaker also intends to step up efforts to extend employment and advancement opportunities to minorities through "Fair Share Principles," which it signed in cooperation with the NAACP. The company's commitment to minorities will certainly be tested in the face of plant closings and downsizing that will result in the elimination of 70,000 jobs over the next three years.

GM is also working to increase minority participation in their dealerships. The company has pledged to increase its 176 minority-owned and operated car and truck dealerships by 40% over three years. A Minority Dealer Steering Committee was established in 1990 to address dealer issues and recruit prospective dealers.

Out of GM's 403,029 workers, 67,761 (20.6%) are African-Americans. African-Americans make up 9.9% of all managers and 5% of all senior managers.

For the last 20 years, GM's Motor Enterprises Inc. has granted more than 216 minority companies loans totaling $9.2 million. In addition, the GM Minority Supplier Development program has purchased more than $1.1 billion worth of goods and services from more than 1,250 minority suppliers.

IBM Armonk, N.Y.

America's troubled economy has caused many corporations, including IBM (International Business Machines Corp.), to toughen performance standards and to downsize. The key question at IBM is whether the firm can maintain its commitment to equal employment opportunity after 20,000 positions are eliminated.

Equal opportunity for employment and advancement remain a business objective at the developer of advanced information technology. The implementation of EEO and affirmative-action goals are evaluated in every corporate manager's performance review.

Blacks make up 9.2% of the company's 205,500 employees. The presence of minorities in IBM's upper tier is reflected by the 12.9% who hold management positions. Blacks constitute 7.5% of IBM managers and 5.1% of the company's senior management. Top IBM executives, who have appeared on BE's rankings of powerful executives, include Gerald D. Prothro, director of Information and Telecommunications Systems; Ira D. Hall, treasurer of IBM's U.S. division; Judy Johnson, director of IBM's new business marketing and business partner development; and Catherine J. Lewis, director of IBM Publishing Solutions.

Employees enjoy benefits, which include flexible working hours and child-care referral services. And in 1990, purchasing contracts valued at $222 million were awarded to minority-owned firms.

J&J New Brunswick, N.J.

As the recipient of the U.S. Department of Labor's "Secretary's Opportunity 2000 Award," for having outstanding programs to ensure equal opportunity employment, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) continues to affirm its commitment to minorities and women. The world's largest and most diversified health care products manufacturer, has implemented several new policies, programs and services addressing managing diversity.

In addition to mentoring programs, the company provides various training and career development programs. However, moving from entry-level to management has traditionally been a tough ladder for blacks to climb. The majority of J&J's 174 operating companies in 54 countries administer merit reviews to corporate managers to ensure that EEO and diversity initiatives have been effectively implemented.

J&J employs a decentralized management philosophy. Of the company's 31,951 domestic employees 3,845 (12%) are black. Blacks represent 6.7% of all managers and 5% of all senior managers. Alfred Mays is president of J&J's Chicopee division in Chicopee Falls, Mass., which deals in woven fabrics.

J&J's benefits package has a Balancing Work and Family initiative that includes on-site child care, counseling and referral programs and family care leave. The firm also has a black employees association, HONOR (Helping Our Neighbors with Our Resources).

KELLOGG'S Battle Creek, Mich.

How do black employees describe the Kellogg Co. when it comes to providing equal employment opportunities? They're GR-R-REAT! The leading worldwide ready-to-eat cereal manufacturer has a sound track record for recruiting, hiring and promoting minorities and women. Of its 6,595 domestic employees, blacks number 867 (13%), and they hold 8% of all management positions. Moreover, 7% of senior management positions at Kellogg's are held by blacks. Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of nutrition and marketing services is one of the company's corporate executives.

In addition to a mandatory affirmative-action training program for all managers, annual mid-year meetings are held to discuss AA issues and goals. As part of their job descriptions, company vice presidents are held accountable in their performance in meeting EEO and AA objectives.

Kellogg's also has plans to initiate a broad cultural diversity program this year. The company's Cultural Diversity Task Force will survey Fortune 500 companies to help devise an ongoing training course that deals with managing and valuing cultural differences.

To help workers move up through the ranks, the company offers career development training. It's Organizational Review program entails a series of year-round meetings, aimed at helping managers develop a career path for every employee.

MARRIOTT Washington, D.C.

At the Marriott Corp., having a policy for implementing proper employment standards is "just good business sense." Chairman and President J.W. Marriott Jr. has mandated that each facility's general manager be rated for his or her affirmative-action program. Unsatisfactory goal attainment efforts will affect evaluations and compensation. The hotel chain also runs a Guarantee of Fair Treatment program, which strives to foster respect and equality in the work environment.

Marriott employs 188,562 workers and 21.6% (40,692) are black. Blacks comprise 7.8% of the company's managers. John Dixon, general manager of the flagship J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., is among Marriott's 5.2% black senior managers. To encourage the advancement of minorities, some Marriott divisions have "fast-track" management development programs to identify qualified minority and female candidates for senior management. Marriott also has a program entitled Spectrum: Appreciating Diversity, which teaches managers strategies for cross-cultural communication.

The company is affiliated with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities consortium and has contributed over $350,000 to eight minority colleges. Marriott's Minority Banking program has placed over $25 million in funds with minority-owned and operated banks.

Day-care discount programs and elder-care programs are part of a family-oriented benefits package.

McDONALD'S Oak Brook, Ill.

Providing equal access to jobs and business opportunities remains a tradition at McDonald's Corp. Recognized as a leading employer of black youth, the fast food giant has 121,237 employees, and African-Americans make up 24.8% (30,143).

Rapid advancement is another McDonald's tradition, where talent and persistence translate into promotion. African-Americans account for 18.3% of management positions and 13.2% of senior management. Working his way up from the bottom of the Golden Arches, 28-year veteran, Robert M. Beavers Jr. is senior vice president and one of seven zone managers for McDonald's. One of BE's 25 Hottest Black Managers, Beavers serves on McDonald's board of directors.

To ensure managers act in accordance to the company's EEO and affirmative-action policies, details of minority placements and promotions are recorded in performance reviews. Moreover, the company's "career development programs" enable employees, particularly minorities and women, to have an active role in determining their career paths. McDonald's Managing Cultural Differences, focuses on valuing cultural and racial diversity.

Last year, McDonald's reported that 509 of its 11,000 franchise units were black-owned. McDonald's also supports black entrepreneurs, ranking No. 1 on the BE FRANCHISE 50 LIST for the last four years.

MERCK Rahway, N.J.

When it comes to equal employment opportunity, Merck & Co. Inc. has the right prescription. The $7.7 billion international pharmaceutical company's Phase III affirmative-action plan, which requires all domestic employees to participate in the communication and diversity training program. The plan is so successful, that it has been packaged and sold to other corporations and is seen as an industry model.

Ten percent of Merck's 18,683 employees are black. Blacks represent 4.8% of the company's management ranks and 2.2% of all senior managers. Dr. Lloyd C. Elam, professor of psychiatry at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., is on the board of directors.

Most employees at Merch develop career plans with their supervisors to help them advance. Each year, the company conducts an analysis of its workforce, actively seeking talented workers for placement in its management track training program, which has a 20.4% minority enrollment. Merck's Black Employee Network meets with the company's top executives at the request of it's membership.

The company has increased its commitment to provide more family support. It offers family assistance programs, Work and Family Life seminars, day-care centers for working parents and a flexible benefits.

NYNEX New York

"If it's out there, it's in here" could easily refer to the NYNEX Corp.'s commitment to equal opportunity and advancement for all people. The NYNEX Minority Management Association (MMA) enables the Baby Bell to enforce its commitment by working with senior executives to encourage the hiring and promotion of qualified minority employees.

The MMA has a mentoring program that helps clear career paths that can guide minority employees through the NYNEX system. The organization's Get Promoted program is another form of mentoring that targets employees deemed ready for advancement. Although the MMA has achieved encouraging results, last month's round of layoffs has created concern about black representation in the telecommunications company's middle-management ranks.

Of its 84,710 employees, 14,873 (18%) are black. Among the managerial ranks, 11% are black. Alfred F. Boschulte, president of NYNEX mobile communications, is one of BE's hottest black managers and is included among the company's 4% black senior managers. Randolph W. Bromery serves on the board of directors.

Employee benefits, which include stock options for key managers, are among the best in the industry.


"You've got the right one, baby" may be the right slogan for blacks who are considering employment with Pepsi-Cola Co., the soft-drink giant.

The company, which controls one-third of the $42 billion national soft-drink retail market, has commitments from senior management to not only increase its percentage of minority employees, but also to make equal-opportunity initiatives a part of everyday business. This promise has reshaped Pepsi-Cola's employee ranks. Just over 12%, or 2,988 of its 24,432 employees are black. Blacks, who comprise 10.2% of total managers (up from 6% in 1989), also make up 5% of senior management.

The tone is set at the top of Pepsi-Cola. CEO Craig E. Weatherup has issued a policy statement mandating that all managers are "responsible for carrying out the objectives of the company's equal-employment policy as an integral part of his or her duties and will be evaluated on performance."

The company also offers financial support for several initiatives. These include a mentor program, minority hiring at black colleges and the Black Employees Association, which holds regular meetings to discuss diversity initiatives with all levels of management. Additionally, Pepsi's minority supplier development program, awarded $87 million in contracts in 1990.


Philip Morris Cos. Inc., which includes Philip Morris USA, Kraft General Foods and Miller Brewing Co., has long been committed to equal opportunity. The food, beverage and tobacco manufacturer, which markets over 3,000 products worldwide, recognizes that its success depends upon the effective use of the talents of every employee. Philip Morris has implemented various diversity initiatives, such as multicultural steering committees, training programs for managers and an executive exchange program with the National Urban League.

The company's EEO/affirmative-action policy ensures that management recruits, hires, trains and promotes persons to all levels. Philip Morris actively scouts for black MBAs and entry-level candidates from black colleges. Blacks make up 16% of Philip Morris' diverse work force of 102,000.

The company's efforts to encourage the promotion of minorities is evidenced by its 12% minority managers. Blacks represent 8% of the management positions and 2% of the senior management positions at Philip Morris' various operating units. Paula A. Sneed, executive vice president and general manager for desserts at Kraft General Foods; Ann M. Fudge, executive vice president for General Foods USA; Renee V.H. Simons, a group director for Philip Morris' Virginia Slims brand; and George Lewis, vice president and treasurer of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., are among the ranks of BE's most powerful corporate executives.

* TIAA-CREF New York

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) is quite a mouthful to say, but the world's largest pension system has done more than just talk about promoting equal opportunity. The $87 billion fund, which represents employees at more than 4,000 colleges, universities and foundations, is a stalwart practitioner of affirmative action and workforce diversity.

Last March, TIAA-CREF introduced a non-discriminatory policy which includes a new complaint resolution procedure involving senior level ombudsmen and ombudswomen. The fund also has set up a Mortgage and Real Estate Minority Summer Intern Program as part of its efforts to increase minority and female representation in the industry.

TIAA-CREF's hiring record reflects more than good faith. Blacks are well represented at all levels beginning with Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., TIAA-CREF's chairman and CEO. Blacks hold 31.8%, or 1,161 of its 3,651 jobs, as well as 9.1% of officer and 7% of executive officer spots. And, of the 44 individuals on the 3 boards in its governance system, 7 are black, including A. Barry Rand, corporate vice president and president, U.S. Marketing Group, Xerox Corp. and Richard D. Parsons, CEO of The Dime Savings Bank of New York. BE economists Marcus Alexis and Andrew F. Brimmer serve as trustees to TIAA-CREF respectively.

* UAL Chicago

UAL Corp. has some high-flying ideas about minority advancement. The holding company of United Airlines has an affirmative-action policy which states that "there must be a continuous and unyielding commitment to equal opportunity for all people and all enterprises." The $11 billion commercial transportation company cultivates a diverse work force by incorporating multicultural training and minority employee focus groups as part of its overall business strategy. Groups, such as United's Black Professional Organization (BPO), sponsor training seminars that encourage interaction between employees at all levels.

United offers a management development program, which has 26.6% minority enrollment. Nevertheless, blacks still find it difficult to penetrate the highest levels of the company.

UAL Corp.'s work force of 72,491 includes 6,871 (9.5%) African-Americans. African-Americans make up 7.3% of all managers and 4.5% of the airline's senior executives, which includes Gary Jefferson, regional vice president, northeast region and Roger Gibson, regional vice president, mountain region. United employs 144 black airline pilots, the most in the industry. Economist Andrew F. Brimmer serves on UAL Corp.'s board of directors. The United Airlines Minority Supplier Development program awarded more than $169 million in contracts to minority vendors in 1990.

* XEROX Stamford, Conn.

Over the years, Xerox Corp. has expanded its bottom line by maintaining a leadership role as one of the best places for African-Americans to work. Last spring, the company's successful methods of integrating minorities and women into the workplace were part of a Harvard University Business School case study.

The $17 billion document-processing and financial-services company employs 26 black vice presidents, more than any other major U.S. industrial corporation. These executives include A. Barry Rand, group vice president and president of the U.S. Marketing Group, Xerox Corp.; and Richard S. Barton, president of Xerox Canada Inc. In addition, Rand, who heads the largest domestic division, Maurice F. Holmes, vice president of Xerox's color-printing systems development unit, and Yvonne M. Wilson, vice president of the New York-area field operations of the U.S. Marketing Group, were all ranked among BE's most powerful corporate executives.

Six years ago, the company adopted the Xerox Balanced Work Force strategy, which sets specific goals for the numbers of minorities and women at every level. The company tracks the progress of all employees to ensure that the goals are met. Additionally, efforts have been made to make the company's corporate culture more receptive to a multicultural work force. Xerox's equal employment opportunity coordinator periodically audits the effectiveness of affirmative-action initiatives, and each supervisor is evaluated on his or her equal opportunity and diversity efforts.

Blacks comprise 8,985 (13.5%) of Xerox's 66,529 domestic employees and hold 10% of management positions. At the board of director's level, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., the former National Urban League CEO, sits on Xerox's Audit and Nominating Committees.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:includes related articles on military management, other leading corporations
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Feb 1, 1992
Previous Article:Careers & opportunities 1992.
Next Article:Power surge: corporate America's most influential black executives are still on the move.

Related Articles
Managing work-place diversity ... the wave of the '90s.
Post paternalism or black blackmail? Why The Washington Post endorsed Marion Barry three times.
25 years of corporate achievement.
Defense AT & L writer's guidelines in brief.
35 years of diversity coverage.
A writer's writer.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters