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Fortune and Great Place to Work partnered with Essence and People en Español to determine which companies have made diversity a top priority. These diversity lists are a “best of the best” ranking. The winners come from a universe of approximately 630 companies with published Great Place to Work reviews, meaning they are serious about creating a great workplace and comfortable with transparency. Companies needed to have at least 30 employees with at least 15% women and 15% racial/ethnical minorities in order to be considered for the list.  Data about the population of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees was not provided by the companies, so therefore could not be included as part of the methodology.

To determine the winners, Great Place to Work surveyed 128,000 women and nearly 70,000 minorities at 630 companies who answered a detailed questionnaire considering everything from how comfortable they are being themselves; the degree of favoritism or insider politics they observe in the workplace; the fairness of promotions; the feeling of honest connection with coworkers; their access to senior leadership; and who receives information and professional development and who doesn’t. Employees answered 58 questions in total, including an overall assessment of whether the company is a great place to work.

Survey results have a high degree of reliability in accurately reflecting employees’ experiences: In statistical terms, women’s and minorities’ survey results both meet a 95 percent confidence level and a margin of error of 6.5 percent or less.

These survey results are the biggest reason companies appear on this ranking, since two-thirds of each company’s score is based on women’s and minorities’ reports. The remaining third of each company’s score takes into account how well-represented women and minorities are within the workforce, management and executive positions; how positively they experience their workplace on an index of factors where women and minorities tend to have a less positive experience than their colleagues; and how favorably women and minorities’ experiences compared to the 139,000 men and 184,000 Caucasians also surveyed.

From this superset of companies, Great Place to Work also identified the top 10 companies for employees for African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian-identified employees  based on these employees’ reports of their workplace experiences. To be a candidate for the list, each company needed to have stronger representation within their organization than within the overall US workforce as a whole of the race/ethnic group being considered. Companies whose workforces met this criteria were then ranked based on the employee survey scores of the particular population being recognized.

Company profiles were written by Ryan Derousseau, Laura Docon, Taylor Lewis, and Christopher Tkaczyk.

To have your company surveyed and considered for any of the workplaces lists published by Fortune, including the 2016 list of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For and next year's ranking of the 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity, visit greatplacetowork.com/learn-what-it-takes.

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These companies achieved the highest scores among Black and African American employees, who were asked about fairness of promotions, opportunities for advancement and professional development, access to senior leadership, the feeling of honest connections with colleagues, and how comfortable they feel being themselves at work.

See how companies made the list — and how you can apply
  1. Rank
  2. Employees
  3. % Women
  4. % African-American/Black


Alliance Data

This advertising firm has grown to more than 12,000 associates, yet employees say that the company has retained its small-office feel. Operating in 55 different locations, Alliance Data boasts stock-matching options, the ability to work from home, college tuition reimbursement programs and on-site health screenings. “We have eight values that we live by: work together, communicate openly, build trust, innovate and create, teach and learn, give back to our community and most of all, have fun,” Senior Director of Operations Bev McMillan, who has been with the company for 27 years, said. “I do this on a regular lifestyle basis, so the fact that I can actually do that within the workplace is an added bonus.” The company also encourages employees to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Using an online internal website similar to Facebook, employees can reward one another for a job well done with points. It allows you to “see what people are doing for others,” says chief accounting officer Laura Santillan. Employees can use the points to redeem gift cards or buy extra vacation hotel stays. Read the Great Place to Work review.

Company Information

HQ Location Plano, Texas
Industry Marketing
Type of Organization Public
Year Founded 1996
Web Address http://www.alliancedata.com/
Total # of Employees 12,223


% of African-American employees surveyed who say it's a great workplace 94%
% African-American/Black 14%
% of Women 57%
% of Women in Executive Positions 42%
% of Women in Manager Positions 48%
% of Minorities 35%
% of Minorities in Executive Positions 3%
% of Minorities in Manager Positions 8%

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