Food companies have room to improve their diversity initiatives, given the results of this year’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list from DiversityInc. Three food companies ended up on the list this year — The Kellogg Company, The Hershey Company, and McCormick & Company.
This is the same set of food industry organizations that made the list last year, but with one exception. Monsanto didn’t reappear on 2019’s list despite being in the middle of the pack in 2018.
DiversityInc has been publishing the list since 2001, and they evaluate companies based on diversity management in their talent pipeline, talent development, leadership accountability, and supplier diversity. Companies participate for free and self-report via a rigorous 200-question survey. Questions encompass a span of subjects from women in corner offices to Blacks and Latino getting promoted to management and everything in between.
#21 Kellogg Company
2018 Ranking: #18
2017 Ranking: #28
2016 Ranking: #30
2015 Ranking: #26
2014 Ranking: #31
2013 Ranking: #32
2012 Ranking: #49
Once again, the Kellogg Company is the highest ranking food company on the list. The organization also landed a spot on the specialty list “Top Companies for LGBT Employees.” This is the eighth consecutive year the cereal company has ranked. DiversityInc didn’t provide further reasoning for the ranking, but Kellogg’s slow creep up suggests the company is making fantastic progress in their diversity initiatives.
#25 The Hershey Company
2018 Ranking: #33
Last year was the first time The Hershey Company appeared in the top 50, and its ranking has improved considerably. The Hershey Company is lauded for things like being one of two Fortune 500 companies with a female CEO and a female CFO, mentoring socially disadvantaged youth, and more. The food industry giant also appears on several specialty lists:
- Top Companies for People with Disabilities
- Top Companies for LGBT Employees
- Top Companies for Employee Resource Groups
- Top Companies for Veterans
- Top Companies for Executive Women
- Top Companies for Diverse Leadership
- Top Companies for Philanthropy
#41 McCormick & Company
2018 Ranking: #37
2017 Ranking: #45
This is the third year in a row that McCormick & Company has made the Top 50 list. The company also appears on the specialty list “Top Companies for Executive Women.”
DiversityInc didn’t provide any further information on this McCormick & Company ranking for this year, but in 2017 it was recognized for supporting career advancement for women and Latinos.
A few food processors and food processing suppliers are also recognized on the list of “Noteworthy Companies,” which DiversityInc says have the potential to make the Top 50 based on their data.
- International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.
- Praxair, Inc.
- Rockwell Automation, Inc.
- Tyson Foods, Inc.
Overall, the findings of this year’s survey suggest the food industry doesn’t quite stack up to other industries like tech and finance when it comes to diversity. Considering that Millennials, who now make up a significant portion of the talent pool (and have loads of buying power) care deeply about the subject, it’s long overdue for food companies to start sharpening their diversity initiatives.
There are plenty of groups throughout the food industry that are tackling the diversity issue, many of which have a strong focus on gender diversity.
Here are some of them: