Forbes recently released a ranking of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity” for 2019. Among the top 500 employers on the list, 29 are schools.
To compile the list, Forbes partnered with statistics firm Statista to analyze data from a survey of 50,000 U.S. employees working for organizations with at least 1,000 employees. In the survey, respondents were asked to rate their organizations on diversity criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation equality. The responses were then scanned for diversity gaps and weighted accordingly. Survey respondents belonging to minority groups could also nominate organizations other than their own.
The list features 500 organizations with both the highest employee ratings and the most diverse leadership. Here are the 27 higher education institutions and two K-12 schools that made the list:
4. Kent State University, Kent Campus*
7. University of California, Irvine*
13. Medical University of South Carolina*
21. Stanford University
28. University of Utah*
31. Emory University*
41. University of Kentucky*
43. Duke University*
54. University of Virginia*
57. Loyola University Chicago*
60. Howard Country Public Schools
62. University of North Texas*
78. New York University*
84. Iowa State University*
91. University of California, San Diego*
93. Old Dominion University*
101. Harvard University*
112. Texas State University*
143. University of Oregon*
149. Cornell University
151. Montgomery County Public Schools
153. North Carolina State University, Raleigh*
156. Florida International University*
180. George Mason University*
257. Virginia Commonwealth University*
285. Washington University in Saint Louis*
293. University of California, Los Angeles*
300. Johns Hopkins University*
371. Michigan State University*
*Editor’s note: EAB congratulates our member institutions who made the list. Member institutions listed above are marked with an asterisk.
Two institutions—Kent State University and University of California, Irvine—ranked in the top ten employers for diversity. Kent State, along with Harvard University, New York University, University of Virginia, Emory University, Stanford University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of North Texas, Cornell University, University of Utah, Duke University, and Texas State University also made Forbes’ list of the “Best Employers for Women” in 2018.
Hiring and retaining diverse faculty is hot topic in higher ed. Colleges are under fierce pressure from students to diversify their faculty and staff members, and higher ed leaders are discussing ways to banish bias from campus and grow a pool of diverse applicants.
For instance, in 2016, Brown University announced that they would invest $100 million into a comprehensive diversity plan to be implemented over the next decade. The program seeks to not only expand Brown’s focus on race, ethnicity, and social justice, but also double the number of faculty from underrepresented groups by 2022.
“Administrators that go out and recruit and hire and make diversity a part of their strategic planning are going to fare better than those who do not,” argues Jerome Williams, executive vice chancellor and provost at Rutgers University-Newark. “Otherwise, you are going to send a message to many students that this particular school might not be the one for them” (Valet, Forbes, 1/15 ; Valet, Forbes, 1/15 ).