Over the past two years, the focus on racial disparities has put a spotlight on several industries. The impact of Covid-19 on the lives and livelihoods of Black families has raised questions about healthcare equity. The economic fallout for Black workers and Black-owned businesses has once again illustrated the need for financial inclusion and access to capital. Meanwhile, remote learning has turned attention to the disparities in resources and academic outcomes for students in underserved communities.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that those sectors have been laggards in embracing the importance of racial diversity in serving the underserved. However, the devastating impact of Covid-19, combined with heightened attention to racial inequities following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, appears to be having some impact. Although far from sufficient, those sectors made the greatest gains in addressing one of the key factors in advancing representation in Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity.
This year’s list features a higher proportion of companies in banking and financial services, the healthcare and social sector, and education. Each sector increased its presence on the 500-company list, with each making up 8% of the list versus 6% last year.
“The impact of Covid-19 took the world by storm and revealed the magnitude of inequalities that exist in communities of color, especially Black- and minority-owned businesses,” John Patton, head of U.S. diversity and inclusion at TD Bank, told Forbes in an email. “To stay on track and continue on our path to diversify talent across the organization, we’ve enhanced our focus on diversity and inclusion and we report on our progress annually as part of our Environment, Social and Governance Reporting suite.”
This commitment helped earn TD Bank No. 9 on our fifth annual list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to survey 60,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees and pinpoint the companies they identified as most dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. Respondents were asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation equality, as well as that of general diversity. More than 10,000 companies were reviewed and roughly 2,000 were given a diversity score, which takes into account surveys of a firm’s diverse employees and its publicly disclosed information about representation.