An in-store Estée Lauder display.

The Estée Lauder Cos. was the only company in the fashion/retail/beauty space to be included in the first Inclusion Index, which recognizes 33 companies for diversity and inclusion best practices.

Diversity Best Practices, a division of Working Mother Media, unveiled the list today, which provides data and insight into how the participating companies fared. They submitted data in three areas: demographic transparency, best practices in diversity and inclusion recruitment, retention and advancement, and company culture.

A total of 33 companies earned a place on the Inclusion Index for achieving 70 percent of the points available. Seven of those companies scored 85 percent of the points available which were Ernst & Young, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, New York Life, Northrop Grumman, Verizon and Wells Fargo. Lauder achieved a score of 70 percent or more, and is among a group of 26 companies that includes Aetna Inc., Anthem Inc., AT&T, Merck & Co. Inc., Visa and Dell.

The study, for example, evaluated companies on their offering of resource/affinity groups for women, men, black, Latino/Latina, Asian, LGBTQ, age/generational groups, employees with disabilities, religious groups, veterans, Native American, working parents/caregivers and special interest groups. It also tracked the percentage of employees who participated in advancement programs such as formal mentoring, leadership development and succession planning, and rated the percentage of employees who participated in diversity and inclusion education.

Deborah Munster, executive director, Diversity Best Practices, said, “The DBP Inclusion Index is the first of its kind to recognize organizations for instituting comprehensive best practices including leadership accountability, transparency in workforce demographics, policy offerings and programs. We applaud the Inclusion Index companies for sharing their data and for their commitment to drive inclusive best practices and improve diversity in their organizations.”

When asked why no fashion or retail, or more beauty companies, were included on the list, Munster told WWD: “The DBP Inclusion Index was created as a fair and transparent assessment that provides organizations with​​ insights into how they are stacking up against strategic best practices that are proven to impact progress. It helps create awareness as to what actions and efforts are needed to drive change, how culture impacts progress and what policies and programs may be lacking. Participating organizations are assessed against transparency, a willingness to track and share representation, and best practices in culture and people processes. We highly encourage industries such as fashion, retail and health to participate since it allows for greater opportunities to get industry specific insights. We have been working for a long time for equity and fair representation. We believe organizations that understand the data and hold themselves accountable for results are making a difference.”

Subha Barry, senior vice president and managing director, Working Mother Media, added, “The war for talent is only going to escalate. Organizations that differentiate themselves and continually look for ways in which to diversity their workforce and create inclusive environments will be in a far better position to compete in the global marketplace.”

Fifty-one companies completed the application online from April 3 to June 10, 2017.

Diversity Best Practices, a division of Working Mother Media, is a leading organization for mid to large-size organization diversity thought leaders to share best practices and develop innovative solutions for culture change.

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