Welcome to Diversity Leaders, an inaugural ranking of the extent to which 700 companies in 10 European countries offer a diverse and inclusive workplace.
This exercise, conducted with our research partner Statista, assesses companies’ success in promoting all types of diversity. These include gender balance, openness to all forms of sexual orientation, disability as well as an ethnic and social mix that reflects wider society. We surveyed the performance of 10,000 privately held and publicly listed companies employing at least 250 people in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
(For full methodology, scroll past the ranking)
* (European) Headquarters: managerial centre of the company, either for its global operations or for Europe.
In most cases, headquarters corresponds with the registered main legal address of the company, yet this is not necessarily the case. Ikea, for example, has its legal head office in the Netherlands but many of the administrative functions remain in Sweden where the company was founded.
** manufacturing and retail
The Diversity Leaders 2020 have been identified in an independent survey of more than 80,000 employees across the countries and sectors covered. In addition, Statista sought the opinions of human resources and recruitment experts. A call to evaluate employers was published on FT.com, enabling FT readers to share their views. All respondents were also given the chance to evaluate other prominent employers in their respective industries.
To avoid any perceived conflict of interest, the Financial Times and Statista were excluded from the list of companies eligible to be ranked.
The survey was conducted using online access panels, consisting of representative samples of the workforce in each of the 10 countries (even if companies’ headquarters are shown in the list to be elsewhere).
Without being told the purpose of the exercise, participants were asked which company or institution they worked for. Survey participants were first asked to what extent they thought their employer promoted diversity on a scale from zero to 10. In subsequent questions, employees were prompted to give their opinion on a series of statements surrounding age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation.
The rate of agreement or disagreement regarding the statements was captured by the use of a five-point so-called Likert scale. The surveys took an average of 6-9 minutes to complete in field research conducted between April and August 2019.
To reflect the opinions of under-represented groups, the evaluations of women, the elderly, and the ethnically diverse were weighted significantly higher than others’ views.
The 700 companies receiving the highest total scores made the final list of Diversity Leaders, which we envisage as an annual exercise. We know some will question the methodology chosen for this ambitious first ranking.
Our aim remains to encourage best practice in building workplaces that are genuinely diverse and inclusive. We look forward to your constructive feedback.
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