Three N.J. firms make Best 50 list for diversity

Three New Jersey-based companies made the Black Enterprise 50 Best Companies for Diversity list.

ADP Inc. (in Roseland), Prudential Financial (Newark) and Merck & Co. Inc. (Kenilworth) were all selected by the magazine.

“At a time when African-American executive talent is more abundant than ever, corporations should willingly embrace our inclusion to drive their performance,” Black Enterprise CEO and President Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. said in a release.

“The strength of our nation is in its diversity. In order for America to fully realize its potential, African-Americans and other minorities must be an integral part of that equation — period.”

Companies on the list that are not headquartered in New Jersey but have a strong presence in the state include: Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, JLL, Verizon and Comcast.

Black Enterprise selected the list in collaboration with The Executive Leadership Council, a leading organization of black senior managers.

According to the release, the 50 companies recognize the value of the link between diversity and engagement, which is driven by corporate leadership at the highest level.

The list has been compiled annually since 2005.

The selection process starts with surveys to the nation’s top 1,000 publicly traded companies, as well as to the 100 leading global companies with strong U.S. operations.

The final list includes those that showed a commitment to diversifying its ranks in four areas: employee base, senior management, procurement and board of directors.

Companies also were chosen by their programs created to nurture and maintain a diverse professional space. Surveys didn’t simply focus on black inclusion, but ethnic-minority groups as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Supporting criteria used to finalize the list included efforts directed toward women, people with disabilities, veterans and the LGBT community.

Rita Mitjans, chief diversity and corporate social responsibility officer at ADP, said being on the list means the company is positioned to succeed in today’s business climate.

“In today’s tight labor market, if you’re not focused on diversity, you’re overlooking key groups of skilled workers,” she said in a release. “Both internally at ADP and in our relationships with external partners, diversity and inclusion are embedded in our business practices. We know that it takes diverse perspectives to drive successful business outcomes.”

Black Enterprise, founded in 1970, describes itself as the “ultimate source for wealth creation” and as the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans.