For-profit

DiversityInc

Formation:

1997

Founder:

Luke Visconti

DiversityInc is a for-profit company which focuses on promoting sex and ethnic diversity in the corporate workspace. It was founded in 1997 by Luke Visconti, who continued as chairman as of April 19, 2020. [1] Since 2001, the company has held an annual diversity awards dinner in which it honored the “most diverse” corporations with at least 1,000 U.S.-based employees. [2]

DiversityInc has formally been under the umbrella of Allegiant Media, which was also founded by Visconti. [3] Its CEO is Carolynn Johnson. [4]

At least two percent of the company’s gross revenues go to its non-profit foundation, DiversityInc Foundation, to provide scholarships to three educational institutions. The company is also aligned with a number of left-leaning advocacy organizations. [5]

Mission & History

DiversityInc’s mission is to highlight and promote left-leaning versions of diversity within corporate America based on sex, race, and ethnicity. Its work is primarily done through DiversityInc.com, the DiversityInc Best Practices site, and its DiversityInc Top 50 competition, through which it identifies the “most diverse” corporations which employ at least 1,000 Americans domestically. [6]

Founded in 1997 by Luke Visconti, DiversityInc endorses left-wing identity politics concepts such as “implicit bias,” the largely rejected[7] term “Latinx,” aggressive policing of so-called microaggressions, and opposition to gender-based professional dress standards. [8] [9] [10]

DiversityInc has also held events focused on women of color and supplier diversity. The first “Women of Color and Their Allies” event was held in October 2018. [11] The 2019 event’s keynote speaker was Kimberle Crenshaw, a professor of law who claims that white privilege and racism are dominant in America, backs abortion as part of sex equality, and coined the term “intersectionality,” which is often used by left-leaning academics, media, and politicians to claim cross-over between various minority groups which are allegedly and actually oppressed. [12] [13]

DiversityInc’s supplier diversity awards have been given to corporations which specifically back diversity as a key component of which supply vendors they hire. [14]

DiversityInc Top 50

The DiversityInc Top 50 awards assess six areas of corporate diversity based upon surveys filled out by corporations which compete for the awards. [15] Companies are graded upon factors such as:

  • Overall workforce diversity, including but not limited to management, senior management, top 10 percent paid staff, and promotions.
  • Senior leadership and the creation of diversity-specific departments.
  • Employee resources which are designed to promote diversity and the rise of non-white non-males through the company, including but not limited to diversity training, company benefits, and company practices.
  • The diversity of suppliers and practices which are designed to create more supplier diversity.
  • Finally, non-profit donations which are targeted to “people from underrepresented groups,” company matching donation policies, and employee volunteering policies.

The awards are given to both overall left-leaning diversity as well as diversity in specific areas and industries. The 2019 lists, for example, included but were not limited to lists of regional companies, utility companies, and companies with qualified talent acquisition practices, policies for disabled and LGBT-identified employees, focuses on women of color and executive women, and veterans. The largest specialty list in 2019 was LGBT-focused, with 34 companies on the list. [16] Tickets to the 2019 dinner started at $1,499. [17]

The annual DiversityInc Top 50 awards dinner draws hundreds of attendees from winner companies. The 2020 event’s agenda included presentations from academics and corporate leaders, as well as a presentation by Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling on gun control. [18] Northwell Health has donated one million dollars to restricting legal access to firearms. The company also held a gun control-specific forum in December 2019. [19]

The awards themselves are widely supported by large corporations. Over 30 large corporations, such as AT&T, Cigna, and Hershey, sponsored the 2020 dinner. [20] Companies regularly announce being placed on the list. [21]

DiversityInc features 30 “partners” which each pay $250,000 for promotion of partner work in diversity and other areas of importance. Each partner is a corporate entity, such as Beoing, ADP, and TD Bank. [22]

DiversityInc charitable donations go to groups with which it has “philanthropic alliances.” The groups, which include the aggressive LGBT-interest campaign group GLSEN, are primarily racial, ethnic, and gender-based, and include a number of educational and business entities. [23]

DiversityInc Foundation

The non-profit DiversityInc Foundation receives funding from the DiversityInc’s revenue and Visconti’s speaking fees. The Foundation provides scholarship funding to low-income college students at Bennett College for Women, New Jersey City University, and Rutgers University. Bennett College is a historically black college, New Jersey City University focuses on Hispanic and other ethnic-minority efforts, and all three institutions have connections to Visconti, who is a trustee of Bennett and Rutgers, and sits on the foundation board of NJ City University. [24]

The Foundation received over $483,000 in 2017. That year, no money was given to Bennett College; the Smithsonian Institution, the National Organization on Disability, and other organizations received funding. A combined $300,000 was given to NJ City University and Rutgers out of $481,000 donated. [25]

Leadership

DiversityInc Board Chairman Luke Visconti founded the company in 1997 and grew it to include the DiversityInc Top 50 in 2001. He also founded the company’s parent, Allegiant Media. Visconti formally stepped down as CEO in 2018. [26]

Visconti is also heavily involved in diversity work beyond his company. He is vice chairman of the National Organization of Disability, is on a board for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and is special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations for talent development and diversity. Visconti previously served for almost 10 years in the U.S. military, including eight years on active duty, and since leaving the military served on the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel to promote diversity.

Visconti’s written work includes endorsement of “white privilege” and the idea that non-minorities (such as Han Chinese in China and whites in America) cannot properly understand racism. [27]

DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson served as the company’s chief operating officer for 16 years before taking the top spot in May 2019. She previously worked in marketing for two companies and has a MBA from Rutgers. She is also director of the DiversityInc Foundation and on the National Board of Directors for the corporate diversity internship group INROADS. [28] Johnson has described herself as “an angry black woman.” [29] She also endorses intersectionality and a “glass ceiling” among female executives. [30] She is a member of a number of racial-specific groups such as the NAACP, the National Black MBA Association, and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. [31]

Chris Parker is Director of Research and Data Analytics. He previously worked in corporate statistics and was a professor of psychology. [32]

Niraj Kataria is DiversityInc’s Chief Client Engagement and Marketing Officer. His background includes entrepreneurial activity in the corporate diversity space. He was DiversityInc’s chairman. [33]

Financials

Because it is a privately-held company, DiversityInc is not legally required to disclose financial information. It did announce that it donated 4.6 percent of its revenues to the DiversityInc Foundation in 2012, which totaled $329,875. [34] [35] This would suggest that the company’s revenues were about $7.2 million that year.

References

  1. DiversityInc Staff, “DiversityInc Founder and Chairman Luke Visconti,” March 08, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/lukevisconti/ ^
  2. DiversityInc, About Top 50 Overview. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/about-the-diversityinc-top-50-process/ ^
  3. Martha R. A. Fields, Indispensable employees: How to hire them, how to keep them, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2001. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://books.google.com/books?id=SaB2DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT252&lpg=PT252&dq=luke+visconti+allegiant+media&source=bl&ots=apFVyywz0y&sig=ACfU3U2E6gcmLW6y3RgM_3a96TaEVIMPwQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjcjJvHnPToAhVFlHIEHQgjDy8Q6AEwBHoECAsQKQ#v=onepage&q=luke%20visconti%20allegiant%20media&f=false ^
  4. DiversityInc, About. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/about/ ^
  5. DiversityInc, About. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/about/ ^
  6. DiversityInc, About. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/about/ ^
  7. Soave, Robby. “Survey: Only 2% of Hispanics Prefer the Politically Correct Term ‘Latinx’.” Reason.com. Reason, November 4, 2019. https://reason.com/2019/11/04/latinx-poll-think-now-hispanics-2020-woke/. ^
  8. Katherine Lewin, “Companies work to identify and disarm implicit bias,” March 03, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/companies-work-to-identify-and-disarm-implicit-bias/ ^
  9. Katherine Lewin, “More LGBTQ+ employees comfortable expressing sexuality, gender at work,” February 13, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/more-lgbtq-employees-comfortable-expressing-sexuality-gender-at-work/ ^
  10. Olivia Riggio, “‘Being black in corporate America’: Study offers detailed data on black professionals’ experiences,” December 11, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/being-black-in-corporate-america-study-offers-detailed-data-on-black-professionals-experiences/ ^
  11. DiversityInc Staff, “Women of color and their allies,” October 08, 2018. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/women-of-color-and-their-allies-2/ ^
  12. Reproductive Health Access Project, “Black History Month: Kimberle Crenshaw,” February 08, 2018. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.reproductiveaccess.org/2018/02/black-history-month-kimberle-crenshaw/ ^
  13. PR Newswire press release, “DiversityInc hosts conference to address challenges women of color face in corporate America,” September 19, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/diversityinc-hosts-conference-to-address-challenges-women-of-color-face-in-corporate-america-300922030.html ^
  14. DiversityInc Staff, “Taking supplier diversity to the next level,” August 05, 2012. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/taking-supplier-diversity-to-the-next-level/ ^
  15. DiversityInc, About Top 50 Overview. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/about-the-diversityinc-top-50-process/ ^
  16. DiversityInc, “The 2019 DiversityInc top 50 companies for diversity.” Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/the-2019-top-50-diversityinc/ ^
  17. Bizzabo, “2019 DiversityInc top 50 announcement event.” Accessed April 20, 2020. https://events.bizzabo.com/2019_Top50_event/home ^
  18. Bizzabo, “Tue May 05.” Accessed April 20, 2020. https://events.bizzabo.com/215266/agenda ^
  19. John Commins, “Northwell CEO pledges $1M toward gun violence prevention,” December 26, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/clinical-care/northwell-ceo-pledges-1m-toward-gun-violence-prevention ^
  20. Bizzabo, “Featured sponsors.” Accessed April 20, 2020. https://events.bizzabo.com/215266/page/1421529/sponsors ^
  21. Google search results, “diversityinc top 50 businesswire.” Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS873US873&sxsrf=ALeKk02KRad3paeGcUarw6RECIBBh4Qnng%3A1587379743819&ei=H36dXvq-Mc6oytMPgfCN4Ac&q=diversityinc+top+50+businesswire&oq=diversityinc+top+50+businesswire&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzIHCCEQChCgATIHCCEQChCgAToECAAQRzoHCAAQFBCHAjoECAAQQzoCCAA6BQgAEM0COgUIIRCgAToFCCEQqwJQ_VJY_2hg4mloAnACeACAAYkBiAG8DJIBBDMuMTGYAQCgAQGqAQdnd3Mtd2l6&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwi6yoOu6vboAhVOlHIEHQF4A3wQ4dUDCAw&uact=5 ^
  22. DiversityInc, “Featured partners.” Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/featured-partners/ ^
  23. DiversityInc, About. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/about/ ^
  24. DiversityInc Staff, “The DiversityInc Foundation,” July 18, 2011. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/diversityincfoundation/ ^
  25. ProPublica, DiversityInc Foundation 2017 990-PF. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/204664985/01_2019_prefixes_01-20%2F204664985_201712_990PF_2019012816035659 ^
  26. DiversityInc Staff, “DiversityInc Founder and Chairman Luke Visconti,” March 08, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/lukevisconti/ ^
  27. Luke Visconti, Main Website Page. Accessed April 20, 2020. http://lukevisconti.com/ ^
  28. DiversityInc Staff, “DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson,” June 19, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/diversityinc-ceo-carolynn-johnson/ ^
  29. Selena Hill, “An honest conversation about race in the workplace,” July 20, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.blackenterprise.com/honest-conversation-race-workplace/ ^
  30. Donna Cope, “Power moves: DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson tells why diversity and inclusion benefit businesses,” February 26, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://alabamanewscenter.com/2020/02/26/power-moves-diversityinc-ceo-carolynn-johnson-tells-why-diversity-and-inclusion-benefit-businesses/ ^
  31. LinkedIn, Carolynn Johnson profile, Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolynn-l-johnson-mba-80012b1 ^
  32. LinkedIn, Chris Parker profile, Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-parker-454476?trk=org-employees_profile-result-card_result-card_full-click ^
  33. LinkedIn, Niraj Kataria profile, Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/niraj-kataria-2014b6?trk=org-employees_profile-result-card_result-card_full-click ^
  34. DiversityInc Staff, “The DiversityInc Foundation,” July 18, 2011. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.diversityinc.com/diversityincfoundation/ ^
  35. ProPublica, DiversityInc Foundation 2012 990-PF. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/204664985/2013_12_PF%2F20-4664985_990PF_201212 ^
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