Diversity Markets --> Timely news from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) may be the most significant diversity news to report with this year's "State of Diversity" issue.
The American diversity story could well be evolving to its next stage of development if the leadership of the CPUC, its president and board, is successful in increasing the number of minority- and women-owned business supplier development goals pursued by California's utilities, water companies, telecoms and cable companies. The CPUC would like to see the goals increased as the state's diversity population continues to grow.
Long in development, one of the central achievements of the Commission's diversity advocacy is its reporting system, which measures progress quantitatively in diverse areas of business activity. Unlike the federal government -- which sets goals it then ignores -- the CPUC reports to the state legislature on the levels of progress and achievement, as well as on issues of performance. Furthermore, the commission is not shy about pointing to specific utilities.
We attempt to do the same with our annual report on the "State of Diversity," with some of the nation's leading institutions of higher learning, as well as with 60 leading American corporations. Again, we measure progress in a variety of categories of business activity. In our case, all of the data reporting is voluntary and dependent on the cooperation of participating institutions. I am pleased to report that the level of cooperation increases every year.
Indeed, we have come a long way. Ten years ago, private companies and public institutions would not likely have been as forthcoming in voluntarily providing diversity data. Today, however, among an increasing number of institutions, reporting on diversity achievements is a matter of pride and accepted practice.
In her story about the 2009 Top Schools for Diversity, one of our writers put it best: "Undoubtedly, 2009 will go down as a year of major diversity triumphs. The first African-American president took office and Judge Sonia Sotomayor became the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice."
Our Top Schools report includes some of the nation's most outstanding college brands: Stanford University's School of Medicine, The Georgia Institute of Technology College of Engineering, the University of Texas at San Antonio and The University of New Mexico School of Law.
The Top Companies report is led by the likes of Southern California Edison, Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and Comerica, Inc. -- all outstanding American brands.
"The movement to boost the percentage of supplier diversity contracts could eventually pick up momentum across the country in the coming months," writes Staff Writer Rob Kuznia in his lead story: "Striving for Diversity in the Face of a Recession."
It just might if the CPUC has anything to say about it.
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