Such figures serve as an important reminder: Although corporate America has played a major part in moving the nation's diversity needle, plenty of work remains.
"Very often, when we talk about this issue, we ask, 'What is the future going to look like?'" Carmen Van Kerckhove, president of the diversity-education firm, New Demographic, told HispanicBusiness Magazine. "Certainly that's valid. By 2050, whites will actually be a minority. But unfortunately, most workplaces simply do not reflect the general population of today, particularly as you go higher up the corporate hierarchy."
Even among the Elite 60, diversity in management positions lags far behind the makeup of the general population.
On average, for instance, 7.2 percent of the managers at any given Diversity Elite company in 2008 were Hispanic, according to the survey.
Studies show that encouraging workplace diversity isn't just about being socially responsible. It also drives the bottom line.
Keenly aware of this phenomenon is MGM Mirage, the second largest gaming corporation in the world. MGM's hotel and casino presence is expanding not only nationally, but also globally. This year, the company rose seven notches on HispanicBusiness Magazine's diversity index, to No. 24
At MGM, where 62 percent of the employees are minorities, a wall in the main building is adorned with a giant map containing thousands of pushpins, marking the hometown of every employee. By necessity, it's a world map.
"I think it's fair to say we probably have people from all the continents," Phyllis A. James, the company's senior vice president and senior counsel, told HispanicBusiness Magazine.
At MGM, where 14 percent of the managers are Hispanic, all employees wear a badge displaying not only their name, but also their hometown.
Such efforts can go a long way, not only for optimizing workplace morale, but also for bettering business.
"We have customers who come from all over the world, so it's very important for us to have a workforce that has the capability of relating to a highly diverse customer base," Ms. James said.
What's more, the company's business partners are increasingly multicultural and international.
In 2005, the company embarked on a $700 million expansion of Connecticut's Foxhood Resort Casino in partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. MGM also has projects springing up in China, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
But MGM's most spectacular development is happening right in the heart of the Vegas strip. That's the CityCenter, a gargantuan mixed-use complex on 76 acres that, when completed later this year, will constitute the largest privately financed development in the United States. This, too, has an international component: The $11 billion project is jointly funded by the Dubai World, the investment arm of the Dubai government.
Another company with its eye on diversity's prize is Macy's department store, which this year ranked No. 14 on the Diversity Elite list.
Like MGM, Macy's understands that diversity consciousness is sound business policy, plain and simple.
"Seventeen of our top 20 markets are already minority-majority," Corliss Fong, the company's vice president for diversity strategies, told HispanicBusiness Magazine.
To reflect this diversity, nearly half of the employees at Macy's -- and a third of all the managers -- are minorities.
Fong said the concept of diversity is embedded in the DNA of the company, not a mere perfunctory "program."
"To me, that is like a full relationship," Mr. Fong said. "It's more than just writing a check."
In Baldwin Hills, near Los Angeles, Macy's houses a museum on African- American history, which last year hosted a "Civil Rights Walk of Fame" showcasing the shoes of Civil Rights leaders.
This year's company posting the biggest improvement was Wells Fargo Bank, when its Diversity Elite ranking leapt to second place from 16th.
Despite the one-year boost, Wells Fargo executives say the company's diversity awareness is nothing new. Indeed, the company's tradition of publishing Spanish-language advertisements and hiring bilingual agents dates back to its founding in 1852, according to company literature.
"I'd like to think what we have done is continue to tell our story internally and externally," said Patricia Crawford, the company's senior vice president for diversity and inclusion. "That's the goal: do it right and continue to do it, and over time it will manifest itself."
In 2008, Ms. Crawford said, 20 percent of the company's new hires were Hispanic.
Sound diversity strategy isn't just about hiring and marketing. It's also about supplier diversity.
One company with a good recent track record on supplier diversity is the bruised and battered Chrysler LLC. In 2008, 16 percent of the company's total purchasing budget was allocated to minority suppliers. That amounts to $3.8 billion.
Still, the company was lambasted by critics this spring for closing down a large number of minority dealers.
Mike Palese, Chrysler's manager of corporate communications, said the company has had to make wrenching decisions just to survive.
"While we have slid back a little bit the size of our minority dealership pool, the size of the minority-dealership portion of the overall dealer population actually increased slightly," he told HispanicBusiness Magazine. "You could say we pretty much held our own."
Also a telling indicator of a company's commitment to diversity is the face of its leadership.
Once again, Southern California Edison fared well on this measure: Its 12-member board of directors includes two Hispanic members: France Cordova and Luis Nogales.
Bank of America, meanwhile, made a newsworthy milestone on this front, electing its first African-American board chairman, the physicist Walter Massey.
Speaking with HispanicBusiness Magazine, BofA diversity executives Jose Garcia and Geri Thomas said although Massey is the bank's first African- American chairman, the bank has a long tradition of diversity appreciation.
Thomas, an African-American woman, is the company's senior vice- president of Human Resources and Global Diversity. She began her career while working at the bank in customer support in 1970, while a resident of Atlanta.
"I came to work after my freshman year in college," she told HispanicBusiness Magazine. "It was supposed to be a summer job. It has been a long summer."
Mr. Garcia, now the senior vice-president of diversity and inclusion, was hired in 1985 as an accountant, long before the bank had established its Hispanic affinity group -- which he co-founded.
"We have always taken pride in how diverse we are," he said.
Most Popular Stories
- NSA Defends Global Cellphone Tracking Legality
- Ad Counts Rise in 2013 for Hispanic Magazines
- Top Websites for U.S. Hispanics
- Networks Vie for U.S. Hispanic TV Viewers
- Saab Gets Back into the Game; U.S. Auto Sales Soar
- Apple Activates Customer-Tracking iBeacon
- Dell Offers Undisclosed Number of Employee Buyouts
- 2013 Tech Gift Guide: iPad Mini Still Hot; Chromecast a Great Low-Cost Option
- Authorities Close to Deal with JPMorgan Chase over Madoff Response
- A Biography of Jonathan Ive, Apple's Creative Chief