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Top 50 Companies for Diversity list features eight from N.J.

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The top company for diversity in 2014 was No. 1 on DiversityInc's list again in 2015.
The top company for diversity in 2014 was No. 1 on DiversityInc's list again in 2015. - ()

When it comes to corporate diversity efforts, New Jersey can hold its head high. DiversityInc announced the results of its annual Top 50 Companies for Diversity on Thursday night, and Garden State firms were well-represented on the list.

Eight New Jersey companies made the Top 40, including three in the Top 10 and one earning the No. 1 overall spot — for the second year in a row.

East Hanover-based Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation was the big name, finishing first for the second consecutive year, as well as earning a “special award” as the Top Company for Diversity-Management Progress.

“This honor recognizes the passion and commitment of our associates who make diversity and inclusion an integral part of their daily work,” Rhonda Crichlow, Novartis vice president and head of U.S. diversity and inclusion, said in a prepared statement. “Diversity and inclusion is completely aligned with what matters most to us — using sustainable business practices to meet the current and future needs of our customers, and keeping patients at the center of everything we do.”

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Novartis also ranked first on DiversityInc’s list in 2014.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as the top company by DiversityInc again this year,” Christi Shaw, president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and president of Novartis Corporation, said in a statement. “We believe that diversity and inclusion are directly linked to achieving our goals of creating solutions that help patients manage their diseases and live fuller, healthier lives. Encouraging diversity and inclusion helps us create a culture where people can be authentic and courageous, where collaboration can flourish and where greater patient and customer understanding can drive future breakthroughs and innovations.”

Luke Visconti, CEO of Princeton-based DiversityInc, said: “Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation becomes the first company to ever be No. 1 two years in a row. This is a remarkable achievement. Under the leadership of President Christi Shaw and U.S. D&I head Rhonda Crichlow, the company has developed a remarkable pipeline for underrepresented groups, especially women, who comprise 60 percent of Christi’s direct reports.”

Prudential Financial, based in Newark, ranked eighth on the list, with New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson just one spot behind. They also finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in 2014.

DiversityInc pointed out that Prudential has made the list every year, while J&J has made the list for nine years in a row.

Merck & Co., based in Kenilworth — No. 16 — and ADP, based in Roseland — No. 20 — also earned places in the top half of the list. In addition, Merck was named the Top Company for Employee Resource Groups.

While Merck slipped from a No. 14 ranking in 2014, ADP rose from the No. 24 spot.

Other New Jersey companies earning spots in the ranking included:

  • No. 28: BASF, based in Florham Park (No. 26 in 2014);
  • No. 29: Wyndham Worldwide, based in Parsippany, which also was named Top Company for Supplier Diversity (jumping 10 spots from No. 39 in 2014);
  • No. 39: TD Bank, based in Cherry Hill (No. 45 in 2014).

DiversityInc also ranked some specialized companies in 2015, and New Jersey acquitted itself nicely there, as well.

  • Merck, for instance, ranked No. 1 on the Top 10 Companies for Employee Resource Groups, and Novartis was No. 7 on the same list;
  • Novartis ranked No. 2 on the Top 10 Companies for Recruitment, with Prudential one spot behind at No. 3 and Johnson & Johnson coming in at No. 9;
  • Prudential was No. 2 on the Top 10 Companies for Veterans;
  • Prudential also was No. 2 on the Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities, and Merck was No. 6;
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey was No. 3 on the Top 10 Regional Companies;
  • Wyndham was No. 4 on the Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity, No. 6 on the Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity and No. 7 on the Top 10 Companies for Diversity Councils;
  • Prudential also made the Top 10 Companies for Mentoring list, at No. 10.

DiversityInc said that, for this year’s edition of the survey, it studied 1,600 companies with more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees, then assessed them based on four key areas: talent pipeline, equitable talent development, CEO/leadership commitment and supplier diversity. It first started ranking companies in 2001.

To view the entire 2015 Top 50, click here.

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