Ford's diversity efforts lauded by Rainbow/PUSH
Ford Motor Co. received the top ratings among 12 automakers surveyed for ethnic diversity and inclusion efforts by Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
Ford received high marks in five of six categories, topping Toyota, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for the best performance, the group said in a Friday news release. Mercedes-Benz, which did not complete the survey, was given the lowest marks of any automaker.
“The only way to achieve a meaningful return on investment for the dollars we spend with auto companies is to measure our progress on fair trade, because what is measured is what matters,” Jackson said in a statement.
The Automotive Diversity Scorecard rates each automaker green, yellow, or red in six categories: employment, advertising, marketing, procurement, dealers and philanthropy.
Green ratings reflect what Rainbow/PUSH called the “best practices for ethnic diversity,” while red ratings indicate “diversity initiatives and investments” that are “non-existent.”
Ford received green ratings in five of the six categories, falling short only in the dealers category, where it received a yellow.
Toyota had the second-highest number of green ratings at four, down from five in 2013. General Motors, FCA and Honda received three each, Nissan and Hyundai received two each and Volkswagen received one.
No green ratings were awarded to Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Subaru and BMW. Mercedes-Benz received five red marks, the most of any automaker. BMW received three red ratings, while FCA, Kia and Subaru received two and Hyundai received one.
In an email to Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland said the company’s ratings were the result of an “unusual situation” in which the company was moving its U.S. headquarters from Montvale, N.J., to Atlanta as the survey was conducted.
As a result, the automaker was unable to know the composition of its work force since it knew many of its workers would not move with the company, Boland said.
“Unfortunately, the ‘scorecard’ reflects red when data is not available,” Boland said. “We’ll have to live with that but it in no way reflects our commitment or accomplishment in this area.”
Boland said the company spoke with Jackson in February to discuss its situation.
“We have had conversations with Reverend Jackson and his team since then and we will be meeting with him before the end of the year to take him through where we are in a variety of areas,” Boland said.
Mercedes-Benz also was criticized by Rainbow/PUSH in 2013 for not replying to its survey.
Rainbow/PUSH said Jackson and Executive Director Glenda Gill will meet with automakers to discuss the results of the survey and to develop a “road map for progress in diversity and inclusion.”
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