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The best companies to work for as rated by Black employees

Black professionals face workplace bias
Black professionals face workplace bias 01:49

Black employees at Apple, Bank of America, Capital One and Starbucks give high marks to the workplace culture at the companies, according to a report from Glassdoor that offers a sense of how minority workers are faring at some of America's best-known corporations.

The analysis of company ratings and ethnicity appears at a time when major companies, including Microsoft, Wells Fargo and Salesforce, have publicly vowed to increase diversity hiring and make their workplaces more welcoming to workers of color. Glassdoor researchers said their report, released Thursday, highlights companies that are making good on their commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Of the 28 companies analyzed in the report, Apple scored the highest rating, 4.2 out 5.0, from employees who self-identify as Black or African American. About 9% of the California tech giant's workforce is Black, according to company data from 2018. Bank of America got the second-highest score at 4.0, followed by Starbucks and Capital One (both 3.9). 

Employees rated the companies based on how equitable they think their pay practices are, opportunity for promotion and other criteria. 

"A stark reality of workplace culture is that not all employees experience culture in the same way," the Glassdoor report states. "The experiences of different demographic groups inside companies — employees of different races/ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation and more — are not all the same."

Bank of America said 45% of its U.S. workforce are people of color, of which 13% are Black. At Starbucks, Black Americans represent 8%of the total workforce, according to 2020 data. Black men and women made up 6% and 14%, respectively, of the total workforce at Capital One in 2019.

The Glassdoor survey also tallied ratings from Black employees at Amazon, Best Buy, IBM, Lowe's, McDonald's and other widely known brands. CVS Health, Macy's, Walgreen's and the U.S. Postal Service received the lowest ratings from Black employees, according to the report.

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CVS Health regularly conducts internal employee surveys about job satisfaction, the company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. 

"We are proud of the consistently high scores that result from our surveys and we strive to continuously improve them," CVS Health spokesman Mike DeAngelis said. "We also have a strong commitment to advance employee programs and initiatives designed to attract, grow and develop Black/African American employees." 

USPS said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch that it's company policy "to promote the diversity and inclusion of our employees, the customers we serve, and the suppliers we do business with." 

The parent company of Walgreens said it is already taking steps to address the Glassdoor findings.

"At Walgreens Boots Alliance, diversity, equity and inclusion is a top priority and at the core of everything we do. In order to do it right, we have taken a simple but meaningful approach: We're listening and responding. While the survey results are disappointing, our executive teams have participated in listening sessions with Black employees, managers and leaders on their experiences, views and feelings. Together, we are taking action to address their feedback," the company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

Macy's also said it is working to enhance its diversity and inclusion practices.

"While we do the work to become a more inclusive organization – setting concrete goals within five key focus areas: our customers, our colleagues, our suppliers, our community and our marketing – we continue to challenge ourselves to listen better and do much more," the retailer said in a statement. "We regularly conduct culture pulse surveys with our nearly 90,000 colleagues and measure this sentiment closely to guide our actions. Diversity and inclusion are essential to Macy's culture and core values."

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One additional finding from the Glassdoor report centers on how Black employees' rating of employers compared to the company's overall score among all workers, said Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain, who led the survey. For example, Amazon received a 3.2 rating from Black employees in the survey compared to a 3.9 overall. Macy's received a 2.7 from Black employees but a 3.4 overall. 

The disparity suggests Black employees are less satisfied at work compared to co-workers of other ethnicities, Chamberlain said. "It shows in an undeniable way that the lived experience is not the same for all employees inside a company," he said. "This has always been the case, but it has been hard to measure."

Although some companies fared better than others, Glassdoor said the survey results help job seekers and employers alike. Higher-rated companies like Apple could use the data for marketing campaigns and to recruit more diverse talent, said Stephanie Felix, Glassdoor's senior manager for diversity and inclusion. 

Job seekers — particularly those of color — can use the survey when picking which companies to apply for work, she said.

"If we put the data out there, people will have a better understanding of what's happening at these organizations," Felix said. 

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