The Top 10 Most Transparent Companies In America

Since 2020, there has been sustained pressure from stakeholders including investors, shareholders, employees, regulators, and the American public urging public companies to disclose more details about their human capital management.

DiversIQ’s Transparency Score measures the level of companies’ public disclosure of quantitative human capital and DEI metrics on a scale of 0-100 across four categories: Board of Directors (20), Workforce Representation (50), Employee Development (20), and Pay Equity (10). Essentially, it’s the % of metrics a company discloses of the total they are expected to disclose.

Across our entire coverage universe of the S&P 1500 and Russell 1000, the average transparency score is 33.1 – here is the breakdown by category:

  • Board of Directors: 10/20
  • Workforce Representation: 19/50
  • Employee Development: 3.5/20
  • Pay Equity: 0.6/10

Not surprisingly, scores are higher at larger companies, as stakeholders started with the S&P 100, then moved to the S&P 500, and are now engaging small and mid-size companies:

  • S&P 100: 52.7
  • S&P 500: 45.3
  • Russell 1000: 36.6

Some areas have seen tremendous progress:

  • Disclosure of EEO-1 data (which makes up 20% of the workforce score), has gone from just over 10% of the S&P 500 to 81.2% as this has become essentially mandatory for large companies because so many of their stakeholders are demanding it.
  • The overall board disclosure score for our coverage universe has tripled since 2020, driven by a combination of regulatory action and stakeholder engagement—bills passed in California and Illinois, the Nasdaq Board Diversity Rule, and the largest investors in the world (BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard) all requiring disclosure and/or thresholds of diversity. The expectation is for companies to at least report the intersectional makeup of their board by gender and race/ethnicity.

Some areas are still developing and emerging—pay gap reporting and hiring, promotion, and turnover data by gender and race/ethnicity is becoming more prevalent and we expect significant progress in the next couple of years, but this is still pretty sparse for the majority of companies.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 most transparent companies in our coverage universe:

  • Edison International 87
  • American Water Works 84
  • Union Pacific 83
  • M&T Bank 83
  • Dow 79
  • BNY Mellon 77
  • Principal Financial Group 77
  • PayPal Holdings 76
  • General Motors 75.5
  • NVIDIA 74.8

M&T Bank sets the standard for the combination of workforce diversity and employee development data. They are the only company we have seen that discloses representation by level and hires, promotions, and turnover data by gender, race/ethnicity, age, disability, lgbtq+, and veterans, allowing for a complete and granular insight into the funnel of who they are attracting, retaining, and developing.

Hannon Armstrong, a new addition to our coverage universe, is 1 of only 7 companies with a perfect transparency score when it comes to disclosure of board of directors, disclosing characteristics of each director in the skills matrix in their latest proxy statement.

BNY Mellon is 1 of only 18 companies that discloses both adjusted and raw median pay gaps for women and people of color—they have annually published the results of their pay equity study since 2017, and receive top marks in Arjuna Capital’s latest Racial and Gender Pay scorecard. Watch Arjuna’s webinar from October to here why pay equity is considered a competitive advantage at BNY.

Stay tuned as we will be digging much deeper into transparency and disclosure trends and summarizing proxy season with a whitepaper and webinar in June.

New Reports From S&P 500 Companies

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First-time EEO-1 Reports

Updated EEO-1 Reports
DaVita EEO-1 Report 2022
Sempra Corporate Sustainability Report 2023 (embedded)
Zimmer Biomet EEO-1 Report 2022

DEI Reports/Data
Caterpillar Diversity & Inclusion Report 2023
Colgate-Palmolive DEI Report 2024
ServiceNow Diversity Report 2024
Southwest Airlines Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report 2023

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