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Rainbow Push Coalition rates big 3 automakers on diversity and inclusion

Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 17:20:58-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The words “diversity” and “inclusion” have been used in many industries, including the automotive.

Reverend Jesse Jackson is in Detroit at the Motor City Casino for the Rainbow Push Automotive Summit. At the summit, score cards were passed out showing ratings in green, yellow and red for automotive companies.

Green is a good rating and it seems Toyota and Ford got high ratings.

“We are concerned that there has been some major progress, but not nearly enough,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson.

One of the topics on the forefront, summit organizers say, is the growing disparity in market growth for African Americans and other minority suppliers, dealers and professionals in the automotive industry.

They handed out the score card assessing diversity practices among 12 car companies using six categories like employment, advertising, dealers and philanthropy.

Toyota and Ford received higher marks reflected in the green dots, while Kia and Volkswagen had the most yellow or red dots.

In the "Dealers" row, GM is the only company with a green dot, meaning they have some of the best diversity practices when it comes to minority-owned dealerships.

Marc Bland is an automotive analyst and the Chief Diversity Officer of IHS Markit. He says for companies to bring in dollars and cents, it make sense to invest in diversity and inclusion.

“Not just automotive but to all industries, if start every meeting with the thought of what are we doing today to align ourselves with the future of tomorrow that will ensure you the best opportunity to have a sustainable business in the future,” Bland explained.

We reached out to Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler and all three companies emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Ford Motor Company:
“We are working to become the most inclusive and diverse global company. We know that developing and retaining a diverse workforce builds a strong leadership pipeline and a strong business. We want Ford to be a place where employees can be themselves and do their best work.”

General Motors:
“Ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce is a critical business imperative, and we treat it that way. Diversity promotes fresh, innovative thinking that translates into a competitive advantage across our ecosystem, which in turn translates into winning products and services for our customers. It’s just the right thing to do.”

FCA statement:
"FCA US has a longstanding, enterprise-wide commitment to diversity and inclusion, and our efforts are ongoing.

The Company promotes a work culture where all employees are engaged, included and respected and is committed to recruiting and developing diverse talent that reflect the communities in which our products are sold.

Among the Company’s many accomplishments, the editors of Diversity Inc magazine have named FCA US to the magazine's list of Top 50 or Noteworthy Companies eleven times since the benchmark was established. This is considered among the annual benchmarks that recognize the best diversity-management leadership companies in the U.S."

Reverend Jackson says if companies don’t focus on diversity, minorities will spend their money at businesses that do.

“They must determine that they want to equalize the playing field," he said. "They have legal challenges to do so but they are going to have economic pressures to do so as well."

To help the next generation get into the automotive industry, Rainbow Push offers STEM related scholarships.

To learn more about that, go to: https://rainbowpush.org/