Fortune announced this week that Sempra Energy, the parent company of eight principal subsidiaries, including Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), has earned the No. 5 spot on the magazine's annual list of "America's 50 Best Companies for Minorities." This marks the company's fourth consecutive year among the top five of the list, published in the July 9, 2001, issue of Fortune.
The magazine ranked Sempra Energy and the other companies based on 15 different quantitative and qualitative measures from how well minorities are paid to how many are in management, to the diverse suppliers they choose and the charities they support.
"Behind the consistently high diversity rankings of the Sempra Energy companies by Fortune and others over the years are the successful efforts of more than 12,000 employees from a mosaic of cultures and professional backgrounds," said
Stephen L. Baum, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Sempra Energy. "This wide range of expertise improves our bottom line by bringing innovation and helping us to better serve our diverse customer base."
In Fortune's survey, Sempra Energy had a high percentage 47 percent of African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans among its workforce, as well as a similarly high percentage 29 percent among officers and managers.
Minority representation on Sempra Energy's board of directors was 31 percent.
Sempra Energy's results in diversity at the upper ranks of the company were superior to those of its peers on the list, who averaged 23 percent minority participation at the officer and manager level, and 11 percent on the board of directors.
Sempra Energy has been widely recognized for its superior results in achieving a diverse workforce. On Sept. 12, 2000, the U.S. Department of Labor presented the company with an Exemplary Voluntary Efforts (EVE) Award for the quality of its affirmative action programs. This prestigious award is given to just a handful of U.S. organizations each year that have enhanced equal employment opportunity in the workplace without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or status as a service-disabled veteran.
The amount of goods and services that Sempra Energy purchases from minority suppliers also contributed to its high ranking. In 2000, the Sempra Energy companies spent $112 million, or 27 percent of their total purchasing, with minority-, women- and service-disabled-veteran-owned businesses.
In addition, the Sempra Energy companies have hired women- and minority-owned investment firms to manage approximately $100 million in assets for their employees' pension funds.
Sempra Energy's Office of Corporate Diversity Affairs manages employee diversity at the company. This special entity strives to create an environment in which employees of all ethnic backgrounds are valued and can use their unique perspectives to contribute to the business goals of the company. Sempra Energy also has a dedicated team that manages supplier diversity. The team conducts outreach programs and mentors minority-, women- and service-disabled-veteran-owned businesses, helping Sempra Energy reduce costs, bring innovation and provide customers with the best products and services at competitive prices.