Forbes Ranks Kent State Nation’s Top University for Diversity Employment

Kent State University has the distinction of ranking among the top five companies nationwide in Forbes recent list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2019.

Kent State ranks No. 4 among 250 companies in 25 industry sectors and No. 1 among universities in the 2019 ranking, which was released last week. Kent State was the only public or private university in Ohio to make the second annual list.

Kent State President Beverly J. Warren received applause as she announced the honor to the campus community Jan. 23 during the university’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

“This is due to the incredible work of so many here at the university and beyond, and I am grateful to you beyond words,” President Warren said.

Kent State’s work in the area of diversity and inclusion has also been recognized by the publication INSIGHT Into Diversity.

In 2018, the university was among a group of institutions named a Diversity Champion for “exemplifying an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities and across academic programs.” The presidents of the institutions were lauded for creating diverse, accessible and inclusive campuses that serve as national models of higher education. 

INSIGHT Into Diversity cited President Warren’s creation of a $1 million fund to support the recruitment of diverse faculty, which has significantly increased the number of hires and tenure-track faculty from underrepresented groups.

Kent State is in excellent company on the Forbes Best Employers for Diversity list. It includes some of Northeast Ohio’s most prominent corporations, with Lubrizol ranking No. 22, Progressive at No. 98 and Cleveland Clinic at No. 125 out of 250 Best Employers for Diversity.

Kent State scored 84.72 on the list, not far behind Ball, a metal packaging company in Broomfield, Colorado, which topped the list with a score of 85.85.

The University of California Irvine, which ranked No. 7, was the only other university that made it to the top 10.

Forbes collaborated with marketing research firm Statista to compile the list by anonymously surveying 50,000 American employees working for the companies.

The surveys asked “respondents to rate their organizations on criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation equality as well as that of general diversity.”

Statista reviewed the responses for “potential diversity gaps.” For example, Statista took into account whether workers from minority groups rated organizations poorly on diversity as opposed to non-minority groups rating the employers highly and the “company’s scores were adjusted accordingly.”

A final list ranks the 500 companies with the most recommendations, the most diverse boards and executive ranks along with the most proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

Learn about Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

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Photo Caption:
Senior Chemist Hari Krishna Bisoyi (left) and Senior Research Fellow Quan Li (right) conduct an experiment in Kent State University’s Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute, located on the campus in Kent, Ohio.

Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield,, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Monday, January 28, 2019 04:48 PM
Updated: Monday, February 06, 2023 01:27 AM
April McClellan-Copeland