Forbes names UC Davis a Best Employer for Diversity and a Best Employer for Women


The global media company Forbes recently updated two of its lists of “America’s Best Employers,” identifying UC Davis as a Best Employer for Diversity for the fourth consecutive year and a Best Employer for Women for the second consecutive year. In addition to the Top 10 reasons UC Davis is the Best for Diversity, several efforts over the past year have further strengthened inclusivity across the UC Davis community,

UC Davis’ progress is made possible through collaboration from Human Resources and their thought partners in DEI and other departments, creating and facilitating trainings, toolkits, and larger systemwide diversity efforts, such as our Recruiting Diverse Talent in the Hiring Process resources. HR’s Disability Management Services is actively revamping its website to be more inclusive and user-friendly for individuals with disabilities, as well as providing enhanced guidance to help improve accessibility on the university’s hundreds of web pages. 

The You Belong Here campaign, sponsored by UC Davis Talent Acquisition and launched in mid-2022, provides resources, best practices, and support to future UC Davis employees in Sacramento and Yolo counties, with the goal of promoting a workforce that is representative and understanding of the communities it serves. Through its Career Chats program alone, nearly 400 prospective employees have received one-on-one coaching to maximize their potential and success as applicants.

Another standout feature of UC Davis is the presence of Administrative Advisory Committees (AACs) and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that advocate and build community for diverse employee communities. Each year, over 1,500 individuals from UC Davis and UC Davis Health actively participate in these diversity-focused networks, which not only uplift their communities, but serve in advisory roles to campus leadership, networks of support, and DEI influencers.

I’m proud of UC Davis’ long history of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of our organization. These principles are at the forefront of everything we do, and we are dedicated to investing in and accelerating our efforts even further.Chancellor Gary May

UC Davis is heading towards becoming a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, which is another reason for its placement on the Forbes list. With a remarkable enrollment rate of 24.1% Chicanx/Latinx students, the university’s diverse population reflects the state it serves and represents. This empowers UC Davis to spearhead positive changes on both regional and global scales, as it is uniquely qualified to serve and create an impact in today's increasingly interconnected world.

In its ongoing effort to ensure every employee feels valued, supported, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to work, UC Davis has compiled robust Resources for Trans and Non-Binary Employees and is improving systems to acknowledge each individual’s authentic gender identity and lived name. By fostering an inclusive work environment, UC Davis promotes the success and well-being of its workforce, enabling each employee to reach their full potential.

UC Davis Health has taken significant strides towards inclusion and equity through its Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism, and Equity (IDARE) initiative from the Office of Health, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (HEDI) in 2020. This system-wide effort has developed several taskforces to assess efforts in critical DEI processes, such as hiring and promotion, as well as helping employees, managers and leaders measure and stay focused on DEI goals.

Part of what has made these strides possible is the valuable data collected through UC Davis’ Staff Experience Survey and UC Davis Health’s CommUNITY Feedback Survey. Significant work has been done to create comprehensive plans that address institutional and department-specific initiatives. Work continues this summer as leaders and managers review recently released results from the CommUNITY Survey, share with their teams, and develop improvement plans. 

We’re thrilled to be recognized for our efforts to create a welcoming culture and safe space for our employees; they will always be the heart of UC Davis. Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion is not a stand-alone mission, and it requires constant attention. I’m looking forward to working with campus partners to continue moving UC Davis forward as an organization truly committed to DEI principles, including a sense of belonging.Chief Human Resources Officer, Tammy Kenber

Programs making a difference for women and families

Our placement on the Forbes list of Best Employers for Women is the latest testament to UC Davis’ commitment to fostering a community where all employees feel welcomed, valued and inspired to achieve their full potential, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected women across the country due to child care demands, stress, low pay and a lack of opportunities. 

The UC Women’s Initiative for Professional Development offers opportunities to improve effectiveness at work and cultivate connections across the University of California system, while Workplace Reimagined promotes flexible work arrangements to give employees input over their work schedules and locations.

Other standout initiatives include Family Leave Benefits, which ensures employees can prioritize family when it is most important, as well as the Lactation Support Program, which provides university affiliates and their partners with comprehensive health care resources. These programs, sponsored by the UC Davis WorkLife Program, recognize the necessity of supporting employees by honoring their often-competing commitments to both family and career, allowing them to bring their best selves to the fulfillment of the UC Davis mission. 

How Forbes Compiled Their List

Over 45,000 U.S. employees were surveyed from companies with a minimum of 1,000 employees in order to identify the best employers for diversity in the United States. The list ranks the 500 employers that not only received the most recommendations, but also boasts the most diverse boards and executive ranks, and the most proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

​​The Forbes survey was based on four criteria: 

  • Direct recommendations: Employees were asked to give their opinions on a series of statements regarding age, gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ, and general diversity in their workplaces. The recommendations of women, elders, and ethnic minorities were weighted higher than the non-minority groups.
  • Indirect recommendations: Participants were given the chance to evaluate other employers in their respective industries that stand out either positively or negatively with regard to diversity. Only the recommendations of minority groups were considered.
  • Diversity among top executives/board members
  • Diversity engagement indicators