The YMCA has been recognized as one of America’s 15 best employers for diversity, according to statistical research compiled by Forbes magazine. Forbes recently released a comprehensive list of America’s 250 best employers for diversity after an in-depth survey of 30,000 employees.

Monica Grant, CEO of the San Luis Obispo County Y, “These results are very gratifying. This has been a focus and a commitment of our Y and of the YMCA of the USA for several years. I’m proud that the Y is being recognized for its efforts to walk the talk on these values.

“Our values on this issue are clear,” Grant said. “As we state on our website, by prioritizing diversity and inclusion, we seek to ensure that all segments of society have access to the Y and feel welcome and fully engaged as participants, members, staff, and volunteers. The Y is a force for building bridges among all people to advance our cause of strengthening community.”

Forbes’ Leadership Editor, Fred Allen, said: “Diversity has become a business imperative, because it makes businesses better places and richer in every sense of the word.

“Forbes, working with our data partners at Statista, is proud to be releasing its first annual ranking of the best employers for diversity in America,” Allen said. “We surveyed 30,000 employees at companies across the nation and also researched those companies’ workforces and practices, and we hope that by introducing the definitive listing honoring the top performers we will stir discussion of the importance of diversity and inclusion and reinforce employers’ determination to do the best at it they can.”

The magazine noted that research has consistently found that companies with more diverse teams have stronger financial performance. Forbes said the extensive employee survey was necessary because “it’s often difficult to get visibility into how seriously a company takes diversity.”

“Our large survey of employees has shown that diversity is a highly relevant factor when choosing an employer,” said Statista CEO, Dr. Friedrich Schwandt.

Other factors Statista incorporated were the gender split of companies’ management teams and boards, and whether a company proactively communicates about diversity. It also looked at the gap in diversity perceptions at a given organization. For example, if women, older employees and underrepresented minorities rated an employer poorly on diversity, but everyone else rated it highly, Statista considered that a negative indicator and adjusted the score downward. Only companies with 1,000 or more workers were eligible to qualify for the list.

Two California-based companies were ranked in the Top 15: Intuit (No. 4) and Stanford (No. 11).