Business

Which Companies Are The Most Elitist?

Higher management within companies can have a big impact on the culture and values within an organization. However not all management teams are as inclusive as we’d hope. One area of criticism has been around the alma mater of senior management, which has disproportionately tilted toward Ivy League institutions.

Revelio Labs

11/24/20

Senior management within companies can have a big impact on the culture and values within an organization. However not all management teams are as inclusive as we’d hope. One area of criticism has been around the alma mater of senior management, which has disproportionately tilted toward Ivy League institutions.

Filling top positions with Ivy League graduates is, on the one hand, inevitable if companies are seeking top talent. On the other hand, by only sourcing from specific institutions, companies will be limiting the perspectives that alternative backgrounds may bring to management decisions, while also failing to foster an inclusive working environment.

By looking at a company's senior management, we track the share of talent from elite universities (Ivy Leagues, plus the honorary Stanford and MIT) to see how exclusive these companies really are:

plot

In addition to the share of executives that came from top universities, we also look at how many come from the most common source. We think this is a measure of homogeneity in leadership, and likely a sign of favoritism or nepotism, which can undermine meritocratic values:

plot

Based on these two scores -- share from top universities and educational homogeneity -- we can get a much deeper view into the character of executive teams. See below:

plot

Companies in the top right quadrant have the best of both worlds, balancing educational prestige and diversity. The companies doing well here are Marsh & McLennon, Pfizer, and Accenture. Companies in the top left are elitist and homogeneous, like Goldman Sachs, Facebook, and Google. Companies in the bottom right are diverse but not prestigious, like Northrop Grumman, Wells Fargo, and UTC. And companies on the bottom left have both an homogenous leadership without educational prestige, like Halliburton and Fiat Chrysler.

If you have any ideas of other metrics to track or would like to hear more, please feel free to reach out.

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