Forbes Names UC Davis a ‘Best Employer’ for Diversity (Again) and Women

Quick Summary

  • 3rd year in a row as a best employer for diversity
  • HR shows increase in number of female managers
  • Recognition coincides with new Women Leaders Series

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 third consecutive year and a best employer for women, reflecting in part an increase in the percentage of women in manager and senior professional roles.

UC Davis achieved a third-place ranking in both categories, among educational institutions in California.


This new, five-part series will be presented twice in the coming months. See details below.

These rankings for 2022 are in addition to Forbes’ recognizing UC Davis and UC Davis Health last year among the best employers overall in California.

UC Davis’ inclusion on the list of best employers for diversity shows that “our efforts advancing inclusive excellence are paying off,” Human Resources declares on its website.

HR leaders credited the university’s “hard work and dedication” toward fulfilling one of the key goals of the university’s “To Boldly Go” strategic plan: to be a national role model in higher education for diversity, equity and inclusion.

“UC Davis’ march towards inclusive excellence is ongoing and requires our constant attention — particularly in light of the need to address implicit and explicit bias, racism and structural inequalities,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “I’m proud we have a long history of investing in programs, people and processes that make the university a place where everyone can prosper.”

HR also credited the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team for providing guidance to senior leadership on various issues related to diversity and inclusion — including improving diverse representation in leadership.

‘You belong here!’

“It’s rewarding to have Forbes confirm what we know: UC Davis is advancing equity, diversity and inclusion at all levels of our institution,” said Christine Lovely, chief human resources officer. “And UC Davis’ placement on the list reinforces our message to employees and those thinking about joining UC Davis — you belong here!” 

Forbes’ updated listing of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity” is based on a nationwide survey of more than 60,000 people working for companies with a minimum of 1,000 employees, in fields ranging from education and aerospace to telecommunications and retail and wholesale.

Those who answered the survey did so anonymously, as the market research company Statista recorded “direct recommendations” (by asking employees to evaluate their own workforces in regard to age, gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ and general diversity) and “indirect recommendations” (by considering what members of minority groups had to say about other employers in their respective industries).

Forbes also factored in diversity among top executives/board members and diversity engagement indicators.

“The list ranks the 500 employers that not only received the most recommendations but also boast the most diverse boards and executive ranks and the most proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives,” Forbes said.

In support of women

As an example of how UC Davis is advancing equality, Human Resources posted a comparison of the percentages of women in manager and senior professional roles in 2018 and 2021:

  • Davis campus — 43.2% in 2018, 46.8% in 2021
  • UC Davis Health — 58.2% in 2018, 59.2% in 2021
Pie charts showing increases in percentages of women in manager and senior professional roles on Davis campus (Davis campus (43.2% in 2018, 46.8% in 2021) and at UC Davis Health (58.2% in 2018, 59.2% in 2021)

“We understand the value of having diversity represented at all levels of our institution, so we are dedicated to hiring and supporting women in their careers and personal lives,” said Mary Croughan, provost and executive vice chancellor. “This is how we best serve our students, patients and the state of California, by reflecting diversity of thought, backgrounds and approaches as one of the leading public research universities in the country.”

UC Davis Women Leaders Series: See below.

Forbes’ listing of “America’s Best Employers for Women,” like the one for best employers for diversity, is based on a national survey of people working for companies with a minimum of 1,000 employees, with responses coming in anonymously.

Statista asked 30,000 women and 20,000 men to rate their organizations on such criteria as working conditions, diversity and how likely they would be to recommend their employer to others, and then reviewed the responses for potential gender gaps.

The market research company then asked female respondents to rate their employers on factors such as parental leave, discrimination and pay equity, and to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The Forbes list also factored in representation at the executive and board levels.

“HR is committed to further improving our programs and practices and providing more tools and resources for the women that make UC Davis and UC Davis Health great,” Lovely said. “ Our employees are our best asset and by supporting their families, we can help them reach their full potential at work.”


Updated 9 a.m. Aug. 4: All sessions listed below are filled. However, the registration forms allow you to add your name to wait lists.


From Learning Development and Professional Services (formerly Staff Development and Professional Services), this series is offered to all who are interested in leadership and women’s topics. The five-part series will be presented for the first time from August into October. The series is scheduled to repeat from January into May. All sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon, remotely. You must register for each part individually; you need not enroll in every part, and you can split your enrollments between the 2022 series and the 2023 series. There is no fee.

The goal is for participants to develop new skill sets “to prepare and empower them to thrive in our modern, competitive culture.” The five topics are listed here with the dates for the 2022 and 2023 series. Click on each topic for more information and to register:


Questions? Contact Learning Development and Professional Services (Davis campus) by email.


Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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