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Research Report

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Since its launch in 2008, Commonwealth Compact has grown steadily, employing several strategies to promote diversity statewide. The Benchmarks initiative has collected data, analyzed in this report, on a significant portion of the state workforce. Guided by Stephen Crosby, dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, Commonwealth Compact has conducted newsmaking surveys of public opinion and of boards of directors statewide. In addition, it has convened ongoing coalitions with its higher education partners, and established a collaborative of local business schools aimed specifically at increasing faculty diversity. The Compact has sponsored or co-sponsored a number of public forums. And it expects to bring an effective Talent Source Database online in Spring, 2011. It has been the subject of numerous news stories, and in 2010 was presented a special tribute for vision, courage and “the boldness to act” by the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action in Boston.

In May 2009, Commonwealth Compact released its first annual report, Stepping Up: Managing Diversity in Challenging Times. At that time, there were 127 companies, organizations, institutions of higher education and others in the for- and not-for-profit sectors who had “signed on” to Commonwealth Compact to affirm a commitment to recruitment, hiring, management and governance practices to increase diversity in the workplace. Of these, 111 “signers” completed a survey using the Compact’s “Benchmark Template”; completing these templates required signers to input quantitative data on the racial and gender diversity of the signer’s leadership team and boards, employees, customers, consumers, vendors and suppliers.

The signers who filed data also answered a number of survey questions about CEO commitment to diversity; mentoring/training on diversity issues for management; recruitment strategies for identifying a diverse pool of candidates for board members and hires; civic and other initiatives to understand and promote diversity, inclusion and racial/ethnic and gender equality; and others. (See Benchmark Template–Year 1 in Appendix A). Finally, data were gathered about the size of the organization/corporation (e.g., number of employees and annual revenue/budget). Signers for the 2009 report filed data for calendar year 2007.


The author would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Christa Kelleher, Research Director, Paige Ransford, Senior Research Associate, and Meryl Thomson, Research Assistant, Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy, in the preparation of this report.

Commonwealth Compact is honored to have the backing of many business, civic, and political leaders, and acknowledges with gratitude financial support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, The Boston Globe, the Barr Foundation, The Boston Foundation, The Hyams Foundation, Bingham McCutchen, Staples, Partners Health, and the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston.

STEPPING UP Key Findings 2007.pdf (41 kB)
Key Findings of 2007 Benchmarks Data Analysis.



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