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Charleston Business

MUSC Ranks No. 13 On Forbes List Of America’s Best Employers For Diversity

Jan 22, 2019 10:50AM ● By Kathleen Maris

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has been ranked No. 13 out of 500 organizations on the Forbes 2019 list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. In addition, MUSC ranked No. 3 among the 30 institutions listed in the education category.

In collaboration with Statista, Forbes surveyed 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 people within their U.S. operations. The goal was to have employees evaluate their employers on issues of diversity in the workplace. The four criteria of the rankings were direct recommendations, indirect recommendations, diversity among top executives and board members, and diversity KPIs (key performance indicators). Diversity KPIs include topics such as the existence of a department or position responsible for diversity and proactive communication related to a diverse company culture.

“There are three reasons why embracing diversity and inclusion is of pivotal importance,” said MUSC President David J. Cole. “First, it is who we should be as an institution. It has to be part of our vision and self-definition. Second, it is how we build upon who we are and what we can achieve together. Third, it affects the bottom line. It is about being our most productive and effective. People who feel valued are empowered to contribute and to be at their best.

“This noteworthy recognition on the Forbes list, for the second consecutive year, affirms the value and impact of this tremendous body of work that is ongoing,” he stated. “To sustain and extend this progress, we must remain consistent, open, and committed. Diversity and inclusion inherently yield innovation, and innovation is the key to making meaningful impact.”

One example of the many tangible advances MUSC has made in D&I is the area of supplier diversity. In support of the local community, Cole impelled MUSC to prioritize small, women-, and minority-owned business enterprises (SWMBEs). As of June 2018, MUSC had awarded $60 million in contracts to SWMBEs to help build the $385 million MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, which is scheduled to open in fall 2019.

To view the entire Forbes list, visit

The MUSC chief diversity officers are Willette Burnham-Williams, Ph.D., University, and Anton J. Gunn, MUSC Health. They are supported through strategic collaborations with colleagues and partners across the organization. Each of the six colleges at MUSC also has a diversity officer focused on achieving shared institutional D&I goals.