15 Most Progressive Companies in America

In this article, we will take a look at the 15 most progressive companies in America. If you want to see more companies in this selection, go to the 5 Most Progressive Companies in America.

According to McKinsey, since April 2021, over 19 million US workers have left their jobs. This record-breaking rate has caused business disruption across the world. Around 53% of employers have reported observing significantly high labor turnover compared to previous years, and 64% anticipate the issue to worsen in the coming months. Companies are now actively working towards identifying challenges and establishing progressive workplace practices. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the evolution of the workplace culture due to lockdowns and restrictions of movement across the world. There has been increased focus on diversity and inclusion at workplaces across the US.

A progressive workplace encourages inclusion and diversity, has policies in place that are employee-friendly, focuses on sustainable practices, and provides allowances and incentives that motivate employees to reach their full potential. As studies have repeatedly demonstrated, diversity—through the lenses of color, gender, skill, and sexual orientation — can serve to build companies. According to McKinsey’s “Diversity Wins” report, the possibility of outperformance increases with the level of gender diversity. For instance, businesses that have more than 30% female executives do better than those that have between 10% and 30% female executives. Companies with the highest levels of gender diversity have a significantly higher possibility of outperforming their less diverse counterparts.

A sense of inclusiveness has a strong relationship with employee engagement. People who have a strong sense of inclusion are more likely than others to express enthusiasm for and dedication to their organizations. McKinsey’s research revealed that a perceived lack of inclusiveness at a company led over 40% of respondents to decline or decide against applying for a job. Progressive workplaces such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), and SAP SE (NYSE:SAP) are replacing the conventional workplace model where employees work on a clock and managers enforce strict rules and regulations without any room for open communication.

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

Our Methodology

In this article, we have referred to renowned publications and websites such as Forbes, Fortune 100, and Top Workplaces to shortlist the 15 most progressive companies in America. We have used 8 articles to report the consensus picks of established publications. These companies have been ranked in ascending order in terms of the number of sources that have termed them progressive.

15 Most Progressive Companies in America

15. The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 2

The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR) is a Mayfield, Ohio-based insurance company. It is the third biggest insurance carrier in the US, with a presence in over 50 states. Furthermore, The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR) is also the largest US automobile insurance provider, with a headcount of 51,431 employees as of 2022.

The company has the distinction of filling up 80% of jobs above entry-level positions by promoting its talent internally. This reflects the entity’s focus on promoting internal growth opportunities for its employees. The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR) also conducts a Multicultural Leadership Development Program for its employees. Over 60% of the program graduates are promoted to higher positions. According to “Great Place to Work,” 96% of employees think that the corporation makes them feel welcome at their initiation.

Here’s what Wedgewood Partners said about The Progressive Corporation (NYSE:PGR) in its Q2 2022 investor letter:

“Progressive Corp had a positive contribution to performance during the quarter. Net Premiums Written (NPW) grew +12% as the Company grew both policies in force and took rate to offset higher loss cost trends that are being driven by inflation. For example, we estimate accident severity for personal auto are up +35% since the beginning of the pandemic. However, this is partially offset by a 20% decline in frequency, due to people driving fewer miles. Progressive is making up for this net rise in cost by raising policy rates in the mid-teens percentage range. Progressive has been relatively early to take rate compared to industry peers, so the Company should be able to aggressively compete for share as competitors play catchup.”

14. Fidelity Investments

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 2

Fidelity Investments is a Boston, Massachusetts-based privately held financial services firm that provides financial planning solutions and advice related to retirement planning, wealth management, investing, trading, and brokerage services.

Fidelity Investments is ranked 27 among the best employers for diversity by Forbes. The company provides its customers with the option of sustainable investing, as two-thirds of investors think that social impact is integral in determining where to invest. Abigail Johnson has led Fidelity Investments as President and CEO of the company since 2014. According to Great Place to Work, 88% of employees at Fidelity Investment think the company provides a conducive environment for personal growth. The company also scored 100 on the Disability Equality Index last year.

13. PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 3

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) is a San Jose, California-based financial technology corporation operating a payment gateway system that supports online money transfers worldwide.

Leading publication Forbes has ranked the company 20th on its list of employers known for promoting diversity in the US. Furthermore, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) stands 45th among the world’s best employers and holds the 123rd place among the world’s top female-friendly organizations. According to GlobalData, the company has a 43.7% female representation in its workforce. Meanwhile, 55% of the workforce comprises Asians, Hispanics and Latinx, and African Americans. PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) also have programs related to parental preparedness and Global Wellness Days to ensure employees’ well-being.

Wedgewood Partners shared its outlook on PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) in its Q3 2022 investor letter. Here’s what the firm said:

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) contributed positively to performance as the Company reported accelerating revenue growth and more concrete measures to drive long-term profitability. Revenue growth accelerated throughout the quarter as the Company is taking share in e-commerce while lapping the headwinds of the eBay rolling off. While eBay’s revenues represented higher-margin revenues, the Company should be able to drive better transaction margins as total payment volume growth reaccelerates. Part and parcel of this growth comes from PayPal’s investments to drive higher penetration into its 429 million active accounts. PayPal’s active accounts have grown by +50% since the onset of the pandemic so it makes sense for management to focus on driving higher transactions per account, thus better to monetize this historical windfall of users. The Company also authorized a $15 billion share repurchase program, which represents over 10% of shares outstanding. This is a good use of capital relative to the Company’s historically depressed multiples.”

12. Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 3

Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) is a San Jose, California-based creative, marketing, and document management software corporation.

In terms of gender representation, Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) claims to have 33.6% female employees in its workforce of 25,000 employees. Women occupy 27.2% of the leadership positions in the company. Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) is targeting the proportion to increase to 30% by 2025 and eventually achieve gender parity. Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) has brought in Brian Miller as the Chief Talent, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer to ensure the company meets its strategic goals. Every year since 2001, Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) has recognized 12 employees with Adobe’s Founder Award to honor the brightest in the company through a peer-to-peer system.

Here’s what Renaissance Investment Management said about Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

“On the negative side, Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) was the largest detractor from portfolio performance in the quarter. The company reported decelerating revenue growth in its most recent quarter, but more concerning was the announced acquisition of privately held Figma for a record $20 billion. While management made a compelling case for the acquisition, the price paid revived fears that Adobe is facing increasing competitive threats.”

11. Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 3

Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) is a San Francisco, California-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) customer relationship management (CRM) company.

Back in 2019, Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) aimed to have half of its workforce represent minority groups. The company managed to achieve this target one year earlier, as 50.7% of its employees today belong to underrepresented groups. Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) intends to connect executive compensation with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals to increase accountability. Progressive initiatives at Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) are led by Lori Castillo Martinez as the Chief Equality Officer. Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) has been undertaking progressive measures for a number of years now. In 2015, the company conducted an equal pay audit that resulted in a salary adjustment of $3 million.

Oakmark Funds shared its outlook on Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) in its Q3 2022 investor letter. Here’s what the firm said:

Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) has become a dominant global player in sales, customer service, commerce and marketing software over the past 20 years. The company earns 80% gross margins and grows 20% organically. Plus, virtually all of its revenue is recurring. We see Salesforce as a great business that we’ve admired from afar for a long time. More recently, the organization has made some changes at the top that prompted us to take a closer look at the stock. New CEO Bret Taylor and CFO Amy Weaver are bringing a culture of financial discipline. We believe this renewed focus on profitability and capital return, combined with Salesforce’s strong underlying business characteristics, will yield strong results. The current valuation of 3.9x next year’s revenues represents a significant discount compared to publicly traded peers and recent private market values in the software space that have similar growth profiles. We view this discount as an opportunity to invest in a great business at a good value.”

10. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 4

Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is a Rogers, Arkansas-based operator of the discount department, grocery stores, and hypermarkets. The company is the biggest retailer in the world, with a headcount of over 1.6 million employees in the US alone across its 4,000 stores.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is actively making efforts to promote a progressive work culture. As of 2022, 53% of all the company’s associates in the US are women. Meanwhile, 21% of its associates are Blacks or African American. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has also launched a progressive wage structure for its pharmacy technicians to increase their hourly wage by $4 over the course of four years. In June 2022, Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) increased the average hourly wage of its 36,000 pharmacy technicians to $20 per hour.

Leaven Partners shared its stance on Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) in its Q3 2022 investor letter. Here’s what the firm said:

“In our last quarterly letter, I briefly mentioned that the consensus estimates for corporate profits appeared to be a bit too sanguine. I referenced a Reuters article that reported, as of June 17, Wall Street expected S&P 500 earnings to grow by 9.6% in 2022, which was up from 8.8% in April and from 8.4% in January. That tune began to change at the end of July and accelerated in August and September, as major players, such as Walmart (NYSE:WMT), has recently issued profit warnings and/or have withdrawn guidance. In response, Wall Street has altered its outlook: lowering third-quarter profit growth to 4.6%[2] from 7.2% in early August and slashing full-year profit growth to 4.5%.”

9. Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 4

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) is a Bethesda, Maryland-based operator, franchisor, and licensor of lodging services comprising hotel, residential and timeshare properties.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) launched a $50 million development program in June 2022 focused on addressing challenges related to the underrepresentation of minorities in developing and owning hotels in the North American region. The company intends to create an expected asset value of $1 billion through the development program. Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) has had a diversity and inclusion program for more than two decades. The company claims to have 54% of female employees in its workforce. Overall, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) intends to have 3,000 diverse-owned hotels in its portfolio by 2025.

Here’s what LRT Capital Management said about Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) in its October investor letter:

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) is the world’s largest hotel company followed closely by Hilton (HLT) and Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (IHG). The company owns a portfolio of brands from the low end (Courtyard, SpringHill Suites, Aloft), through the mid-tier (Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, Renaissance Hotels), to the luxury high end (JW Marriot, Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis). In total the company had 7,642 properties with over 1.4 million rooms as of the end of Q1 2021.

The majority (85%) of Marriott’s revenue comes from hotels in the United States, with the rest almost evenly split between Asia Pacific and Europe. Like it’s smaller peer, Hilton, the company today is almost exclusively a manager and franchisor of hotels, not a hotel owner. The company owns 66 hotels, manages 2,083 and franchises 5,493. Like all franchise-based businesses Marriott requires very little capital to grow as it utilizes the investment capital of its hotel-owners/partners to expand. Marriott currently faces a difficult operating environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic and uncertainty about the future of business travel. However, the company is an excellent operator with a somewhat leveraged capital structure (the company acquired Starwood Properties in late 2016) – if pent-up demand for travel materializes post-Covid, as we expect it will, the company will quickly go from losing money to raking in profits.”

8. American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 4

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) is a New York-based payment card company.

As of 2022, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) has invested $1 billion in its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. The company intends to spend an additional $3 billion by 2025 to promote these initiatives. Furthermore, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) claims to have maintained 100% pay equity across ethnicities and races in the US for the last two consecutive years. Forbes has ranked American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) at the 61st position in the list of employees known for promoting diversity. In March 2022, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) also launched its Amex Flex working system to allow employees to work either in an office or virtually. Under this initiative, 40% of employees have decided to go completely virtual.

7. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 4

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) is a McLean, Virginia-based hospitality company with a wide variety of hotels and resorts in its portfolio.

According to Great Place to Work, the company has been regarded as the best organization for diversity and parents. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) provides benefits like adoption assistance, parental leave, and GED support to its associates at its properties. The company intends to achieve equal representation of both genders in leadership positions globally by 2027 and have 25% ethnic diversity in leadership roles across the US. Furthermore, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) has partnered with the Atlanta, Georgia-based Morris Brown College to create a sustainable relationship with college students by establishing a $30 million hotel and hospitality training center.

Here’s what Pershing Square Holdings said about Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) in its Q2 2022 investor letter:

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) is a high-quality, asset-light, high-margin business with significant long-term growth potential, led by a superb management team. The unforeseen arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed a rapid and near-complete standstill in global travel, with RevPAR (the industry metric for same-store sales at a given hotel) down roughly 90% at the nadir of the pandemic. We increased our investment in Hilton during the pandemic as we believed the economic dislocation from COVID-19 would prove to be transient and that industry projections regarding the timeline for recovery were too pessimistic.

From the moment the pandemic began, Hilton’s management team took decisive actions to ensure the company not only managed through what it knew would be a challenging period, but also positioned the company to generate improved margins, cash flows, and investment returns once the business recovered. In hindsight, Hilton’s experience with COVID-19 – the 100-year proverbial flood – affirmed the company’s unique high-quality, asset light, high-margin business model, and reinforced our belief that Hilton deserves a premium valuation.

While Hilton entered 2022 impacted by the Omicron variant, results have vastly improved throughout the year as COVID-19 has evolved towards a more endemic virus, and consumer behavior has adapted accordingly. In recent months, Hilton’s system-wide RevPAR has surpassed 2019 levels and continues to improve. Recent strength has been led by domestic leisure travel occasions as consumer spending continues to shift from goods to services. …” (Click here to read the full text)

6. Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN)

Number of sources that termed the company as progressive: 5

Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) is a Dublin, Ireland-based Irish-American IT services company.

Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) assesses pay-equity every year. As of November 5, 2021, the company had achieved dollar-for-dollar pay equity for male and female employees across every market in which it operates. To ensure that everyone may contribute fairly, Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) continuously facilitates change. The company’s disabled employees have access to the most advanced tools, information, and training for a workplace free of barriers. Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) has been ranked number one on the Refinitiv Diversity and Inclusion Index in 2022. The company has been included in the index for the seventh consecutive year, and in the past five years, Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) has topped the list on three occasions.

Here’s what Distillate Capital Partners LLC said about Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) in its Q3 2022 investor letter:

“The largest new purchases includes Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN). Accenture modestly lagged the market last quarter and became similarly attractive enough to warrant ownership. Similar to our prior presentations, one way to visualize the current portfolio and note recent changes versus the benchmark is to look at scatter plot of all of Distillate’s FSV holdings versus those in the benchmark with valuation on the vertical axis and free cash ϲow stability on the horizontal axis.”

In addition to Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN), companies such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), and SAP SE (NYSE:SAP) are also on our list of the most progressive companies in America.


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Disclosure: None. 15 Most Progressive Companies in America is originally published on Insider Monkey.