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Crain’s first Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Awards will celebrate New York City individuals and businesses that lead by example and hold themselves and others accountable for diversity-and-inclusion initiatives.

Join Crain’s in our commitment to celebrate diversity and cultivate a culture of belonging when you nominate a business professional or organization today for the awards program.

Finalists will be recognized June 21 in a special issue. Winners will be announced at an awards reception in July and recognized in an issue appearing the week after the event.

Candidates can be considered for multiple categories, but they can be honored in only one. Categories are subject to elimination. (See below for category descriptions.)


  • “Diversity” means having people of diverse backgrounds (race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, et cetera) in the workforce and in management.
  • “Inclusion” means that all of those diverse people have a voice in the planning and operations of the company or organization.


DIVERSITY CHAMPIONS (COMPANY): This award recognizes organizations in all industries that have committed to a diverse workforce and have programs or initiatives advancing the promotion of diversity in the workplace. We will have three categories (broken out by the number of employees). We will pick five finalists in each size grouping and announce one winner in each grouping at the event.

EMERGING LEADERS (INDIVIDUAL): This award recognizes emerging leaders at a New York City company or organization that has promoted programs or initiatives advancing diversity and inclusion. We will honor five nominees.

TOP D&I OFFICER (INDIVIDUAL): This award recognizes individuals whose primary job is promoting diversity within their organization and who have successfully steered the diversity agenda throughout the organization and the wider community. We will recognize five finalists and announce one winner at the event.

BOARD HEROES (INDIVIDUAL): This award recognizes individuals who serve on a board or boards and use their position to drive diversity initiatives within the organization. We will recognize three finalists and announce one winner at the event.

CIVIC DIVERSITY HEROES (INDIVIDUAL): This award recognizes civic leaders who exceed expectations in the promotion of programs or initiatives advancing diversity and inclusion in the city. We will recognize three finalists and announce one winner at the event.


  • work within the New York City metro area (the five boroughs of NYC or Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Bergen counties) to qualify
  • be employed for a minimum of 5 years (not including emerging leader category)
  • have shown the ability or power to effect change in their role, area of practice or as an organization
  • be involved in mentorship, community or philanthropic activities
  • have assumed a leadership position in matters of diversity and inclusion (either inside or outside their company)
  • focus on recent achievements (within the last 12 to 24 months)